- What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is the practice of using herbs for nurturing total body health and addressing illness based on root cause and overall wellness. It is the genesis of medicine practiced by the first men and women when time began. Aside from romantic legend, herbalism has a written history dating back more than 5000 years.
So many people are frustrated with western medicine and the approach of masking symptoms instead of curing underlying causes. Taking control of your own health can be terrifying. We would like to ease your worry. If you are new to natural living, we want you to know there is a vast community and you do not have to navigate it alone. The intention of this website is to provide education, support and a sense of belonging for those who are reclaiming their personal wellness.
- Herbal Medicine vs. Western Medicine:
Herbal Medicine focuses on the balance and well being of the individual as a whole, rather than fixating on one symptom in particular. In this way, the natural defenses and immune system of each individual can be guided to operate at optimal function. Herbalism uses dietary and lifestyle choices, along with herbs to help foster the body’s natural health and healing ability. Herbalists operate under the premise that symptoms are each just the body’s signal that something is out of balance and the whole person needs nurturing.
Western Medicine, or what is oddly referred to as Conventional Medicine, takes a more hard targeted approach which focuses entirely on a symptom, or a collection thereof. They employ chemicals, manufactured to mimic the behaviors innate in herbs; but using synthetic material instead. Often surgery or more drastic measures are prescribed to cease the existence of a symptom. This method fails to approach patients on a personal or individual basis, and instead like a game of symptom whack-a-mole.
- Herbalism vs. Homeopathy
Herbalism refers to Traditional Community and Pioneer Herbalists, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and Traditional Ayurvedic practitioners. In each case, the practitioners use preparations which are concentrations of known beneficial herbs. These practitioners are studied and certified in the use of herbs as remedies. Preparations include various internal and topical applications and are discussed further in the Preparations tab.
Homeopathic preparations are made using the process of dilution. In this process, the selected substance is repeatedly diluted until the final product is chemically indistinguishable from the diluent. Often not even a single molecule of the original substance can be expected to remain in the product. It leans heavily on a cellular memory theory which hypothesizes the liquid the original substance was diluted in will remember it after its removal. Practitioners claim that such preparations, upon oral intake, can treat or cure disease.
Herbal options can be overwhelming due to the incredibly versatile nature of plants. In this section, we’d like to break down the various ways to implement herbs in your healthcare. In doing so, we hope to make product selection easy, and more importantly – appropriate, for your individual wellness needs.
- Dry Herbs / Tea
Most herbs are consumable in their raw form. In this state, some are already powerful plant medicines and need little preparation. An example of this would be tea. Plants which are used to make tea are generally selected because of the bioavailability of their benefits through merely steeping them in hot water. The recipe for tea is simple and so it is not an intimidating choice when exploring wellness through herbs.
- Oral Options
Typically, when an Herbalist is mixing an extract, the liquid solvents used are glycerin, alcohol, vinegar and purified water. The herb’s beneficial properties are then extracted in a process that is time consuming but produces highly effective concentrations of medicinal herbs. The types of oral extracts are:
- Tincture – A Tincture is a liquid extraction which uses alcohol as the extracting agent.
- Extract – An Extract is a liquid reduction process which used glycerine as the extracting agent.
- Tonic – A Tonic is another liquid extraction preparation where vinegar is used instead of glycerine or alcohol.
- Syrups and Decoctions – A Decoction is an extraction process in which herbs are boiled and reduced in water to obtain their healing properties. Herbalists then use decoctions mixed with honey or agave to form a Syrup. Such is the case with Elderberry Syrup.
3) Topical Options
All topical applications of herbs must begin with an Infusion. Herbal or crystal Infusions are preparations which use soothing carrier oils such as apricot oil, castor oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, olive oil or liquids such as Witch Hazel. The oils or witch hazel are combined with plant material, minerals or crystals in a soaking process where the liquid absorbs the beneficial plant properties and the crystals or plant material can then be left in the mixture or strained off leaving the liquid infused with the benefits. It should be noted that oil infusions are not the same as essential oils but the herbs used to obtain them are the same herbs and carry their benefits. These Infusions are then used to make a variety of products including:
- Rollers – Skin roll on formulas using infused oils and essential oils.
