Why herbs? 10 Reasons A comprehensive look at why you should incorporate herbs into your life

“Why herbs?”

When asked this question, my thoughts are instantly flooded with streams of facts, attributes and a myriad of reasons why I choose herbs almost exclusively over modern pharmaceuticals, but I am an herbalist. If I feel a tickle in my throat, I brew up tea. If I get chills, body aches, and a runny nose, I’m on it with some diaphoretic herbs. If my knees feel achy or a little swollen, I apply topical remedies. Too much worry? A soothing bath infused with essential oils is my cure.

My moisturizer is a blend of pure vitamin E oil enhanced with organic essential oils. My shampoo is aloe vera based. I have more herbs stored in my kitchen than most people have food; my pantry is full of whole grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, beans, and various pure oils – all organic and GMO-free. All things real and natural are the central theme of my life. That is just how I roll.

1. HERBAL MEDICINE WORKS WELL WITH MODERN MEDICINE.

HERBAL MEDICINE WORKS WELL WITH MODERN MEDICINE.

Complementary medicine is one of the fastest growing areas of modern health care for good reason: it works. I have seen many diagnosed with a variety of health issues, get markedly better results when combining herbal formulas to a pharmaceutical protocol.

Using “fu zheng” therapy [1] for patients dealing with cancer and the side effects of allopathic cancer treatments consistently showed marked improvement with recovery time from chemotherapy, better appetite, and less nausea. The doctor’s tests results often showed increased white blood cell counts and overall improvement of the patient.

2. HERBAL MEDICINE HAS MUCH LESS TOXICITY AND FEWER SIDE EFFECTS THAN DRUGS.

HERBAL MEDICINE HAS MUCH LESS TOXICITY AND FEWER SIDE EFFECTS THAN DRUGS.

Herbs are far safer than prescription drugs. According to acclaimed researcher and scientist, James Duke Ph.D., herb-related fatalities are almost unheard of at one in a million [2]; while adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs cause injuries or death in 1 of 5 hospital patients. [3]

3. HERBS ARE MUCH MORE COST-EFFECTIVE IN THE SHORT AND LONG-TERM.

HERBS ARE MUCH MORE COST-EFFECTIVE IN THE SHORT AND LONG-TERM.

In fact, some wild herbs are growing in your backyard right now for free. Growing your herbs, wildcrafting the local weeds, purchasing herbs in bulk, buying remedies at a health food store, or getting particular herbs prescribed to you by a knowledgeable practitioner are still all less expensive than the cost of pharmaceutical drugs in the US. In the short term, herbs are far cheaper, and a long-term investment in your health by adopting herbal regimens, eating whole, organic foods, participating in physical activities and getting quality rest will very likely result in good health and fewer medical bills.

4. HERBAL MEDICINE DOES NOT SUPPORT INDUSTRIAL, CORPORATE, PROFIT-DRIVEN AGENDAS.

HERBAL MEDICINE DOES NOT SUPPORT INDUSTRIAL, CORPORATE, PROFIT-DRIVEN AGENDAS.

Big Pharma is the world’s second largest manufacturing industry after the arms industry [4] and is comprised of approximately 200 pharmaceutical corporations. Deceptive advertising, the invention of new diseases, the renaming of old maladies, suppression of negative trials, inauthentic ghostwriting and countless other measures taken by these corporate giants ensure that public opinion supports their agenda. Herbs are nature’s gift, cannot be patented (let us hope it stays this way), and consequently offer very little financial incentive to potential shareholders.

5. GROWING HERBS DOES NOT CAUSE ENVIRONMENTAL DEVASTATION.

GROWING HERBS DOES NOT CAUSE ENVIRONMENTAL DEVASTATION.

Pharmaceuticals are to chemical agri-farming what plant medicines are to organic gardening. Pharmaceuticals produce vast amounts of pollution; Drug factories pollute the air and groundwater as well as disenfranchising citizens of third world countries. The thousands of chemicals produced and released as by-products create a dangerous cocktail of deadly poisons that dispersed through the rain over large areas of the planet. Pharmaceuticals are inserting vast quantities of highly bioactive and toxic chemicals into the soil and water worldwide.[5] Growing herbs organically or biodynamically can improve the soil and the ecosystem.

