Herbal Medicine is the art & science of using herbs to promote health and preventing and treating illness. It has persisted as the world's primary form of medicine predating modern history, with a written history more than 5000 years old. While the use of herbs in America has been overshadowed by dependence on modern medications in the last 100 years, 75% of the world's population still rely primarily upon traditional healing practices, much of which is herbal medicine.
Most pharmaceutical drugs are single chemical entities that are highly refined and purified and are often synthesized. In 1987 about 85% of modern drugs were originally derived from plants. Currently, only about 15% of drugs are derived from plants. In contrast, herbal medicines are prepared from living or dried plants and contain hundreds to thousands of interrelated compounds. Science is beginning to demonstrate that the safety and effectiveness of herbs is often related to the synergy of its many constituents.
The primary focus of the herbalist is to treat people as individuals irrespective of the disease or condition they have and to stimulate their innate healing power through the use of such interventions as herbs, diet and lifestyle. The primary focus of conventional physicians is to attack diseases using strong chemicals that are difficult for the body to process, or through the removal of internal organs. Not only does this ignore the unique makeup of the individual - but many patients under conventional care can suffer from side effects that are as bad as the condition being treated. The philosophical difference between herbalists and conventional physicians has a profound significance.
At the Inspira Center for Foundational Health, Dr. Scott Sardonicus has a strong background in traditional and indigenous herbal medicine, and leads forest walks to teach about the medicinal plants in our proverbial backyard.