Western Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine is probably the oldest form of medicine known. Human beings have used plants as medicine since time immemorial, and herbs are used throughout the world in order to promote health and prevent disease.
Each herb has a complex biochemistry – phytochemicals that are perfectly matched to our needs. Every herb has known actions and qualities, with affinities to one or more body system or organ, and a herbalist is trained to know these qualities and will prescribe herbs accordingly. Today both patient and practitioner benefit from a combination of traditional herbal wisdom and scientific research.
A herbalist can treat both chronic and acute conditions, and can treat the very old and the very young.
Herbal medicines are often given in liquid form as ‘tinctures’. Usually just a few drops of the tincture need to be taken in water 2 or 3 times daily, making this a very convenient and economical way of using herbal medicine. Tinctures are either made with a single herb, known as a ‘simple’, or as a formula containing 2 or more herbs, but always with individual needs in mind. Herbs can also be taken as teas or in capsule form, or applied as creams, ointments or poultices.