I'm studying a foundational herbal course with Heartwood Education.
Here, i am documenting my study.
What is herbal medicine?
Using plants, to support health, well-being & healing.
Phytotherapy: curing with plants
Herbal medicine treats the whole person/system aiming for balance, and this in turn supports any specific issues that may be outcomes of that system being out of balance. Herbalism is holistic. Plants support resilience in the body.
Different plants contain different compounds e.g vitamins, mucilage. They also contain compounds that are medicinally active - which might not be present in food - which is why using herbal plants is different from eating a balanced diet.
ACTIVITY: Herbal Actions
Identifying herbal actions and analysing a herbal prescription.
So firstly what are "Herbal actions"? They are the ways in which herbs work on the body.
I felt confused about the best places to find this information, but i managed to find some good resources, which all had varying information, so i had to piece a lot of it together....
I also had to be careful to find information for the right part of the plant, as only the hull of Black Walnut was used, and not the leaves and bark (which have different actions).
What is a medical herbalist?
a medical herbalist is an assesor of:
Past * Present * Future
Evidence based medicine likes to take things apart and study them as individualised components, discounting a whole system. There are a lot of problems with this approach most obviously its disparity with the complexities of real life (which works as a whole system).
Empirical knowledge relys on practical observation and experimentation of a situation, which seems more fitting to herbalism.
How the compounds of a plant work together, with their own compounds, or in combination with other plants is known as synergy, antagonism is also possible, where plants work against each other.
it is important to be able to monitor how herbs are working for someone.
The Core principles of western herbal practice:
Heartwood FC unit 1, book 3.
ACTIVITY: WEll known figures in Herbal medicine
Hildegard of Bingen
I chose to research Hildegard of Bingen from the suggested list because she was a mystic, creative, visionary and a nun (and I seem to have an affinity with nuns).
To me, these images from Scivias speak of the wholeness, healing and cyclical nature that is necessary for the life, growth and maintenance of any living being or system, I wonder how these visions inspired her work on herbal medicine.
Hildegard Von Bingen's Herbal: Natural Healing Through Plants from the Medieval Classic Physics
Healthy Hildegard: https://www.healthyhildegard.com
Herbal study 1: History, Scope and Philosophy (Part 2)