6. THE HISTORY OF HERBAL MEDICINE STRETCHES BACK THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND IS THE BASIS OF ALL MEDICINE PRACTICED TODAY.

THE HISTORY OF HERBAL MEDICINE STRETCHES BACK THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND IS THE BASIS OF ALL MEDICINE PRACTICED TODAY.

The written history alone of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda is at least 3,000 years old and formed the foundations of many healing traditions throughout the world. Practical data gathered for hundreds upon hundreds of generations of herbal healers offers sound clinical information about the efficacy of natural prescriptions. By partaking in the rich lineage of botanical medicine, we find a link back to the wisdom of our ancestors.

7. KNOWLEDGE OF HERBAL MEDICINE SECURES OUR FUTURE BY TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION HOW TO SURVIVE.

KNOWLEDGE OF HERBAL MEDICINE SECURES OUR FUTURE BY TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION HOW TO SURVIVE.

I’m not trying to be an alarmist, and I do hold out hope that humanity will rise above its baser instincts to create a sustainable culture, but as the saying goes, “Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.” Learning and teaching the art of living in harmony with nature, as our ancestors once did, will ensure the survival of our species, come what may. If catastrophe befell us (and calamities seem to be happening so frequently these days), would you know how to find food and medicine in the wilderness? This question is one that is crucial to ask yourself.

8. HEALING ONE’S SELF WITH HERBS IS VERY EMPOWERING.

HEALING ONE’S SELF WITH HERBS IS VERY EMPOWERING.

The knowledge and abilities to relieve yourself of a myriad of common maladies without ever stepping foot out of your home encourage a sense of self-sufficiency and self-confidence. It’s easy to combat fatigue naturally, get better quality sleep, ease pain, improve immunity, regulate menstrual cycles, adjust the bowels and thrive instead of merely survive. It is our birthright to have autonomy over our health; I suggest that you not sell it to the lowest bidder.

9. USING BOTANICAL MEDICINES GREATLY ENHANCES EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING.

USING BOTANICAL MEDICINES GREATLY ENHANCES EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING.

Essential oils, herbs, homeopathic remedies, and flower essences all help to support emotional balance without suppressing our usual ebb and flow. When combined with wise counsel, personal issues are navigated more easily and authentically than when we inhibit the healthy expression of our innermost feelings.

10. USING LIVING BOTANICAL REMEDIES INVITES US TO HAVE A VERY PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR MEDICINE.

USING LIVING BOTANICAL REMEDIES INVITES US TO HAVE A VERY PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR MEDICINE.

There is nothing more intimate or soul-soothing than planting, growing, tending, watering, harvesting and drying valuable plant medicines right from your garden. Few activities can compare to hiking along and recognizing the abundant varieties of wild medicinal plants with every sweeping glance. Our souls respond when we crush an aromatic leaf between thumb and forefinger and inhale deeply of that green ally’s unique fragrance; it’s a sensation that goes right to the heart.

We are an integrated part of our ecosystem, whether we circulate blood or chlorophyll, we all possess a life force and a love force. It is widely known that plants show emotional responses to external stimuli and modify their behaviors according to environmental perturbations; all living beings are more alike than divergent. Herbs grow to adapt and adjust to their environment, and in the body, herbs are biodynamic and synergistic.

There are gentle herbs that anyone can utilize for a variety of complaints such as insomnia, anxiety, irritability, pain, digestive disorders, common pathogens, immune building and for beauty. There are much more powerful herbs that can treat more chronic ailments and even sophisticated Chinese herbal formulas that can address difficult to treat disorders and create balance in the body when used with wisdom, knowledge, and experience. Become empowered, wise, frugal, and healthier while cultivating an intimate relationship between your deepest self and the rich, intricate tapestry of our natural world.

Use Herbs.

  • [1] “Fu zheng” is loosely translated as “support the righteous,” meaning to support the healthy functioning of the body, so that the patient may recover more quickly from a pathogenic influence.
  • [2] http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/syllabus/module15.htm
  • [3] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/26/prescription-drugs-number-one-cause-preventable-death-in-us.aspx
  • [4] http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Pharmaceutical_industry
  • [5] http://herbalisl.blogspot.com/2010/02/transcript-plants-trees-have-feelings.html
Created By
Lauren Eckman
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