Is Herbal Medicine For You?

by | Apr 9, 2024 | All Blogs, Health, Herbal Medicine

‘Without herbs there would be no help for those suffering from the many faces of fatigue.’ Professor Kerry Bone, Herbal Practitioner

What is Herbal Medicine?

Herbal Medicine is just that – medicine that’s made from naturally-occurring herbs using knowledge and understanding that has been documented for over 5000 years. Many herbs that grow wild in bushland, paddocks and along roads are regarded as weeds and it’s true that many have evolved from here. Of course, herbs are food as well as medicine, and people have been eating plant-based foods for millennia.

Herbal Medicine recognises that our bodies ‘understand’ phytochemicals – the compounds found in plants – and their ability to support our organs, memory, skin, heart, joints, muscles and more so effectively.

The science of Herbal Medicine enables qualified practitioners to understand which herbal products are backed by clinical evidence. An experienced practitioner’s knowledge includes how to use the correct herbal species, the correct plant part – leaf, stem, root – and, most importantly, the correct proportions and formulation to ensure therapeutic outcomes.

The constituents of Herbal Medicine work in synergy, providing nutrition for the cells in specific parts the body, preventing or minimising illness and disease as well as supporting healing in the affected areas.

Herbal Medicine offers many benefits…

Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal, phytochemicals (plant compounds) have other significant properties including:

  • adaptogens – to help the body resist or adapt to stressors of all kinds (physical,
    chemical or biological);
  • nervines – to strengthen and tone the nervous system while relaxing and energising;
  • analgesics – to relieve pain;
  • calmatives – to nourish the entire body and nervous system;
  • carminatives – to support digestion, soothing intestinal spasm and pain; and
  • hepatoprotectives – to protect the liver against toxic damage.

 

Is Herbal Medicine for you?

Herbal Medicines provide a gentle but powerful alternative to pharmaceuticals to support the mitochondria – the energy factories in our cells – when the body is stressed, for example. Your symptoms may include low energy, headaches, discomfort in the stomach, poor sleep, unaccustomed pain and/or a general sense of being unwell. Quality nutritional supplements may also be helpful.

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HERBAL MEDICINE – CASE STUDY

DAY 1

Michael (not his real name) is in his 50’s. Regular gym work has kept him fit, but when he came to see me, he was experiencing a lot of stress at work. He wasn’t sleeping well, waking up during the night and having trouble getting back at sleep. He lacked his usual ‘get up and go’ energy, and occasional stomach discomfort had developed into reflux, pain and alternating constipation and diarrhoea.

Constant stress upsets the body’s hormonal system – we were not designed to live in a constant state of fight or flight, with cortisol pumping through the body. Because the vagus nerve connects the brain with the stomach, it is not unusual for stress in the mind to be experienced in the digestive tract, causing further ill health.

After in-clinic testing provided further information about Michael’s condition, I prepared three herbal medicines:

  • activated vitamin B6 and herbs to support Michael’s nervous system, with nervines and carminatives to address his work stress and stomach discomfort caused by stressful eating
    and disrupted digestion;
  • a herbal medicine specifically for interrupted sleep when returning to sleep is difficult; and
  • a tonic for mucous membranes to protect, calm and help Michael’s body heal the entire gastrointestinal tract.

In addition, Michael and I discussed ways to handle his work stress and identified strategies he could use to help with this.

Herbal Medicines such as those I prepared for Michael are made using liquids so are easy to take. The body ‘knows’ exactly how to metabolise them and they are absorbed immediately. There is no need for your digestive system to penetrate the hard outer shell of many pharmaceuticals or to use precious energy processing inactive excipients that are used to hold these ingredients together.

THREE WEEKS LATER…

Michael was finding it slightly easier to return to sleep and reported that the stress coping strategies we had discussed were proving helpful. His reflux and the gastrointestinal discomfort had both improved considerably.

SIX WEEKS LATER…

Michael reported that he was coping with the work stress even more effectively. His sleep was much better, he had more energy and his digestive tract had settled and was no longer causing any discomfort.

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Herbal Medicines may be thought of as ‘gentle giants’ that can assist the body’s innate and adaptive immune systems in keeping us healthy. They offer a powerful defence against the many and ever-present bacteria and viruses that invade our bodies whenever the opportunity arises.

For those with chronic disease, Herbal Medicines are even more important to nip new infections in the bud and help limit or prevent further infection and/or inflammation.

About Trisha

A practicing therapist for over a decade, Trisha holds qualifications from the Australian Institute of Applied Science.

Trisha offers specialised services in Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, Nutrition, Craniosacral, Manipulative Muscle Therapy and Massage at her clinic in Boonah, Queensland.

She helps her clients with conditions that include persistent pain; muscle and sciatic pain; problem joints; repetitive strain or sports injuries; and weight loss.

I help children, adults and the elderly improve their long-term health and wellbeing. Naturally.

Follow me on Facebook or call for an appointment at my Boonah Clinic.