The avenue for a successful therapeutic outcome is the in-person consultation. This time allows the client to fully relay information about the problem and provides the herbalist with an opportunity to understand the nuances of the client’s situation, that would have otherwise been missed if the interaction took place via phone or email. Unlike protocol-based therapy (a typically inadequate approach of – match the illness/symptom with the herb), person-based therapy first takes into consideration the individual. The herbal consultation lets the herbalist ask the right questions, which allows a better fine-tuning of the herbal answer.
Applied Medical Botany
I view this phrase as a description for core herbal practice: the plying of native (and non-native too) plants, to people, for a therapeutic result. The interface of correct plant identification, the plant’s collection and/or preparation, channeled as a botanical medicine, with the goal of an effective treatment, is the conceptual overlay. What this means for the client, this merger of botany, which is primarily hands-on, co-mingled with the studies of medical physiology, chemistry, pharmacology (and other disciplines), is an herbal therapy that is well-considered, science-based, and most importantly, therapeutically relevant.
Constitutional Herbal Medicine
Addressing not just the outward symptom, but rather the underlying pattern of dysfunction, the application of constitutional herbal medicine favors an approach that is investigative and in-depth. Symptoms are easy to recognize. However, discovering the physiological/genetic tendency, which symptoms (manifested distress) arise from, is an all-together different matter. This approach takes some observational skill and experience on the part of the herbalist. Herbal medicine effectiveness is best achieved when the herbs are matched to the individual (or physiological/genetic tendency), and not just the outward symptom of distress.
Correct Herbal Preparation
Internal (and topical) herbal preparations come in a multitude of forms: teas, tinctures, fluidextracts, tablets, etc. They are not all equal. The selection of one form over another is nearly as important as what herb/s are given for any situation. The proper herb is the ‘what’. The best conveyance is the ‘how’. Both are needed.