What Is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine (also called herbalism, botanical medicine or phytotherapy) is, without any doubt, one of the most exciting, innovative, effective, and generally amazing elements of naturopathic medicine. In fact, many people think that naturopathy and botanical medicine are synonymous (using medicines from the earth). This is not exactly true, as you can read in my free e-booklet, The Nature of Naturopathic Medicine . But it is an important aspect, and one that fascinates and amazes me to no end.
Herbal medicine can be a misleading term. When someone hears the word ‘herb’, they often think only of culinary herbs. While many culinary have been used medicinally – such as sage, mints, basil, and countless others – herbal medicine can come from any part of any plant, not just tasty leaves! Ground up roots, seeds, bark, flowers, stems, etc. may all contain medicinal compounds. Not all things you’d want to put in your salad, however.
What Is Herbal Medicine Used to Treat?
Botanical medicine can be applied to literally any disease. Some of the most interesting research today is in the fields of heart health, mental disorders, and cancer therapy. (Notice these are all specialties of mine. I told you I was fascinated by herbalism!) You will find reference to herbalism in a wide variety of my writings. A great place to start might be my Cancer Fighting Foods e-book. There, you will learn about phytochemials – the molecules contained in plants that provide their medicinal properties.
Here’s a quick tip: Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables as well as dark greens usually have the highest concentrations of phytochemicals.
Depending on the specific herbal component and the disorder to be treated, your herbal medicine may come in the form of tablets, capsules, powder, or liquid extracts. Often, a mix of these will be prescribed. Liquid herbs (also known as tinctures) are the strongest form of herbs available. Made by soaking herbs in varying percentages of ethanol over a few weeks (a process called cold percolation), the result is a potent extraction of the powerful phytochemicals from the herb.
Herbal Medicine and BalanSoul
I incorporate herbal medicine into many of my treatment plans for a wide variety of diseases and disorders. If you can name it, I probably have a herb for it! The best part is that botanical medicine makes for a great distance treatment . I will interview you, or perhaps send you for a blood test if need be, and then have the remedies, already neatly packed, delivered right to your front door. It doesn’t get more convenient than that.
Let me introduce you to the magnificent wonders of herbalism today!
Best wishes to you for good health and peace,
–George Parker, N.D.