根据以上定义，这篇文章将阐述草药作为补充疗法的方式。在这篇文章中，补充疗法将被定义为一种旨在缓解或治愈与另一种疗法或药物相结合的疾病的治疗方法。根据英国国家医疗服务体系(NHS)的网站，补充疗法的世界包含许多不同的模式，包括:顺势疗法、针灸、脊椎指压疗法、整骨疗法、草药疗法等等。补充和替代疗法常常谈到互换然而重要的是要注意词的不同选择和内涵的力量在这些情况下,两个方面都在许多方面暗示这些疗法的实践在某种程度上小于主流的实践,在这种情况下,传统的医学。Martin Ekors在他的论文中引用了草药使用的增长(Ekors, 2014)，据世界卫生组织估计，大约80%的世界人口使用草药或传统药物作为他们的主要医疗保健。这里的问题是，草药是否应该仅仅被认为是补充的，或者在某些情况下，尽管不一定是选择，它实际上是初级保健，在这种情况下，是主流。同样重要的是要认识到，在英国，为了成为安全的行医者并拥有初级诊断的权利，医学草药医生必须接受高水平的培训。这是英国1968年药品法案授予的唯一许可证。
Working with the above definitions, this essay will address the ways in which herbal medicine is a complementary therapy. For the purposes of this essay, a complementary therapy will thus be defined as a treatment that intends to relieve or heal a disorder which combines with another therapy or medicine. The world of complementary therapy encompasses many different modalities which include, according to the NHS website: homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathy, herbal medicine and many more. Complementary and Alternative therapies are often talked about interchangeably however it is important to note the difference in word choice and the power of connotation in these circumstances as both terms do in many ways imply that the practice of these therapies is in some way less than that of mainstream practice, in this case orthodox medicine.Martin Ekors cites within his paper on the growing use of herbal medicines (Ekors, 2014) that it is estimated by the World Health Organization that around 80% of the world population use herbal or traditional medicine as their primary healthcare. The question here begins to emerge as to whether herbal medicine should merely be considered complementary or whether in some cases, although not necessarily down to choice, it is in fact primary care and in this instance, mainstream. It is also of importance to recognise that within the UK, medical herbalists have to train to a high level in order to be safe practitioners and have the right of primary diagnosis. This is a unique license that was granted in the 1968 Medicines Act in Britain.