Taking the plant path for healing may be beneficial to many health suffers, but little is known about Western Herbal Medicine here on the Gold Coast. Is it the same as Naturopathy? Similar to Chinese Herbal Medicine? Or dissimilar to both?
What is Western Herbal Medicine, and what role does it play in the medicine world? These are just some of the things you need to know to understand Western Herbal Medicine better and whether it may be beneficial to you and your health.
What is the philosophy of Western Herbal Medicine?
Western Herbal Medicine has been lost throughout the centuries. However, the art is becoming well known once more.
Like Naturopathy, herbal medicine’s core philosophy is to treat the person, not the disease. Western Herbalists strongly believe in the mantra of prevention is better than cure and that herbs and nature can help heal the mind, body and spirit. Herbalists abide by the same 6 principles of naturopathic medicine, first to do no harm, to understand the healing power of nature, identify and treat the causes, the Doctor is to also be a teacher, treat the whole person and to act from the place of prevention
The role of a Herbalist is to support clients through their journey to wellness, and more importantly, to educate clients on how they can be in charge of their health and wellbeing – providing true empowerment!
Herbal Medicine’s philosophy is to allow the body to heal itself by increasing vitality, which may be assisted with tailored herbal treatments. Treatment is devised for each person from a thorough dietary and lifestyle analysis, using various techniques, including blood testing and hair analysis.
Treatments may be applied topically, such as cream and ointments, orally, with teas, extracts and tablets, or vaporised, using oil inhalations and sprays.
Herbalists take a holistic approach to healing, which involves investigating the real cause of symptoms and underlying factors creating illness. They often work alongside other allopathic doctors and practitioners to determine where the issues stem from.
What is Western Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine and its origins can be traced back to various ancient cultures and civilisations. Archaeological evidence suggests that humans were using plants as medicine during the Paleolithic, some 60,000 years ago .
So, what is it? It is the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures, used in the maintenance of health and the prevention and improvement of physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Western Herbal Medicine uses herbs as a first approach, where required, based on their client’s needs. It involves the medicinal use of plant parts, their constituents and their life force to help the body return to homeostasis and therefore assist in enhancing general health and wellbeing.
The herbal medicine philosophy believes different herbs have particular affinities and actions on specific organs in the body. They also believe that herbs contain individual chemical constituents and energetic qualities that may help balance tissue states. For a person who is suffering constipation, they may be dehydrated and cold and through warming and stimulating herbal tonics, this may help correct the imbalance within the bowel.
Another example; the National Institute of Integrative Medicine found garlic supplements showed promise in treating uncontrolled hypertension, lowering blood pressure. Therefore, a treatment course for someone suffering from high blood pressure may include garlic in the form of powder or capsules.
What conditions may herbal medicines be able to assist?
Herbal Medicines may be able to assist a range of conditions, including:
- Cold and flu
- Gastrointestinal issues; constipation, diarrhoea, acute parasitic infestation; worms
- Coeliac and Crohn’s disease
- Respiratory illnesses; bronchitis and cough
- Skin conditions; eczema, psoriasis
- Autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s and other thyroid diseases
- Hormone dysregulation; PCOS and endometriosis
Find out if Western Herbal Medicine may be helpful to you by booking an appointment with Cassy Snape, your local Gold Coast Herbalist. You may make an appointment either online or by calling 07 5571 0001.