Healing with herbs is a very controversial subject. There are many people who regard herbal healing as antiquated hocus-pocus.
If you ask your family physician about herbs,, for example, he or she may very well lecture you on the folly of trying to remedy even minor ailments with herb teas or poultices, citing uncertainties of diagnosis and the shortcomings of the ‘medicaments.’ Ask a pharmacist and you may get a lecture on the impurities of the material and the vagaries of dosages.
On the other hand, you may read about or hear about- or even know someone who claims to have had successful healing experiences with herbs. They cannot explain how or why they worked…but, they worked.
These two valid approaches to healing exist in today’s society, as they have throughout much of history. One approach is called rational and the other, empirical. The dominant approach in medicine now is rationalism, though many modern holistic practitioners, including almost all current folk healers, opt for the empirical perspective.
Vitalism is the inherent in the modern holistic view-point and has been an important part of the empirical perception of medicine. Vitalism is the belief that life is unique, and that it possess qualities that cannot be defined in simple terms of anatomy and physical makeup.
In the rational approach, the active principle of plants are extracted or chemically duplicated. This is the orthodox, scientific medicine, administered by M.D.s and pharmacists.
A recent survey revealed that close to 50 percent of all prescriptions issued by medical doctors contain drugs that are either directly derived from natural sources or synthesized from natural models as the sole ingredient or as one of the several ingredients.
About the author of this series
Cathleen V.Carr, MA, JD, PhD, is an alternative medicine expert specializing in herbs, vibrational medicine and bioEnergetic Therapies. She is a master herbalist who specializes in liver, colon, kidney detoxification, glandular stimulation and practitioner of non-evasive stress reduction techniques. She serves as Editor of Natural Medicine Ink and the Best Natural Health Directory and writes product and service reviews for the vibrant natural health care community. You can read other articles by Cathleen at nationally syndicated Examiner.com where she writes the National Holistic Health Column, and RadientLife her blog at WordPress.com and read much more by Cathleen Carr at many other communication channels online.