Herbal Medicine in the Western World has a deep seeded past. For thousands of years this knowledge of safe and effective plant medicine was passed down from generation to generation. Today this method of learning plant healing is known as “The Wise Woman Tradition”. In my opinion, this once general knowledge fell from popularity and familiarity with two major events in Western history.
The first historical event is the witch hunts. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed during the witch hunts and most of these individuals were healers following the Wise Woman Tradition. The criteria for being accused of a witch included healing without a license and offering relief to a woman during child birth. As a consequence we lost thousands of years of valuable plant knowledge and healers were forced secrecy.
The second major breaking point for herbal medicine in Western history is the Flexner Report of 1910. The report was financed by the Carnegie Foundation and assessed the quality of various medical schools. The report praised the Hopkins-Harvard model which follows a science based pharmaceutical version of medicine and adheres to the requirements of the AMA. Funding was cut to all schools that did not comply with this method of medicine forcing medical schools teaching folk medicine, herbs, naturopathy, homeopathy, osteopathic medicine and chiropractics to either drop these classes or loose funding and accreditation. Within 20 years, no medical school in the
provided training in herbal medicine. US
Since then herbs and other natural healing methods have lost value and recognition among Americans. Today we are a society that is drowning in pharmaceuticals and we are hitting rock bottom in regards to our health. Now don’t get me wrong, modern western medicine has its place. If I’m in a car accident or my arm gets chopped off, take me to the hospital. I’m not discrediting the life saving techniques of modern medicine. They are second to none. But as for modern medicine’s illness prevention techniques, umm there are none, and for day to day health issues, pharmaceuticals are toxic and if they are effective at treating your problem, chances are they are also causing some gnarly side effects. So today we are seeing an Herbal resurgence. More and more people every day are finding relief and comfort in alternative healing practices. Herbs, nutrition, massage and acupuncture are just a few modalities that are gaining popularity among an unhealthy and an unhappy culture.
So the Verbal Herbal is here to bring about discussions about natural healing modalities, particularly herbs – my specialty. There will also be a daily Herb-o-Scope. Not unlike your horoscope, it will provide a daily tip to help bring you closer to health and happiness. Please join me on the voyage of The Verbal Herbal.