Many of the clients I work with have been treated with functional medicine in the past. It should be no surprise that one question I get is about how herbalism is different. Some people think that because herbalism and functional medicine both use natural substances that they are essentially the same. Although functional medicine providers might use herbs from time to time, and herbalists may recommend some supplements, the training and approaches are very different.
Most people don’t understand how different herbalism is from conventional medicine. When you wonder which herbs might benefit your health, you’re probably thinking of addressing a symptom with an herb instead of a medication.
This approach can be effective but often it’s not. Herbs are generally best used to stimulate the body to rebalance and/or heal, or to change the body, not to suppress a symptom. When you apply an herb to a symptom, it is effective to the extent that that herb is addressing what in the body is leading to that particular symptom.
Nearly everyone knows about chiropractic for when back pain. According to a poll conducted in 2015 by Gallup, 57% of Americans are likely to visit a chiropractor for neck or back pain, but only 1 in 7 had actually seen a chiropractor in the last year.
So often I meet with people who have had years of not feeling well. They have been through several medical doctors, including specialists. They have often met with other natural-minded providers such as naturopaths and functional medicine practitioners. They have had perhaps dozens of lab tests looking for medical conditions, deficiencies, DNA methylation, food sensitivities, parasites… and more. They have run dozens of tests, only to find out that there’s nothing medically wrong with you.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the claims before… herbs don’t work. Studies have proven that herbs are ineffective. They’re a placebo, at best. You’re wasting your money.
This post explains a couple of shortcomings with testing herbs as if they were pharmaceutical drugs.
There is a problem in our healthcare system that affects the health of your family AND finances. It is the very same perspective that is making COVID-19 worse right now. Does this statement sound familiar? “Looks like you might be sick. Go home isolate yourself and hopefully you get better. If not, we will get you to a hospital, if it isn't overrun already” No wonder we spend so much money and outcomes are sometimes so poor. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad hospitals can do so much! But this approach over time means you need more and more care, not less.
I am frequently asked, “Which herbs can I use for COVID-19?” There’s a two-part answer to that question. The first is what you can do to decrease your chances of getting seriously ill. The second part is what you can do during an active COVID-19 infection. This post will focus on steps you take to prepare your body specifically for the issues COVID-19 seems to be causing.
Let me describe a typical client for you.
She’s been to doctors for years with concerns about fatigue, poor sleep, digestive problems - often bloating after eating and/or food sensitivities that are getting worse. She’s had a dozen blood tests without any positive results, including many standard blood panels and probably some combination of adrenal and thyroid tests. There really isn’t a test for brain fog.
If you’ve ever ridden in a car with a tire out of balance, you know what big difference a small imbalance can make. The entire car will shake. The faster you drive, the more it will vibrate. Your car may weigh 4000 pounds and suffer from significant shaking that could be corrected by a 1 oz piece of lead on the appropriate tire.
The same thing can occur in your body. A small imbalance can have effects that severely impact your quality of life. Much like a car, the faster you go - the more active you are - the more you’re going to feel that imbalance.