“Another of the enduring strengths of herbalism is that is has solid foundations in traditional healing, but is at the same time a part of modern science and medicine. Paradoxically, herbalism is both a wonderfully simple and a staggeringly complex therapy. It is as simple as picking cleavers from the hedgerow or chewing on chickweed stems, and as complex as the multitude of biochemical interactions that occur among all of a plant’s chemical constituents and the various aspects of human metabolism and physiology. “ ~David Hoffmann, FNIMH, AHG, obtained from Medical Herbalism
The most current research in whole plant medicine is confirming what many herbalists and traditional healers have known for centuries, that herbalism entails us using the entire herb, not a single isolated constituent (such as allopathic/orthodox medicine does), in order to promote healing from a holistic perspective. Nature has provided whole plants to provide us what we need to not only survive, but thrive! Herbal formulas are not in competition with orthodox medicine, as these 2 disciplines share the same scientific basis. It is their differing actions which can complement each other.
It is up to us to take the precautionary approach, to seek out sustainably harvested and processed plant-based medicines if we choose this path. Good manufacturing procedures (GMP’s) should be followed by any reputable company. Due to issues such as little regulation, the high incidence of self-medication, and the constantly fluctuating variables within the field, many successful herbal product manufacturers regulate themselves more so than the government does. It is for these reasons and more, that guidance by an educated Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP), or health advocate, is essential for optimal wellness.
“Hospital-acquired resistant infections, by conservative estimates, are now the fourth leading cause of death in the United States”. ~ Stephen Harrod Buhner, Herbal Antivirals
Holistic Health Practitioners do not diagnose disease, treat disease, prescribe drugs or pharmaceuticals, or perform invasive procedures. It is the role of the HHP to educate the client about herbs, essential oils, dietary supplements, nutrition and other homeobotanical remedies in order to promote optimal health and wellness.