Herbalism is essentially, the ancient tradition of growing, gathering, preparing, and using herbs for medicinal purposes. Herbalism has existed for centuries and is also referred to as herbal medicine, herbology, botanical medicine, plant medicine, spirit medicine, phytotherapy, and medical herbalism.
A well trained herbalist is knowledgeable about the safety, efficacy, and quality of herbs and herbal products. They are familiar with potential herb/drug interactions. As clinicians, herbalists can be a solid foundation in providing guidance to their clients as the client addresses various health concerns. They can be an invaluable asset to assist clients in realizing the appropriate health protocol for optimum health results. Before choosing an herbalist, a potential client may want to speak to that herbalist to gauge if they both possess a similar code of values and practitioner/client goals.
More specifically, you may want to consult a well trained herbalist if you would like support with:
Herbalists view the body as a whole and believe symptoms are the body's way of asking for help. They do not
"treat" dis-eases nor "cure" clients. Herbalists empower clients to heal themselves or reach their desired level of optimum health. Depending on their comfort level and experience, an herbalist may assist clients with a myriad of health challenges or specialize in one major health challenge. Most herbalists address spiritual, emotional, physical and environmental well-being, diet, lifestyle, and protocols. It is most important to know herbs work best when all of the above mentioned factors are acknowledged and worked on, if there is a need. Herbs are not to be used as a crutch and many have drug like effects (albeit natural and directly from Mother Nature) and should be treated as such.
No. The option is always available for your herbalist and your primary care physician to be in communication, especially if you have a serious health challenge. Some clients feel most comfortable having had a traditional healer as their primary practitioner for years, some are attached to their primary care physician due to a moderate-severe health challenge, or they utilize a primary care physician that embraces and understands the role traditional healing plays in the Western world. In addition, some clients utilize their primary care physician in order to receive yearly physicals and important tests such as blood work, while still consulting an herbalist.
The World Health Organization estimates 50% of the population in North America, Europe, and other developed nations have used traditional medicines at least once. I would estimate that this percentage is higher. In the US alone, 158 million adults use TM. In 2000, $17 billion was spent on traditional remedies according to the US Commission for Alternative & Complementary Medicine. Herbs used traditionally account for 25% of pharmaceuticals.
The health industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and often times the masses do what their doctor tells them to do, because we are taught doctor knows best at an early age. Over the centuries, patient dependency on their doctor has increased. Taking pharmaceuticals has become a habit and a mere convenience, therein not addressing the health challenge until forced to with a reoccurring symptom that begins to change the quality of life, an emergency visit to the hospital, or a disease. As a result, in past centuries still, we have forgotten the old ways of our ancestors.
Some herbs have a reputation of not working medicinally, because they are of poor quality, people do not follow their protocol, or there is a spiritual/emotional component that has not been addressed. Moreover, some herbs are seen as being unsafe simply because research done on the herb was not done properly or the research was changed to further give the herb in question a bad reputation. One reason the former is done is to instill fear in people and to allow the Federal Drug Administration to put a ban on a particular herb. As a result, money is not taken out of the pockets of hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.
The FDA does not want the truth to be revealed about how many herbs are superior to pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical companies supply hospitals and physicians with an income so there is absolutely no reason why they would allow them to tell patients about the benefits of herbs, traditional healing, and self empowerment. They depend on their patients to stay sick and in need of modern medicine and surgeries, among other things.
Red clover (Trifolium pratense)
Frankincense (Boswellia spp)
Lavender (Lavandula officinalis)
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
The information contained throughout this website is not meant to take the place, nor does it take the place, of the advice of a licensed physician. Shelowann is not a medical doctor and does not treat, diagnose or cure her clients or anyone else that reads the information throughout this website.
This website was last updated April 21, 2013.
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