Herbal medicine, also known as herbalism or botanical medicine, is a medical system based on the use of plants or plant and animal extracts that may be eaten or topically applied to the skin. Since ancient times, herbal medicine has been used by many different cultures throughout the world to treat illness and to assist bodily functions. It is the basis of modern pharmacology. Herbal medicines may be prescribed by your practitioner to increase the results and effectiveness of the in office treatment. The herbal medication may come in the form of raw herbs to be boiled and made into tea, pills or caplets, granulated powder, or liquid tinctures.