The goal of the medicine chest is to introduce you to the wonderful world of herbs and their many uses. Herbs have traditionally been used as foods, supplements and to cure ailments. Their use can help support your health from a very basic level, just as foods do. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, you could walk into a drug store in the United States and find hundreds of herbal extracts for sale. Upwards of 90 percent of the population at that time knew how to use the medicinal plants growing in their backyards to treat common illnesses and injuries.