Why use herbs as medicine? Whats the big deal anyway!

Connection with the earth - Healing right at our fingertips - Taking our health into our own hands.

We have to do it as a contribution to future generations and for our health as a species.

Modern medicine has diverged a long way from natural living. Yes, we need it for sure, but should we not be thinking more about how we can avoid the ailment or gently correct the root cause rather than how to fix the symptom? We should be thinking more about how can we live a healthy life. The past two years have brought health to the forefront for all of us. We have all been challenged in so many ways. A lot of deep thinking has been forced upon us and I believe a new way is evolving.

Herbalism as a practice, is a part of what we call holistic medicine. What we ingest (food/ liquids, pills etc) is a part of our life; it's a part of our lifestyle. Holistic medicine seeks to see the person as a whole, not only in what we consume but also taking into account our mental and physical health, our quality of life, our lifestyle and for example, the health of our relationships.

The great thing about herbs is that, for one, we know a lot about herbs as ‘medicine’. We have a wealth of information. Herbalism has been around for thousands of years, ancient civilizations and indigenous people used plants for healing and key to their practice was treating the person as a whole. Indigenous peoples understood that health is not so much about treating the symptom or the disease. Healing was achieved through understanding the human first, and then treating both body and spirit.

I was at a conference in the USA a few years ago on advanced nutrition. One of the attendees was a practicing cardiologist. She was at the conference to the dismay of her colleagues, to learn more about preventative practices through nutrition. Within her practice, as in many privately owned hospitals, she was paid according to the number of operations she did. She had a monthly quota that needed to be filled so the idea of nutritional and exercise prevention was not integrated into the practice at all. In fact, the more surgeries which were 'prevented' or 'delayed' the less they were remunerated.

Herbal medicine was put to the wayside with the advent of technology, it came from a place of the most esteemed profession, it is the practice that modern medicine was built upon. A fundamental practice from which stemmed the pharmacy , the perfumery and chemistry. As technology emerged, herbalism has been moved to the wayside while medicine became dependent on pharmaceutical companies and medical interventions.

Preventing illness rather than simply treating the symptom.

Simplistically speaking, it's wintertime, colds and flu are prominent. Could we not introduce a habit of eating more ginger and garlic during these months? Of course, you know I am a big fan of ginger infusions so yes I drink that all winter long as a habit! So, if you began for example one of these preventative habits, your incidence of cold or coughs will go down, guaranteed. No question.

The same thinking can be applied to the the various systems in the body itself. The cardiovascular system, the digestive system, the nervous system, the endocrine or hormonal system and the musculoskeletal system are all individual systems that work together. We can support the health of each of these systems with tinctures extracted from various plants. Tinctures, being concentrated extracts of plants. Some of you may use Echinaecea which is well known to be used in tincture form.

One plant contains hundreds of compounds. Think about when you take a pill. A pill is one compound, synthesized in a laboratory (and many times these isolates were developed from what we find in plants). The wealth of compounds found in a plant can be extremely helpful in maintaining or improving the health gently, of a bodily system. They are a natural laboratory in themselves.

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