Phytotherapy: An Introduction to Herbal Medicine

Prim Care. 2017 Jun;44(2):217-227. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2017.02.001.


Herbal medications are commonly used in all medical settings, making it essential for primary care providers to learn about the products being used and resources they can access for continuing education. Understanding how herbal medicines are sourced, processed, and standardized can help providers guide patients who are trying to choose the most clinically effective and affordable treatments. Multiple herbs are often combined and sold as proprietary blends, which can increase the risk of allergies, adverse reactions, or cross-reactivity with other pharmaceuticals and supplements. Several textbooks, online point-of-care resources, and conferences are available for primary care providers to expand their knowledge of herbal medicines.

Keywords: Herbal medicine; Integrative medicine; Phytotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Knowledge*
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Phytotherapy / standards
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plants, Medicinal*


  • Plant Extracts