Natural Health Blog


Western Herbal Medicine

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Naturopathy is a holistic approach to wellness based on the principle that the body has the inherent ability to heal itself. Using the healing power of nature and gentle therapeutic techniques, the body, mind and emotions are supported during the healing process.

Naturopathic principles are based on treating each person as an individual and treating the whole person, not just the affected area. Herbal medicine is one of many tools that is utilised in a Naturopathic consult.

Western herbal medicine involves using plants and plant material to create medicines to help prevent or assist various illnesses. These materials may use some or all parts of a plant, such as flowers, fruits, roots, bark and leaves.

Traditional Western herbal medicine evolved mostly from the ancient Greeks, who were strongly influenced by Egyptian and Middle Eastern civilizations. Western herbal medicine also has roots in the indigenous practices of the British Isles and ancient Roman traditions. Well-known historical physicians including Hippocrates and Galen are thought to have used herbal medicine in their practices. The use of various herbal formulas is one of the oldest and possibly the most widespread form of medicine.

Herbal remedies are used for many suggested purposes, such as improvement, or general support of digestive, respiratory, circulatory, immune, endocrine, and nervous system processes. Herbs are also used to purportedly remove waste and toxins from bodily cells or topically to promote healing of the skin.

Today, you will find many pharmaceuticals that have been derived from constituents of herbal medicines, then produced synthetically for patent & replication such as:Chamomile Matricaria recutita

  • White Willow (Salix Alba) – Aspirin (NSAID)
  • Digitalis Spp. – Digoxin (medication used to treat various heart conditions)
  • Atropa belladona – Atropine (used to treat certain types of nerve agent and pesticide poisonings as well as some types of slow heart rate, and to decrease saliva production during surgery.)
  • Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum) – Morphine (pain)

Naturopathically, we have hundreds of herbal medicine options for various conditions, with little to no side-affects. There is also plenty of research on food as medicine such as;

  • Garlic which has been researched as a potential treatment for high blood pressure and is also a wonderful anti-bacterial.
  • Turmeric as an anti-inflammatory (plus much more).
  • Rosemary as an anti-oxidant and estrogen modulator
  • Globe artichoke is used in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and
  • German Chamomile in anxiety, both of which have been found to be safer than placebo.

Typically, the liquid herbs are extracted using ethanol and can be quite an acquired taste, however they can also be dispensed, with a less personalised prescription in capsules/tablets. Herbal medicine can be used in both acute & chronic cases

If you’ve never tried herbal medicine, you are welcome to come in and have a chat to see how it might be of benefit to you.

Appointments can be made by calling us on 5531 6461 or by booking online.

Written by Amanda Flower, Naturopath

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