Herbal Medicine is the use of plants to restore health. It is the oldest form of medicine known and is an integral part of all traditional healing systems around the world.
Herbal Remedies can be made from all parts of plants, including the roots, leaves, flowers, barks, seeds and fruits. Scientific study has revealed that any given herb has many active compounds, which helps to explain how they work medicinally. Scientists and drug researchers have gone a step further and isolated individual chemicals from herbs believing that this is what produces an effect. I, and most herbalists, believe this to be false. It is the whole plant, working in its synergistic entirety that heals. When a plant chemical is isolated in this way it becomes a drug, in fact most pharmaceutical drugs are derived in this way. In this isolated form there is risk of side effects. When used in whole form, as they have been for centuries, herbs are well documented as being safe and effective.
A herbalist understands the complexities of herbal medicines, and with this in depth knowledge can match people with the best possible plants for healing. Herbs can be mild, moderate, or strong in their effect, and are dosed accordingly. One of the foundational tenets of herbal medicine is to treat people, instead of treating diseases. Two people with the same disease may have entirely different causes and experiences with that disease, thus requiring different herbs and an individualized healing program.
There are many ways to incorporate herbs into your life. I like to use herbs seasonally, as tonics. Herbs have affinity for certain organs or systems in the body, some act as tonics to strengthen, while others act more powerfully to restore function. Ultimately, herbs assist the body with its innate self-correcting ability.
Unfortunately, many people are so unwell that their self-healing ability has been weakened, which is evident in the increasing numbers of chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes, auto-immune disease, arthritis, heart disease and infertility. Herbal medicine offers solutions to these modern epidemics.
Herbal Medicine can be part of an integrative approach to health and can be used along with conventional drugs and other treatments. In this case, it is important to consult with a herbal practitioner to plan the best strategy and to avoid complications.
One of the foundational tenets of herbal medicine is to treat people instead of treating diseases.