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Deeper into the World of Herbal Wisdom

Updated on March 1, 2010

Common Herbs

Rose Hib
Rose Hib

Alternative Healing Systems

 Herbal wisdom covers many topics and types of healing techniques that use plants known as herbs for healing.  Herbal healing or healing with herbs is not as simple as making a cup of tea, although it can be with an understanding of why plants work to heal.  

Healing with herbs works better when used as part of a natural healing system which addresses the body as a whole. These systems of logic do not necessarily correspond with those of science but they have worked for healers for thousands of years. Knowing the difference of the healing systems is valuable for choosing the right herbs to use for health.

Holistic Healing

Herbology is often referred to as Holistic Healing but Holistic healing is only one of the natural healing systems that use herbs as medicine. Holistic healing is a much broader subject then plants alone and includes preventive and treatments by diet, attitude, emotions, relationships, and activities along with the use of herbs. 

All of these factors play an important role in the well being of the body. Holistic therapies are aimed at treating the whole person not just the body part that is ill. The therapy might include fasting or massage along with herbal support. As you can see Holistic healing covers a whole realm of subjects that are for the betterment of the body, both mentally and physically.

Homeopathic Healing

Another system of natural healing began in Europe and spread to America in the 19th century is Homeopathic medicine. This system is based on the logic that symptoms (such as fever) are the means by which the body acts to eliminate the cause of illness.

Homeopathic treatment is designed to reinforce the symptoms instead of fighting the symptoms by using a very small amount of herbal drugs that when given to a health person produce the symptoms of the illness. This type of natural healing system is mainly governed by the Hippocratic idea of eliminating illness by helping the body’s own powers of healing. Therefore if the body is producing a fever to fight an infection an herb is given to help the body stay feverish to fight off the illness and get through the “healing crisis”.

Hippocrates is known as the father of medicine because he introduced the theory of the Healing Crisis to western medicine. Hippocrates reasoned that during a crisis the body goes back through the development of the ailment one stage at a time. One after another symptoms of the ailment appear as toxins are eliminated from the body. The crisis is a period of regression and when the crisis stopped, he believed the body’s natural healing process also stopped and the body was healed.


A third system of natural healing that believes in helping the body heals is Naturopathy. This system relies on simple herbal remedies with fasting, water and diet as important for healing as the herbs are. This system strongly believes as all natural healing systems do that the body does heal itself and as a living being the body is linked to the properties and influences of natural organic substances. A large number of these substances are necessary for life itself while others are valuable for maintaining the body at the best level possible.

The main philosophy of all these natural healing systems is that the body is very capable of healing itself if given the proper support to do so.

Natural healing systems are designed to strengthen and enhance the body’s systems so that harmful substances or illnesses can be neutralized. The United States is one of the few countries where the use of herbs and natural healing does not coexist with modern medicine.


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