Herbology is an ancient way of healing found in cultures throughout the world utilizing plants and their derivatives as preventative and curative medicine. It is believed that medicinal and nutritional supplements synthesized from separate and isolated elements create a physical dependency in the body by reducing its ability to extract these elements from whole foods. Whole herbs, however, retain the subtler ingredients necessary to balance the active elements, thus transporting a balanced substance into the body that can catalyze healing more effectively. In this way, herbal therapy strengthens the natural functions of the body without the negative side effects of synthetic drugs. Herbs are prepared for internal and external use in a variety of ways, including teas, tinctures, extracts, oils, ointments and compresses.