May 17, 2013

What is an Herbalist?

What does an herbalist do?

Well, first and foremost, we try to help restore health to those in need with the use of plants as medicine. 

One of the most beautiful things about being an herbalist is working with so many amazing people. 

Through these relationships, we quickly find how vital it is that every person be treated as the individual they are.

Today, while working at the free clinic, I was reminded of this very aspect.

Modern medicine is beautiful in many ways; It can offer us a quick fix, surgery when needed, and pretty astounding advances in technology, among many other things.

Although, what it does not offer quite often is the time and depth needed to understand the state of an individual's symptoms and the relationship these symptoms have to the medicines shared. 

 I find that we as a culture have a very difficult time releasing our expectations of a quick fix.

 Some people find it confusing when they hear that a single plant will likely not cure the same disease in every single person. 

We are complex living beings. We have vast streams of diversity when it comes to our individual physical, emotional, and mental make up.  

 While one herb may work for one person, it may not work for the next. 

For this very reason, It is wise to be somewhat weary of a person who claims to have a “heal all” herb for a particular dysfunction. 

An acute sickness can be a little easier to “pigeonhole”, such as a cold or flu, but, even then, lots of questions should be asked.

And… well… really, no one should give you an herb solely based on a past diagnoses without a detailed intake or interview.

A “cold” can have many different symptoms. If you have a dry cough and you are given an herb known to “cure coughs”, but, it also happens to be drying…you are not going to help anything. 

Chances are you will be making it worse.

Trust, time and consideration are three very important factors in any relationship of healing.

Herbalists take time to deeply understand individual plants AND individual people. We constantly evaluate how a particular plant may affect one body type from the next. 

Anything otherwise would be half sided and insufficient. 

So, it you have ever wondered why my herbal consultations last 60-90 minutes and not 20, it is because I see and treat you as the beautiful and unique individual you are. 

If you wonder why my health intake form is over 12 pages long, it is because I care and all those little questions matter.  

I think it is important for you as a patient, to take the time to think through your entire body. 

It helps you to tune in and it helps me to listen. 

Here, we meet one another halfway in our investment  of time of working together. 

Herbalists do not treat diseases; we do not treat or make diagnoses.

We help to identify and understand your symptoms in order to help restore balance within your body so you may regain vitality and live lifeto its fullest. 

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