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.
For example, when I’m working with someone who has poor brain function, if it’s due to poor circulation to the head and they take ginkgo Biloba - one of the more common recommendations to increase mental clarity - they should see an improvement. But what if their poor brain function is due to dryness, coldness, heat, poor GI function, inflammation, or something else? In those cases, we would use different herbs, possibly in conjunction with ginkgo, to stimulate changes in the conditions that are leading to poor brain function.
How do I determine which herbs to recommend? I have about 50 questions that we will review together during your initial appointment. I’ll be looking for signs of dryness / excess moisture, heat/cold, tension/laxity, inflammation, and gastrointestinal dysfunction.
I find that balancing these eight different states in the body often leads to great improvement in health, even when dealing with stubborn problems regarding digestion, the intestines, fatigue, and inflammation.
Most of my clients have been to quite a few doctors looking for answers to their poor health. They are frequently impressed by how different the focus is in an initial herbal visit. Herbalism asks a very different set of questions because we have very different tools to use.
If you feel like conventional medicine has run out of questions about your health, we should schedule a time to meet. The first consultation can be in-person or by phone, is complimentary, and takes about 15 minutes.
Larry Leach, Herbalist, Evergreen Health Clinics