The Layering of Disease
Many of us have grown up
within the Orthodox understanding of disease whereby, we go to our
doctor with our list of symptoms. These symptoms are then used to
match a disease profile as closely as possible. Once this match is
successful then a diagnosis can be made and, subsequently, a
treatment given. This treatment usually takes the form of
pharmaceutical medicines. It could also require surgical
intervention. In any case, the malady is standardised and treated in
complaints are among the commonest conditions to find their way to me
skin conditions present themselves in many ways with many different
labels, it is always important to treat the person with the complaint
rather than the complaint itself. In this way it is possible to
avoid artificially restricting the search for the cause and the
many cases there will be an internal toxic element to the overall
condition. Even in some cases of contact dermatitis, where a caustic
factor is not involved, extreme toxicity can lead to a heightened
sensitivity in the skin as well as the mucous membranes.
A Symptomatic Approach to a
Chronic Condition will make you....
A Slave to your Remedies.
regularly get people coming into the apothecary asking me what herb
can I recommend for a specific problem. In many of these cases the
problem is an acute, one-off, condition. So, I consult with them
briefly and offer them a solution that will support their body's own
natural attempts to resolve its imbalance.
all too often, someone will come in asking for a simple,
symptomatic, solution to what is obviously a chronic problem.
A Possible Plan To Save The
was randomly listening to the radio the other night only to find
another talk show being dedicated to the problems of the NHS and the
usual host of ideas as to how we should save it.
think, for me, this subject has just about reached saturation point.
It is not only on the radio regularly, but also in the news and in
the paper. The reason the subject has reached saturation point is
because I do not think there will be any headway with the problem
given the ideas that have come up.
Pictured in the bowl are the four vibrantly coloured herb powders that make up my Digestive Blend capsules. I made this batch just after New Years in the wave of digestive complaints that coincide with the holiday season. Given the culinary temptations all around us at this time of year, combined with an often hectic schedule, it is not unusual for us to find our digestive system out of balance. In occasional circumstances such remedies can be good for easing the symptoms and restoring balance to our digestion.
In my series Weeds of Wonder, I described Dandelion as the poster child of the weed world. I then went on to describe many of the virtues of the Dandelion (Taraxicum officinalis).
In this post I would like to make another comparison. The Dandelion is to the herbalist what the Buffalo was to the Plains Indians (the native Americans of the plains). Like the Buffalo, every part of the Dandelion can be used. The Flowers are made into wine.
This is a picture of Clivers (Galium aperine) growing in the hedgerow near to where I live. In previous postings I have mentioned Clivers as a plant with great affinity for the lymphatic system. With respect to The Doctrine of Signatures, we can understand this through the lymphatic like structure of the plant. However, at this time of the year we see a further indication through the angry red seeds that form. These represent the inflamed lymph nodes that Clivers play such an important role in cleansing.
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) is one of my top favourite herbs, right up there with Verbena.
The pictures shown here were taken earlier in July. However, this beautiful herb is long flowering and even now, in August, it is still possible to go out and find them in full bloom. Personally, I could find them blind-folded if put in the right place, as by stepping on their leaves they give off a distinct, chalky, aspirin-like smell. This is an indicator to us of the importance of using multiple senses for the purpose of identification.
The summer is moving along at a pace and is reminding me there is so much more to share with you before this season is over.
As I zoom along on my way to see one patient or another...or as I am out wandering the fields and lanes I stop to take pictures of the wonderful wild herbs that surround the place where I live.
The picture posted here is of the common or High Mallow ( Malva sylvestris), which, among other places, you will find dotted along the hedgerows of our country lanes.
This picture was taken at the end of February when the Elders near me were just beginning to show leaf...a time when the sun begins to regain its strength.
Now they have developed on so that in the next weeks all will be in bloom. For me, the sweet smell of Elderflowers, on the breeze of a warm and sunny day, heralds the beginning of summer. This is not just because of the time of year that this event takes place. Rather, there is something very warming about the Elderflower itself that is captured in its dried petals.