The Herbal Equation: Plants AND People

I know how it goes when you first start studying herbalism, you get SO excited about learning about all of these beautiful amazing plants.

I mean after all, isn’t that what usually gets us into herbal medicine to begin with, an absolute love for plants?

But they are just one half of the “herbal equation.”

It’s one thing to learn everything there is to know about herbs, to harvest them, grow them, and prepare them into medicines, but we have to pull back and remember the entire purpose of working with herbs to begin with: to heal someone.

This necessitates that we balance our herbal studies with learning about people as well- they are the other half of the equation. In order for us to be effective herbalists, we have to know as much about people as we do about our remedies. This includes constitutional systems, anatomy and physiology, as well as some pathology and understanding disease processes.

On top of that, we have to know how to relate to people, that is, how to do a good intake, assessment and evaluation of the person in front of us asking for help.

As you walk your plant path, I want to offer you encouragement to not lose sight of the people that you will ultimately give your herbal remedies to. To take the time, energy, discipline, and determination to understand the human being as much as you understand the plants.

After all, what’s the point of growing and wildcrafting herbs and making medicine with them if you don’t know how to work with the person you’ll give them to? Our knowledge of herbalism ultimately needs to be balanced between plants and people.

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