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Scientists have long debated the health benefits of herbal medicine, but today there are unprecedented numbers of health professionals using herbal-based treatments in their practice.

Gunnar Orn was a six-year-old boy in Iceland when he was playing with matches and his sweater caught fire. A neighbor found the boy in flames, and threw him into a puddle to save the boy’s life.

However, Gunnar was left with third degree burns over 45% of his body. For over four weeks, doctors treated him with Vaseline and salves, but without noticeable effect.

That was when Gunnar’s mother Thuridur took action. Vikings were notorious for their effective treatments of wounds. Thuridur’s family had inherited a tradition of Icelandic herbal medicine. Coupling her family’s ancient knowledge of herbal medicines with modern-day ingredients, Thuridur created a herbal balm, which she applied to Gunnar’s wounds daily.

“After I came home,” Gunnar recalls, “my mother started using my family’s secret. My wounds on my side started healing.”

Doctors were surprised to see that the herbal-based treatment was more effective than the hospital–prescribed one. They have since incorporated this and other herbal treatments into hospital inventories, a move that would have been unthinkable only a decade ago.

Since then, Thuridur Orn has devoted her life to helping those with irreparably severe burns and applying her expertise. She has spent decades in testing and improving her techniques and won an international award for her efforts, (the prestigious EUWIIN European Women Inventors and Innovators award in Berlin), for her work in the category of healthcare innovation.

And it seems she’s not the only one to appreciate the value of herbal medicine.

• The global herbal medicine market is worth over US $60 billion. 
• Nearly a quarter of all modern medicines are derived from natural products first used in traditional remedies. 
• Scientists and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning to traditional medicine owing to the cost of developing new drugs. 
• In Africa and Asia, 80% of the population still uses traditional remedies over modern medicine.

Many burns victims, including firefighters, have testified to the effectiveness of Thuridur’s skin repair treatment. And now, this ‘miracle balm’ is being used and endorsed by the mainstream medical community. If this trend continues, hundreds more patients will stand to benefit from the medical community’s paradigm shift towards herbal medication.

Fjola Natural

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