Modern herbal medicine
The use of herbs to treat disease is almost universal among non-industrialized societies. Many of the pharmaceuticals currently available to physicians have a long history of use as herbal remedies, including opium, aspirin, digitalis, and quinine. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. Pharmaceuticals are prohibitively expensive for most of the world's population, half of which lives on less than $2 U.S. per day. In comparison, herbal medicines can be grown from seed or gathered from nature for little or no cost. The use of, and search for, drugs and dietary supplements derived from plants have accelerated in recent years. Pharmacologists, microbiologists, botanists, and natural-products chemists are combing the Earth for phytochemicals and leads that could be developed for treatment of various diseases. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, approximately 25% of modern drugs used in the United States have been derived from plants. Among the 120 active compounds currently isolated from the higher plants and widely used in modern medicine today, 80 percent show a positive correlation between their modern therapeutic use and the traditional use of the plants from which they are derived. More than two thirds of the world's plant species - at least 35,000 of which are estimated to have medicinal value - come from the developing countries.[verification needed] At least 7,000 medical compounds in the modern pharmacopoeia are derived from plants In many medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) significant variations of plants characteristics have been ascertained with varying soil traits, and
the selective recovery and subsequent release in food of certain elements have been demonstrated. Great attention must be paid to choose soil and cropping strategies, to obtain satisfactory yields of high quality and best-priced products, respecting their safety and nutritional value. The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that is concerned with international public health. It was established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a member of the United Nations Development Group. Its predecessor, the Health Organization, was an agency of the League of Nations. The constitution of the World Health Organization had been signed by all 61 countries of the United Nations by 22 July 1946, with the first meeting of the World Health Assembly finishing on 24 July 1948. It incorporated the Office International d'Hygiene Publique and the League of Nations Health Organization. Since its creation, WHO has been responsible for playing a leading role in the eradication of smallpox. Its current priorities include communicable diseases, in particular, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; the mitigation of the effects of non-communicable diseases; sexual and reproductive health, development, and aging; nutrition, food security and healthy eating; occupational health; substance abuse; and drive the development of reporting, publications, and networking. WHO is responsible for the World Health Report, a leading international publication on health, the worldwide World Health Survey, and World Health Day (7th-April of every Year). Its links with the International Atomic Energy Agency and distribution of contraception have both proved controversial, as have guidelines on healthy eating and the 2009 flu pandemic.