Herbal medicines are a repository of human knowledge aggregated over at least 5000 years of human history. They have inspired scientists to look at constituent herbs, identify bioactive molecules in them and conduct experiments to study their efficacy.
Most modern medicines are of herbal origin. Once the efficacy of a molecule gets established with the help of multiple clinical trials, these molecules, chemical alternatives are identified, and mass production of drugs becomes possible.
Herbal medicines are generally polyherbal combinations. The synergistic action of multiple molecules in constituent plants makes these medicines effective.
Cocktail drugs in modern medicine are just emerging. The starting point of research in these cases again is herbal medicine combinations. The research of multiple herb combinations is n-fold more complex than single plant herbs. Scientific protocols and procedures on multiherbal research combinations are in the process of evolution.
The world of plants is huge. The medicinal properties of plants are myriad. Hartwell estimates that at least 3000 plants possess cancer healing properties. The entire herbal medicine knowledge database across all herbal medicine systems from the Northern and Southern Hemisphere may not exceed 5000-6000 plants. It took humans 5000 years to discover the existing herbal medicine combinations. We are still learning the value of these herbal combinations.
Humanity still has miles to go and a lot of exploring. The starting point will continue to be herbal medicine.

Additional reading:

Book selection on plant-based food and medicine.

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