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Medical Herbalism Series:

Medical herbalism: Key to phenomenal health?

Natural Medicine Articles of Interest:

Natural Cold Sore Relief

Alternative Treatments for Neck Pain; Osteopathy

10 Ways to Get Rid of a Headache

10 Ways to Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally

How to Increase your Brain Power and Stop Forgetting Things

Eliminate Inflammation With Anti-inflammatory Foods

Memory Protected By Good Cholesterol

Eliminate Sleep Problems Forever With 16 Easy Tips

Treatment for UTI- Antibiotics Not Required?

Additional Senior Articles of Interest:

Alzheimer's Disease

Cancer: A Death Sentence for the Elderly?

Depression among the Elderly

Community Agencies and Resources: St. Louis, Missouri

Health Insurance 101 for Senior Citizens 

Long term care insurance: What is it really?

Medical Conditions and Information for the Elderly

Medicare: How will it help me?

Medicaid Program: What do I need to know?

Medication Information for the Elderly

Natural Cold Sore Relief

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?

Personal Safety for Grandma and Grandpa

Prescription Medication: You have to get it right

Psychiatric Medications

Social Security: Can I get it now?

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Medical herbalism: A key to phenomenal health?

Medical herbalism: What is it exactly?

medical herbalismMedical herbalism is when plants, flowers and natural substances are used as medicines to assist in maintaining your body's physiological balance. Medical herbalism relies upon the various curative qualities of herbs, trees, flowers and plants to assist the body in the natural healing process when you are ill. Herbalists believe the body contains within it the power to heal, possessing a healing energy referred to as the "vital force". In a very holistic way, this vital force works constantly to maintain our total health by maintaining physical, mental and emotional balance. It is believed that the vital force may be weakened by such things as poor diet, pollution and stress. Medical herbalists see the symptoms of disease as your body's natural tendency for the vital force to attempt to restore or maintain harmony when under the threat of illness. Symptoms are actually the body’s attempt to fight the illness on its own. These basic concepts of holistic healing are some of the fundamental theories associated with medical herbalism.

Medical herbalism and the use of herbal remedies:

In medical herbalism, herbal remedies are used to assist the affected systems of the body in fighting illness and disease. The herbs are used in a very holistic way to help alleviate disease but also to keep it from reoccurring, detoxify the system, and also to build up the immune system to improve the body's homeostasis, which is the state of keeping your body in perfect balance.

Practitioners of medical herbalism also combine their understanding and knowledge of herbs and natural healing with more modern scientific developments similar to your medical doctor. They're usually trained in the same examination techniques as your doctor and have extensive medical knowledge of your body as well. Many of the herbs currently used have been known for many centuries and have now found a new role in our modern world. Aloe Vera has been traced back to the fourth century BC, where it was believed to be a part of Cleopatra's beauty routine, and now has been identified by Western researchers as the best treatment for burns associated with radiation. It is now known much more definitively what some of the herb’s basic properties are and how they work together to assist the body’s healing systems.

Practitioners of herbalism have always believed that the entire herb is greater than its individual parts. Their understanding has been that the entire herb is more effective because the dominant ingredients are backed up by secondary ingredients that add to the effectiveness of the herb without dramatic side effects. This more holistic understanding of the necessary use of the entire herb as opposed to synthesizing its components is referred to as “synergism”.

 

An example of the benefits of synergism of the entire herb over the synthesis of the more dominant components to treat illness is in comparing garlic with antibiotics. Antibiotics kill infection very effectively but also kill the good bacteria resulting in an imbalance in the necessary microorganism, flora in the gut. This imbalance has been known to exacerbate yeast infections such as thrush. In contrast, garlic is a natural antibiotic that stimulates Flora to work more effectively resulting in a lower risk for yeast infections.

Medical herbalism conclusions:

The use of medical herbalism is not a science of the dark ages but should be an adjunct to modern medicine. As new medicines are continuously now being developed from their natural origins in trees, bark, flowers and plants, there is beginning to be more recognition of the credibility of understanding and utilizing medical herbalism to assist in the science of modern medical treatment.

Coming up next: Medical herbalism: How does it work?

Some of the information adapted from Alternative Healthcare: A Comprehensive Guide to Therapies and Remedies- Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate                                      

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