Spring is probably my favorite season. When everything starts to wake up from the long cold months. I love planning my yearly garden. The balmy weather, before the heat of summer hits, is my happy time. This year I will be carefully planning my first herbalist garden; which I plan on putting in my, very bare, front yard.
Treating the body, not the symptoms.
I finally received my copy of The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide, which I talked about in my last post, Paths. I’m only a few chapters in, and I am already hooked!
What excites me most about this book; is it revolves around chemistry, and physiology. With a light sprinkling of spirituality mixed in; adding delicious little flavor pockets of context. The authors have taken great care in delivering the information in a clear and concise manner, while avoiding sounding overly ‘witchy’. Which tends to turn me off when I’m looking for strong, fact based, information.
One of the most important tips from my reading so far has been to try and avoid treating the symptoms. The symptoms, are just that. By treating them, you are not treating the root cause. A lot of times, conditions can be treated with just a diet change. Maybe with a little added herbal remedy to help speed things along. It is just a matter of trial an error.
Preparation of herbs, and distribution method is also important. The roots of a dandelion have a different effect than the leaves, or flowers. Creating capsules vs tinctures, teas vs poultices, etc…
Intro to Herbalist terminology
I have learned a great deal of the terminology used when diagnosing ailments, and creating remedies:
- Warming herbs: (relax). Example uses; relaxing muscles, and improving circulation.
- Cooling herbs: (constrict) Example uses; reducing swelling and inflammation, fever reduction.
- Neutral herbs: no strong uses on their own, mostly used as a companion ingredient for reinforcement.
- Nourishing herbs: essential nutrients provided. Examples; berries, fruits, greens.
- Drying herbs: Remove excessive fluids. Examples; fluid build up around the heart, or in joints.
- Moistening herbs: Increase moisture. Examples; bile production for the digestive system, collagen in joints, etc…
- Balancing herbs: Used for normalizing tissues which are either damp or dry. Balancing the moisture with the solid (mineral) content of the body. (Antioxidants/Detoxify)
You have to be mindful of long term use of many herbs. They can have adverse affects if over used, or the dosage is to large. I will talk more about things to keep in mind when using herbal medicine in my next post, when I explain the 12 categories of Herbs.
Until next time friends, thanks for reading!