Herbalism is the study or practice of the medicinal and therapeutic use of plants, now especially as a form of alternative medicine. It is an ancient tradition based on the study and use of herbs for their healing properties. The term 'herb' refers to all plant parts, including the stems, leaves, fruit, flowers, roots, bark and seeds. Human beings have been harnessing the healing properties of herbs for thousands of years. In the west, traditional herbalism has been superseded by modern healthcare systems, based on scientific research and regulated by a rigid framework of rules. However, statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that 80% of the third world still use traditional herbalism as their main method of healthcare.