- Magnesium Sprays – Liquid skin application combining magnesium and targeted herbal infusions.
- Crystal Sprays – Liquid room and body sprays with crystal infusion combined with herbal infusions for non toxic and therapeutic freshening.
- Balm – Preparation for lips or skin using infused oils and essential oils. Portable and soothing.
- Salve – Therapeutic skin application using Beeswax and infused oils, sometimes including detox agents. Great for wounds.
- Lotion Bars – Topical formulation combining infused oils, carrier oils and essential oils.
Is CBD for Me?
- The Endocannabinoid System
The human ENC is a complex network of receptors, enzymes and pathways which essentially organizes and monitors all of the rest of your systems. As far as it is understood to date, and research continues, the purpose of the Endocannabinoid System is to maintain homeostasis. It does so by modulating our neurotransmitters. So if, for example, you became ill and out of balance (or homeostasis), your body might develop a fever to mitigate (cook off) the pathogens causing illness in order to bring the body back into homeostasis. The ENC is the dutiful maintenance droid running around reminding the hypothalamus to turn up the heat for a bit then turn it back off when no longer needed. It does the same for all regulatory systems influencing and maintaining your overall health. This includes things like sleep patterns, inflammatory response, and wound healing. Think all encompassing body nanny.
- Cannabinoids and Benefits
Cannabinoids are the fuel and maintenance molecules the Endocannabinoid System runs on. Your body makes them naturally and synthesizes them from food when things are functioning as they should. There are dozens of known cannabinoids each offering various benefits.
- Mood Disorders
CBD can stimulate the production of hormones that aid in mood regulation. This encourages physical relaxation while simultaneously targeting cognitive function to eliminate the sensation of racing thoughts.
- Sleep Issues
CBD can facilitate longer periods of undisrupted sleep; which in turn allows for more REM cycle sleep. The body does much of its self healing during this quality sleep time. Due to its physical calming ability, CBD can also address symptoms of sleep apnea and insomnia. CBD is also said to help regulate circadian rhythms. This pattern controls our natural waking and sleeping tendencies.
- Cardiovascular Health
CBD is used to support healthy heart function by improving irregular heartbeats and regulating blood flow. This helps in maintaining vascular wellness and reducing high blood pressure.
- Cancer Research
There is no shortage of internet evidence on this subject. Whatever the claims, logically an immune system operating at optimal capacity is going to be more effective in preventing or fighting cancer. A person who is well rested, emotionally balanced, with healthy digestion and minimal physical pain becomes a much harder target for any disease.
CBD, depending on the specific molecule can act as both an immunosuppressant and an immuno-stimulant. What is so incredibly useful about that is what that means for the millions who suffer from various autoimmune disorders. Issues like fibromyalgia, diabetes mellitus, Chrone’s disease, IBS, eczema, allergies and many more, all result from an unchecked and overactive immune system. The nourished endocannabinoid system is an intricate part of a healthy Immune system.
- Pain and Inflammation
CBD has been perhaps most publicly noted for its popularity in helping with chronic pain. CBD can help assuage pain by moderating the transmission of pain signals. It is also useful in relaxing muscle fibres, allowing an overall feeling of relaxation.
- Digestive Problems
Perhaps one of the most common and frustrating areas of struggle is gut health. CBD supports a healthy intestinal lining. Since CBD and immunity and so intimately woven, and since the most of the human immune system is housed in the digestive tract, digestive issues are greatly affected. Many have reported improvement with symptoms of leaky gut, ibs, constipation and nausea.
- Full Spectrum refers to an extract made from the whole hemp plant, containing a range of beneficial cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes and nutrients, as well as the nationally legal limit of .3% THC. This small amount of THC actually makes the CBD more effective in your body.
- CBD Isolate is the pure CBD molecule, with all other parts of the plant removed. Pure CBD is an excellent ingredient in itself, and is beneficial for those who do not want the taste or smell of cannabis and/or cannot have THC.