Why Use Herbs

Why use Medicinal Plants?

Hawthorn berries growing in Susan Elliotson, Medical Herbalist's, back yard.
Hawthorn berries – Crataegus spp. fructus

People have used extracts of whole plants as a primary source of medicine for thousands of years. Drugs which isolate active constituents from other plant ingredients to concentrate their action may produce unwanted side effects.

Although we live in a modern world with hi-tech tools, computers and science, our bodies still have the same basic chemistry and physiology as when we lived in caves. These prehistoric bodies have not yet adapted to many of the new chemicals developed since World War II.

Until the early 1900s, the plants around us were our medicines, with the energy flowing between human and plant evidenced by the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This is still true. This affinity is seen in the healing effect nature has on us. We can take full advantage of that affinity by using what plants have to offer in healing our bodies.

The whole plant products used by a Medical Herbalist come from a variety of high-quality sources.

Most are organically grown by the Medical Herbalist, harvested at peak times to obtain maximum medicinal constituents and preserved under ideal storage conditions to maintain their medicinal activity, and processed to obtain and preserve maximum medicinal action.

Processing methods vary depending on the individual plant, part used, desired constituents and method of application.

Recommendations for use of the herbs are based on the best way to insure absorption by the individual patient to treat a specific condition.

Herbal materials may also be obtained from reputable sources which insure that the plants are organically farm-grown, ethically wildcrafted or are top grade imported herbs. This is to protect endangered plant species. Prepared products are processed and/or manufactured under the highest industry-approved standards.

Tribulus growing in Susan Elliotson, Medical Herbalist's, garden.
Tribulus terestris – Puncture vine