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early botanical book containing descriptions and illustrations of herbs and plants with their properties, chiefly those qualities that made them useful as medicines or condiments. Most of the herbals were written between c.1470 and c.1670; they were especially popular in England and Germany. Among the famous herbalists were Gaspard Bauhin, Otto Brunfels, Hieronymus Bock, and Leonhard Fuchs, all active during the 16th cent. Mingled with illustrations of often painstaking accuracy were fantastic figures and many superstitious descriptions of the magical powers of plants, e.g., the doctrine of signatures. This theory of herbal medicine was based on the superficial resemblance of certain plants or plant parts to specific human organs or parts. The appropriate herb was used for any disorder of its human counterpart. Thus certain heart-shaped leaves were thought to relieve heart disease; the convoluted walnut, brain disease; and the figworts, whose flowers have deep throats, were given for scrofula (hence the figwort family name Scrophulariaceae). The herbal began to disappear as medicine acquired a more scientific approach, but it has enjoyed a revival of interest as more people have turned to self-care and herbal medicineherbal medicine,
use of natural plant substances (botanicals) to treat and prevent illness. The practice has existed since prehistoric times and flourishes today as the primary form of medicine for perhaps as much as 80% of the world's population.
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See A. R. Arber, Herbals, Their Origin and Evolution (2d ed. 1938); B. C. Harris, The Compleat Herbal (new ed. 1972).

References in periodicals archive ?
Complete report on herbal remedies market and herbal supplements spread across 219 pages, profiling 30 companies and supported with 214 tables and figures is now available at http://www.
He said that after the formation of Health Bill for alternative medicines 2012 on which implementation was started in May 2014, as many as over 4,000 herbal companies have applied for registration of its over 85,000 products while most including two big companies of herbal products did not apply to register its products,it learnt.
Increasing interest in, and use of herbal medicine in Australia has been well documented over the last decade or so and the project of modernising Western herbal medicine in order to allow it to be accepted by the public and to contribute to contemporary healthcare is now over two decades old.
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