Strengthening Oneself, Using Herbal Medicine
Before prescribing herbs to a client, an evaluation of their constitution must be taken into consideration. The constitution is the seed, the genetic blueprint that develops from birth, and is shaped by the environment. Strengthening Oneself, Using Herbal Medicine strengthens the person’s constitution, vitality flow, and immunity.
I find using a naturopathic approach to looking at the roots of disease, aswell as the environmental stresses, which overwhelm the ability of the physical body to maintain balance, is the best approach.
Herbs are very complex, and cannot be patented in their whole form. A single herb is made up of many hundreds and thousands of known components. Herbs are generally not prescribed as single herbs, but in formula that combines a mixture of several or more herbs that work on different areas in the body. An herbalists role is more of an art than a science. Some things I would consider during a consultation with a patient, are:
- How is the client’s nervous system affected by stress?
- What part of their hormonal system possesses a weakness?
- How does the patients personality affect their illness?
- Tongue diagnosis – this shows signs of the state of the digestive system.
- Pulse diagnosis – this can be used to identify information on the strength or weakness of the individual.
It is not always the first priority to stop symptoms, as some need to be assisted instead of stopped and this is where the power of herbal medicine comes in. I find the best indicator is always working with the individual’s condition.
An herbalist uses herbal medicine based on the persons constitution and some herbs I find work well in strengthening a person are:
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
St. John’s Wort works primarily on the nervous system, the hypericin in combination with other constituents act as an antidepressant. It’s used as a tonic for the nervous system as a whole. It also contains antiviral properties which makes it especially useful, to boost the immune system.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
Gotu Kola is a powerful antioxidant that is beneficial for brain circulation and is often used with herbs like Gingko biloba to increase cognitive function and mental alertness. Also used in Ayurvedic medicine for Pitta, Vata and Kapha doshas.
One of the most commonly researched species of ginseng, this herb has been shown to boost immunity, contain anti-ageing properties, boosts cognitive function and unlike any other ginseng, contains insulin like substances that work to promote blood sugar regulation.
*Always seek the advice of a qualified herbalist before using medicinal herbs particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.