Herbal medicine: The use of plants as medicines
Human beings evolved to benefit from a largely plant-based diet, rich in compounds and nutrients (phytochemicals) naturally present in fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and other plant foods.
Herbal medicines, have been used by humans since the dawn of history and over millennia our systems have similarly become well adapted to them. In fact, modern pharmaceutical medicine, which is mostly based on synthetic chemicals, is a very recent development and for the whole of history before that, humans relied on plant based medicine to fight illness.
Consuming foods high in Phytochemicals, reduces the risk of contracting illnesses as well as helping to alleviate many chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes as well as playing a vital role in healthy aging. It is for this reason that diets like the Mediterranean diet, rich in these phytochemicals, are so beneficial for health.
A teaspoon dose of a herbal formula contains an orchestra of chemical compounds that act in concert to make active constituents safely and easily available. This is why herbal medicines are ideal tools to restore health and treat disease acting, to restore disrupted physiological processes. Herbal practitioners use their knowledge to combine the right herbs together for each patient’s needs, to take advantage of the subtle, but potent, healing potential of traditional herbal medicines.
Using herbal medicines to support our innate healing capacity
Herbal treatment is primarily directed towards reinforcing the resilience, resistance and immune status of the individual concerned. When confronted with physiological and/or mental and emotional stress, a healthy person’s system is able to mount a protective response to restore equilibrium – a process known as homeostasis which maintains health and stability within a constantly shifting environment. If this coping mechanism is inadequate, illness may result. The herbal approach seeks to support this natural resilience or the capacity to cope to maintain and restore a person’s health. This reduces the susceptibility to illness and disease as well as directly addressing any existing disease process. Herbal medicine can be used as a stand-alone treatment or as complementary treatment alongside conventional medicine intervention that is more disease focused.
Individualised healthcare and treatment
Herbal treatment varies to suit individual needs instead of being used to treat specific diseases regardless of the circumstances of the individual who is suffering. In other words, the focus is on treating the person rather than the condition. Taking account of the patient’s constitutional nature and social context, as well as the individual response to any affliction, enables the practitioner to adjust the treatment strategy throughout a course of treatment for optimum effect.
A focus on self-care and patient empowerment
Alongside herbal treatment itself, herbal practitioners focus on helping patients to develop sufficient self-awareness and know-how to change unhealthy patterns of diet and lifestyle to improve their health. This is remarkably empowering for the person seeking treatment. The patient is not a passive participant; patient and herbalist cooperate as partners to attain optimum health.
Your own MOT
Having ongoing ‘maintenance treatment’ with a herbal practitioner is an excellent idea. Many people don’t think twice about having an annual MOT and car service, but when it comes to their own health they might not think of doing this. A herbal practitioner provides a full health MOT, by taking time and effort to understand your health needs and designing suggested treatment to maintain your best possible health.
So, whether it’s treating an existing problem, or keeping well, seeing a good herbal practitioner is a very good idea.
Treat yourself – consult a herbal practitioner!
- Treatment with traditional herbal remedies, tried and tested over millennia
- Enjoy having time to discuss your health problems in depth with a trained and compassionate practitioner
- Get advice on appropriate life-style and dietary changes to improve your health
- Work in partnership with your herbal practitioner to improve your health and fitness.
Book a treatment and gain insight into your health with free Nutrition Deficiency Testing. Call to book now 0207 241 5033.