Clinical Herbalism and Therapeutics

From therapeutic principles of holistic herbalism and how to address specific conditions, to tips and tricks for assessment, formulation, and other nuggets of clinical gold, these posts are all about supporting your work with people.

Prebiotic Herbs and Gut Restoration

With all the overuse of antibiotics and leaky gut syndrome, we all tend to focus on probiotics and fermented foods to restore the bacterial ecology of the GI- but what about prebiotics? These are important polysaccharide compounds are the food for the microflora in our intestines, helping them to continue to thrive and flourish. Whenever I’m helping a client re-establish their microflora and gut health I’m always thinking in terms of not just probiotics, but the prebiotics as well.

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Whitney Popham, founder of the School of Evolutionary Herbalism with Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) flowers in her herbal garden

The Human Body: Machine or Ecosystem?

Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about this concept of vitalism and how vitalism is one of the more traditional models and approaches to not just practicing herbal medicine but a way that we see life, of being able to see that the natural world is intelligent, that it has consciousness, that it has purpose and meaning.

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Gut Health and Clinical Herbalism

When I was studying herbal medicine in university at Bastyr, my teachers taught me that in traditional western herbalism, the human organism is likened to a tree whose roots are the digestive system.

In this way, the health of the entire organism is utterly dependent on the health of the digestive apparatus- from the mouth all the way down to the colon. In our modern world of genetically modified, processed, artificial, pesticide ridden foods, along with the overuse of antibiotics, over the counter antacids and anti-inflammatories, as well as the serious impacts of food intolerances and allergies, that the state of human digestive health is to say the least, not so great.

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The Allopathic Herbalism Trap

Vitalism is an ancient principle found in the western traditions that recognizes the life principle within plants and people. This vital principle is what gives everything life, and while the biochemical attributes of an organism are important, it is not all there is.

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