Traditional herbal medicine, based on centuries of experience, is also referred to as “monastic medicine” because in the past it was primarily the monasteries that preserved and increased herbal medicine knowledge. The most famous representative of monastery medicine is Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), who is generally believed to have founded European naturopathy. In addition to plant products, minerals, trace elements and essential fatty acids, vitamins are also among the so-called “micronutrients” that are vital for the body.
The term “vitamins” includes a wide variety of organic compounds that are necessary for metabolism. Despite all their differences, what the vitamins have in common is that they do not serve to generate energy, but rather serve very specific functions, such as acting as antioxidants to protect against free radicals. If vitamins are missing, you will get sick even if you consume enough energy-providing fats, proteins and carbohydrates. With the exception of vitamin D, which can be produced by the organism itself with the help of sunlight, all other vitamins must be supplied through food. There are both fat- and water-soluble vitamins, although only fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) can be stored in the body (the exception is the water-soluble vitamin B12).