Herbs medicines and supplements all of these things are different but yet the common perception is that some of these terms can be used interchangeably I hope this brief explanation will help you make better choices as to what you choose to use for you for your health. So let's define some terms here so that everyone is on the same page before really get into the teeth of what's going on here. Herbs are typically dry plants which are blended in a controlled fashion and different amounts to have a particular medical property. Medications or also called pharmaceuticals are typically synthetically created but based in nature in a lab for particular condition. Supplements are meant to augment natural consumption of food. This would mean that herbs and supplements are close cousins. Vitamins are typically synthetically derived and of wide ranges of quality usually for particular vitamin or mineral. This would be different from a supplement however and that it is not typically naturally based.
To put it even finer point on the topic is important to understand that vitamins and medications are more an advent of modern times. Herbs and supplements whoever have been around for centuries but often ignored by modern Western medical standards. In many countries around the globe you'll find that people will have their own gardens and or plantings throughout their own property or can be found readily available in many markets as they are unable to afford pharmaceutical medications or vitamins. This is not meant however to indicate that the usefulness of vitamins and medication should be completely ignored there are many such cases where without modern pharmaceuticals many people would die or stay very sick for long periods of time.
When people come to me asking about natural remedies I often suggest that they go back to what their grandparents used to use as a modern home remedy. Most of the time what you'll find out is that these remedies are typically herbs or natural foods which possess the necessary vitamins and minerals for good health. I can remember my parents generation talking about all the things I used to hear on television and radio and even the modern science magazines of their time talking about better living through chemistry. This is a fascinating time in American history during the 1940s and 50s when modern science was being developed after post World War II soldiers and doctors started to build families and careers.
Modern medicine was just starting to become something that was appreciated as a scientific endeavor on a mass industrialize scale similar to what we find in aspects of housing and industrialization of large durable goods such as cars in refrigerators and even lightbulbs.
The belief that modern science created the atomic bomb something so unimaginably powerful yet somewhat predictable allowed the culture of the United States to lean towards medical science for answers to most extraordinary conditions.
We are starting to see a change in thinking due to the cost of many of these medications and vitamins here in the United States. The overwhelming cost and many of the safety hazards that come with some of these products has started to see been to the consciousness of the American people. Many drugs have more stated side effects that are detrimental than what they are supposed to be helping or curing. Now see in the younger generation yearning for a more simple and less hazardous method of taking care of themselves not only due to the cost but to the example of their forefathers in the way that they take care of themselves and have become extremely dependent and many of these medications and vitamins.
I would encourage everyone to look for verifiable information about the conditions they have been diagnosed with and look at all of the possible options including herbs and supplements and medications in order to determine what they feel is right for their body and not only talking to Western medical practitioners but also those that provide and distribute those herbs and supplements.