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In less developed countries hallucinogens are the favored medicines. This is because sickness and death are viewed as being a consequence of interference from the spirit world, rather than being induced physically or organically.
A voluntary code of ethics has been proposed and advertising would enlist the help of retailers in avoiding the sort of advertising that preys on people desperate for help. Such regulations offers a middle ground on which herbal medicines can stand.
It is far less costly and more satisfying to make your own remedies with homegrown herbs picked right from your garden. You can combine herbs to fit your own needs and tastes and make just the amounts you need. Furthermore, one can guarantee the purity of the herbs since you would know they had not been treated with any toxic chemicals.
Grinding or powdering them seems more efficient, but it tends to release the herbs oils and to make them weaker medicines in the long run.
Many herbalists will tell you the only sure way to know that your herbs are clean and free of poisons is to grow them yourself.
Typically, a pharmacognosist is interested in isolating and describing the active ingredients, or bioactive molecules, of plants.