Western herbal medicine is the integrative practice of assessing a patient from a holistic perspective. "Holistic" means looking at not only the disease, but also individual predispositions, stress levels and diet to create a plan for improving overall health. Herbs are used not only to improve disease symptoms, but also to support organ systems, reduce side effects of conventional drugs, improve the body’s resistance to infection and improve stress level.
Particular attention is paid to intestinal health and the microbiome, because a large proportion of the immune system lies within the gut. Herbal medicine is very helpful for managing chronic diseases such as allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, irritable bowel disease, neurologic disease, organ failure and cancer. It often works very well alongside conventional drugs. It can also be incorporated where there may be early organ stress, but no overt signs of disease, in an effort to support the organ system.