Why would you go to a Herbalist?
Why would someone go to an herbalist?
That's a great question! and here I will be discussing why someone would go and seek an herbalist to work with.
Herbalism is a peoples practice meaning that its for the people the people that are disenfranchised and "lower class" those who don't have the means to go to a doctor on the regular and receive the appropriate care and make sure their individual needs are being met with a deeper understanding. It's a people's medicine the plants have always been here before we had all these western instruments and "medicines" now as an herbalist myself I'm not saying western medicine is bad its just not being utilized the way that its intended for and I'm going to go into that here shortly.
Medicine at one point in time was meant to heal and restore the body back into balance and create order and overall wellness for the sick person, the main intention and drive was to provide a service that actually helps get to become well again. Now the Hippocratic oath sworn by physicians when they go through schooling and graduate is this “I will use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgement; I will abstain from harming or wronging any man by it,” orders doctors to do their best in their job and not use their skill or knowledge to harm or kill their patients. Up to this point in time we see that this oath has been broken many times as the reality is not this.
Big pharma is a business and so are the hospitals their main clients are sick people as this makes sense but here is where a holistic practitioner vs. an allopathic practitioner comes into play, Allopathic is a reductionist POV in a medical healing practice seeing the parts for the whole where a holistic POV is seeing the whole person and not just their parts. Now I've come to know that not all doctors practice this way and are starting to integrate more holistic methods as we are seeing that this has a more successful long-term effect for the sick person. At the end of the day if we just keep giving more pills for symptoms and keep suppressing the underlying condition then there is no true healing happening and thus causing harm to the sick person and not upholding the Hippocratic oath. Now as an herbalist just because we work with herbs also doesn't mean that we are holistic because they are herbs so it must be "good' whelp I hate to burst that bubble but herbs can harm as well so it can the same as a western doctor.
Now you're like how can this be? well Herbs work in a similar (but also very different way) that pills and drugs do on the body. If we match the person with the wrong herbs Ex: Someone with an acute dry cough is scratchy and dry then giving them an herb that says it helps with cough is very reductionist as well. This narrative " This herb is good for that" is reductionist POV and can cause more harm then be helpful to the sick person with the dry cough. Lets look at this symptom as a language and understand the condition a little more deeply, lets look at the whole person lets ask questions to get to the root of the condition we might wanna use an herb that is more moistening like Marshmallow root and will soothe and help expel excess phlegm Vs. Mullein or Horehound which are dry in nature and could irritate the condition and make it worse. They would be helpful in a wet phlegm cough as they will help dry out excess fluid in the lungs and get it out. This will let us know as a holistic herbalist to better treat the dry cough and bring balance into this persons life and they can go on their way feeling better and not need to come back for the same condition if we asses them correctly.
Assessments or "intakes' are so important in seeing an herbalist before and herbalist can just give you an herb we need to know the clients health history which includes but not limited to: Surgeries, Medications, How long they have had these symptoms?, What is their daily diet?, Water/hydration?, Stress level?, Exercise?, Sleep patterns? and belief systems (religious or spiritual?) etc. This is the first thing a well practiced herbalist should do before giving herb suggestions as some of the herbs can have health contraindications to the client and then we are responsible for the outcome. Very similar to a doctor but the difference is we are not a doctor and are not just treating the symptoms we are addressing the root of the cause and bringing balance to this root and giving it the nutrition and water and rest etc that it needs to heal and correct these symptoms. Usually the first consultation can take anywhere between 1-2 hours and I know this sounds like a long time but just think about are you wanting long-term results or just a "magic pill" promised by the pharma?. Then maybe re framing this as your going to the herbalist because you also may have tried the doctors and nothing else is working so you wanna try an "alternative" route.
After we get through those few hours then the herbalist makes sure we go over everything and that the client feels heard and is comfortable in disclosing details that can help us get you back on track with your health and on the path of healing. Then we come up with a "Wellness action plan" that is created custom to your specific case and we modify it so that it is more digestible for the client to take and apply to their daily routine and incorporate so we can start seeing the progress. Now Client compliance is very important I usually start them off with just one thing first that is fees able for them so they don't feel overwhelmed and not do anything and waste time and money. If we need to adjust the plan we can so that its working for the client and not just going from a text book because that's what we are taught but to listen and adjust accordingly especially to the clients needs because that's who we are working and need to consider them in the process.
So this is why someone would go see and work with an herbalist when it comes to their health because western medicine doesn't have all the answers and neither does herbalist but if we can work together then we can see the whole picture of the whole person and treat them accordingly to health and wellness.