"Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." ~ Albert Einstein
What is Herbalism?
The term herb refers to a plant used for medicinal purposes. The medicinal benefits of herbs have been known for centuries. Humans have always been dependent on plants for medicine, food and healing. The healing properties of herbs have not changed through the centuries - what was a healing herb a few hundred years ago is still a healing herb today. Many of the benefits of herbs are not so much based on scientific study but rather on the consistent observations made by herbal practitioners through the centuries.
In India, herbal therapy is the most important traditional treatment method today. We are now seeing an increased acceptance and popularity of herbal use in Western countries. The recognition of their value is widely increasing as many people seek greater understanding of their body and mind and thereby assume more responsibility for their own health and well being. Herbal medicines have soared in popularity. People are looking for safe, effective and time-proven medicine.
Herbs, when properly used, are safe, gentle and effective. Herbs should be treated like other medicines in that it is important to follow the recommendations made by a well-experienced herbalist.
Herbalism: Unlocking the Healing Benefits of Nature
The natural chemical properties of certain herbs have been shown to have medicinal value and are used in some modern drugs. However, unlike conventional medicine, herbalists use the 'whole' herb or plant rather than isolating and breaking down chemical compounds and then synthesizing them. This is because the plant, being a part of Nature, is said to represent perfect balance; healing requires the natural combination of elements in the plant or herb, not just a single chemical within it.
Herbs have "Prana" or "Life-Force Energy" in all their active ingredients. Because they are recognizable by the body's intelligence, they are assimilated more easily and help the body to:
A. Activate cells,
B. Build tissues,
C. Cleanse the system
D. Direct aid to sick body parts and organs.
Different cultures have developed different herbal cures. In some countries, such as India and China herbs have continued to be an important part of medicine over the centuries and herbs are widely used in Traditional Ayurveda. Knowledge about the power of herbs has only recently started to re-emerge in the West and it is now becoming a popular alternative form of treatment for many conditions.
Many mild herbs can be self-prescribed for minor conditions, for instance chamomile tea to help you relax, or peppermint tea to help with digestion. You can find out more about herbs by following some of the links below. However herbs can be very powerful and care should be taken. The safest course of action is to consult a qualified herbalist.
How Do Herbal Medicines Work?
Herbal Medicines are parts of plants or plant products. They are 100% natural and are increasingly organically-grown. The majority of plants contain a range of substances, which have related or supporting actions, thus making the whole remedy complete and effective.
Aspirin was developed after a German chemist analyzed the constituents of the herb Meadowsweet. Aspirin is a synthetic version of the natural salicylic acid found in this plant. If taken over a long period, aspirin can cause damage to the lining of the stomach. If Meadowsweet is taken instead, however, this does not happen, as the whole plant also contains a slimy mucilage which coats and thus protects the lining of the gut. There are many other examples where orthodox researchers have found that isolated constituents were less effective than the whole plant.
Herbal remedies do not have the aggressive action nor the side effects of some modern drugs. An herbal formula will usually comprise of 4-7 herbs, which are compatible with each other and will act so as to have the maximum impact on the condition, while being gentle and supportive to the individual. Herbal medicines are not intended to "force" the body to "get better", but rather to help it return to normal functioning.
What is an Herbalism consultation like?
An herbalist will usually spend at least an hour or more taking a full case history, in order to determine which herbs you need. A professional herbalist would also carry out a full evaluation. They will then recommend specific herbs, which may be as a fluid juice extract, or tea form. They may also suggest dietary changes, exercises and other therapies to help the healing process.
What are the benefits of Herbalism?
Herbs can help with your general health and also to help in treating most conditions. Herbal Medicine has been shown to be effective in a wide range of conditions and can at least give relief in those, which are chronic.
Complaints commonly treated include:
• Skin conditions: eczema, psoriasis
• Digestive disorders: peptic ulcers, irritable bowel
• Heart and circulation problems: angina, high blood pressure, anemia, poor circulation, varicose veins, hemorrhoids
• Gynecological problems: pre-menstrual syndrome and premenopausal problems
• Urinary/genital conditions: cystitis, prostatitis, thrush, night incontinence (children/elderly)
• Joint disorders: arthritis
• Nervous system complaint: stress, insomnia, migraine, depression, post-viral/chronic, fatigue syndrome/M.E.
• Immunity and reoccurring infections: colds, respiratory infections, sinusitis
Herbalism: Medicine of Belonging
Plant medicines can assist you and others in maintaining the highest quality in health and well-being.
Herbalism is the medicine of belonging, the direct experience of the whole healing the part. To heal ourselves we must know ourselves, and all of ecology, spirituality, intuition and common sense tells us that we all one.
Humanity is being faced with the realities of a shared planet. We may be at that turning point of the dawning recognition that the intimate embrace of our world is a healing force moving humanity towards a transformation of our relationship with the earth, each other and ourselves.
Herbalism of the future is seeing clearly into the new paradigm of living harmoniously of living with the Earth. It offers a complete approach to blending the ancient wisdom with a modern understanding of working with living plants that supports our environment and global human communities.
Herbalism is the original medicine of the planet and the medicine of the future.
"We must never lose our sense of awe at the magnificence of this planet." ~Anonymous
Bring Herbalism Into Your Life
The Living Centre offers a unique synthesis of Herbalism wisdom with the cutting-edge knowledge of modern plant medicine to support you in re-claiming or maintaining the health and well-being of body, mind, emotions and spirit. Those attending any of our workshops or trainings are nourished each day with wild edible plants as part of your vegan live-food lunch to support the body for energy and vitality, the mind for clarity, the emotions for contentment and the spirit for expansiveness.
Forest Gardening: Creating Sustainable Sanctuaries for the Future
Forest Gardening is a thoughtful approach to the way we live on our planet, achieved by designing ecologically-sustainable sound ways to manage our gardens, households and communities. With this workshop we inform and engage you in creating ecologically intelligent designs for human living and planetary sustainability. You will learn how to apply practical Forest Gardening and ecological design to a diversity of landscapes with a focus on design ideas for dense urban environments and temperate regions. Learn more
Nutritional Herbalism: Nature's Nourishment
Nutritional Herbalism is for the beginning herbalist and those interested in understanding the nutritional content of plants and how you can apply it to maintain or regain good health. Learn how plants can support you in personally living a healthier life or offer you an alternative career choice, which is bound to take off with the growing demand for nature-based therapies. We will examine the different ways in which your body reacts to herbs and why one should or should not use certain herbs. Learn more
Shamanic Herbalism: Sacred Plant Medicine
Shamanic Herbalism is an exploration into the ancient ways of honoring and using plants of power. It provides a depth of knowledge and wisdom into the communicatory relationships necessary to work with plants and the living wildness of the Earth, as ancient and indigenous peoples have done since the beginning of time. A Soulful journey of Self and Spirit that takes us deep into the ancient secrets of the Earth. Learn more