Herbalism, ancestor with a hidden past or a pragmatic way forward? Viewpoints on contemporary herbalism.
The next-door neighbor who touts the gingko, a TV columnist who has the healing properties of St. John’s Wort, there are some types of medicinal plants in all forums. Westerners find them with cautious enthusiasm that characterizes a new romance. New? Not really, since the healing properties of plants have, after all, been at the heart of medicine of all ancient civilizations. Hippocrates, considered one of the fathers of conventional medicine, himself had identified nearly four hundred herbal remedies in his Corpus Hippocratum.
On the territory of the future America, the indigenous did not, however, expected the Europeans to pick and cultivate those plants that heal. For millennia, whole nations have developed an invaluable wealth of ancient knowledge and ensured its transmission.
Back to Basics
This is a true renaissance herbalism that we are talking about. In the 70s, we knew that there is more in the countryside as yarrow and quackgrass. It was therefore necessary to rediscover our belief, by delving into the books and interviewing elders. How they cared for these? What were they doing with this plant there? Nearly twenty years later, the approach is now undertaken simultaneously by other plant enthusiasts across the country.
Today, there are both urban and rural people who encounter the world of medicinal plants. The least we can say is that the range of their profiles has far transcended the cliché “new age”, long associated with traditional herbalism. Among the diligent gardeners and herbalists customers and therapists, who are now retired as the seniors, are eager to support independently the natural on smooth relief of symptoms of the menopause, and help for the young couple who are eager to start their family.
This diversity is also reflected in the constellation formed by the herbalist community, as it has built up over the years. While some approaches are resolutely turned towards the mystical properties of plants, others are positioned at the interface between traditional uses and scientific research. There are a hundred ways of being herbalist. This plurality of approaches, as it is beneficial for the people and the environment, is the guarantor of human biodiversity. Whether at the heart of the small artisan herbalism or the lucrative business of gathering and processing of the leaves, flowers and roots of all species, herbalists inevitably encountered among themselves the love and curiosity of the special relationship between the human and plant.
Herbalism in U.S. at a Crossroads
The history of herbalist in U.S. is anything but new, however in this contemporary world, it is still at organizing stage. Herbalists face particular challenge in trying to fall within the worm. The flowering of schools of herb, particularly where we deepen the interactions between plants and conventional drugs, is no stranger to this new era of herbalism. The education of medical and political authorities remains a major challenge, and carries significant challenges for the future.
After decades in which the use of healing plants was located in a separate sphere, or even rejection of allopathic medicine, the day will come there where you hear about nettle and skullcap in our hospitals. Pharmacists, doctors, herbalists and consumers argue today for a medical “integrative” approach that would involve treatment, according to the woes. At a time when the aging population is increasing, increasing health system failures and disappointed by the promises of synthetic drugs require a reconsideration of the current approach to health, we see all the appeal of an economical medical approach directed toward self, respect for the environment, prevention and self-knowledge. Herbalism could enter fully into this dance.
A Little Therapeutic Terminology
The herbal therapist and herbalist and both work with the healing properties of plants. But, what makes them different? In herbal medicine, we will mobilize the active principles of plants of a more clinical use, like a conventional doctor. In herbalism, the plant is taken as a whole, from its germination to its use, which is the subject of an intimate knowledge. Two names, two approaches!
To Know about Herbalism
- Ask about the exact provenance of the ingredients contained in the vials and jars. Organic certification ensures that the plants have not been irradiated or genetically transformed nor sprayed with pesticides.
- Therapists: In addition to a code of ethics and professional conduct, professional herbalists wing has established an accreditation system for herbal therapists. You can access the contact details for all licensed therapists, but also those of all members, by contacting the organization.
- Historically, the relationship of person to person has been at the heart of the holistic approach to health by plants. Do not hesitate to meet with producers and processors, and visit their gardens if you want to. The richness of the link will get you more confidence than any other pragmatic standard.
- It is said that when a person is hungry, it is better to teach him to fish than give him a fish. Because this adage the emphasis is laid on the workshops for introduction to herbalism offered at all over the country by independent herbalists or affiliated schools. Over a period ranging from several hours to several days, these courses aim to acquire a certain autonomy in the use of medicinal plants.