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What is Medical Herbalism?
Medical herbalism is the art and science of manufacturing and prescribing medicines from pharmacologically active plants to support health and wellbeing. Medical herbalism has been used for over 60 000 years and has shown its might against the test of time.
Still to this day, medical herbalism is the primary source of medicine for around 80% of the earth’s population and at least 118 pharmaceutical drugs are based on natural sources; 74 percent come from plants, 18% from fungi, 5% from bacteria, and 3% from vertebrate species such as snakes or frogs.
In medical herbalism, we apply the phytochemical synergy of a plant, identifying the active plant part and extracting the full chemical profile of that part (root, bark, leaf, seed, sprout etc). In the world of pharmaceutical preparations, it is perceived that there are only 1-2 active constituents within a plant, and the rest is a contamination to their drug. This goes against nature in the view of a medical herbalist.
How Can Medical Herbalism Help?
Medical herbalism is used to support physiological systems and affected areas that have been identified as key contributors of a condition or ailment, thus addressing the cause of a condition rather than symptom suppression. The human body has a desire to return to homeostasis. With skilfully prescribed botanical drugs and lifestyle advice it is possible to remove obstacles to self-recovery and support the healing process.
It is important to be aware that herbal medicines are pharmacologically active drugs, and when self-prescribed can lead to injury and worse. Just because it is natural, does not mean it is safe. Always consult a professional medical herbalist prior to taking a botanical drug. In Australia, the minimum qualification to become a medical herbalist is a bachelor’s degree in health science, majoring in Western Herbal Medicine (BHSc WHM). For more information on our herbalist, Check out Luke’s bio.