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Herbalism A tradition of Healing. Linda Diane Feldt Holistic health Practitioner. Outline of this presentation. Overview of CAM and alternative healing What is herbalism? Training and certification My practice and training Herbal preparations Parts of plants used Timing of harvest

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Herbalism A tradition of Healing


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    1. HerbalismA tradition of Healing Linda Diane Feldt Holistic health Practitioner

    2. Outline of this presentation • Overview of CAM and alternative healing • What is herbalism? • Training and certification • My practice and training • Herbal preparations • Parts of plants used • Timing of harvest • Potency/effectiveness • Nourishing/medicinal • What consumers get

    3. Major Categories of Alternative Healing • Integrated healing systems • Hands on techniques • Biological substances • Energy based healing • Mind/body spirit awareness Adapted from NIH categories

    4. My Practice • Student of the healing arts since 1973 • Full time private practice since 1981 (10-20 per week) • Primarily use Herbs, Cranialsacral therapy, Polarity therapy, and massage. • Sliding scale • Diverse population • Pain, injury, lifestyle, prevention, with or without conventional medicine • Age range prenatal to 104 • Also teach, write, volunteer

    5. What makes a professional practice • Standards for practice • Scope of practice • Continuing education • Code of ethics • Association membership • Able to refer, available for referrals

    6. My training • Example of difficulty in determining qualified practitioners • Apprenticeship model • Is self study also legitimate? • Inherited knowledge • Formal recognition

    7. Herbalism • Traditional Healers • Native American, Ayurvedic, Tibb, Unani, Tibetan, etc • Traditional Chinese • Western Folkloric • Western Scientific • Earth-centered • Ethno-botanical example categories from the American Herbalist Guild

    8. Herbalism Training and Education • College and University courses • Electives within schools that teach wellness, holistic health, bodywork or somatic practices • Apprenticeship programs both formal and informal • Correspondence courses

    9. Herbalism Training and Education (cont.) • Traditional initiation and training often combined with religious/spiritual practices • Self taught • Promotional material and workshops provided by manufacturers • Multi level marketing materials • Certification provided by herb manufacturers

    10. Western Folkloric Tradition • promotes ethical harvesting of plants • uses the whole parts of the plant, in season • encourages consumer involvement • emphasis is on nutritive aspects of herbs • primarily uses plants that grow locally, and encourages direct involvement with the plants by growing and wildcrafting

    11. Western Folkloric Tradition (cont.) • uses a holistic approach to support body systems & the individual • encourages sharing of information, stories and experience with others • can work in a supportive role with conventional Western Medicine

    12. Concerns and Challenges • Herbalism is a very broad term that describes a profession many thousands of years old. • Herbalists and the scientific community have only recently begun to forge mutual respect, goals, and to determine ways of working together. • Herbalists must proactively respond to unprecedented consumer interest.

    13. Concerns and Challenges • Protecting consumers, supporting scientific research, and preserving herbal traditions are intriguing challenges for this profession. • Consumers and health care providers may have difficulty determining who is qualified as an herbalist. • Herbal use is now being driven primarily by advertising and manufacturers, not by health care providers and traditional sources of information.

    14. Nourishing herbs • Nutrient rich • Bio-available • Generally considered safe, side effects uncommon • Dosage and strength less important • Tend to be local, whole, and common • Large amounts used, in contrast to medicinal plants • Includes tonics • Supportive to body systems • Long term use is usually beneficial

    15. Nourishing Herbs con’t. • Internal use • Infusions • Water based • Vinegar based • Whole plant • Cooked • Raw (salad) • External use • Compress • Poultice • Salve

    16. Medicinal Herbs • Dosage and strength important or critical • Tend to utilize more toxic parts of plant • Stimulate or sedate • More likely to have side effects • Are often plants that are less common, or rare • Long term use is generally discouraged • More extensive knowledge is needed to use safely and effectively

    17. Issues around herbal preparations • Common Preparations • Capsules and pills • Tinctures and extracts • Infusions (AKA teas) • Poultices and compresses • Salves • other • Effectiveness • Herbs in combination and formulas • Locally grown and wild crafted

    18. The following slides describe general tendencies. There will always be exceptions. It is a good model to begin with, and then each herb must be evaluated individually. The knowledge of plant part, type of plant, and season is fundamental to the herbalist. It is also a basic understanding of plants that is rare, and becoming more so as plants are picked, powdered, processed and packaged for us.

    19. Parts of the plant and their different qualities • Roots - storage, alkaloid rich, often toxic, often medicinal • Leaves - nutrient rich • Flowers - some nutrients, energetically powerful • Seeds - nutrient dense, often toxic, toxins often medicinal

    20. Type of plant and impact on herbal use • Annuals • Root less likely to be used • Leaves and flowers more valued • Seeds are abundant, less likely to be toxic • Harvested typically just before flowering, or just after

    21. Type of plant and impact on herbal use • Biennials • Roots often of value, rarely toxic • Root used only in fall of first year, spring of second year • Flowers appear second year, often used • Seeds appear second year, likely of value • End of second year only the seeds are left

    22. Type of plant and impact on herbal use • Perennials • Roots used after a couple of years • Seeds often of value • Roots more likely to be toxic or contain helpful alkaloids • Not as much emphasis on leaves

    23. The importance of the season • Energy moves through the plant with the season • The root stores important constituents • The herbalist determines the part of the plant desired, and harvests at the peak time • Flowers and seeds are obvious (harvest when present) • Leaves before the plant makes flowers and seeds • Roots in spring and fall when plant is storing constituents

    24. Accessing what the plant has to offer • What is within and outside of the plant cell • Breaking the cell wall • Preserving unstable nutrients • affects of light, air, time, processing damage • Ingestion and topical application • Absorption • Elimination

    25. Examples • Calendula - flowers • Burdock - root or leaves • Echinacea - root • Garlic - root • St. John’s Wort - flowering tops • Poke - root or leaves • Milk Thistle - seeds

    26. Preparations to look for • Capsules containing herb extracts • Ground herbs often less effective • Labels provide lot number, experation dates • Herbal extracts • Tinctures in alcohol • Glycerine esp. from alcohol based extracts • Bulk herbs of good color, dated • Don’t overlook harvesting by the consumer

    27. Reputable companies • Harvest ethically • Employ herbalists and support professional associations • Access to information on • where plants are harvested - avoid non US unless using TCM • company philosophy - focus on herbs or marketing? • control of product - don’t just repackage or rebottle from suppliers • Multi-level marketing deserves special scrutiny

    28. HerbPharm Frontier Pacific Botanicals Trout Lake Botanicals Scientific Botanicals Phytopharmica Naturopathic Formulary Thorne Research Eclectic Institute MediHerb Bezweken Women's Transition Wise Women Herbals And ?? Examples of companies

    29. The bad Prone to consumer confusion Does not ensure potency Does not address processing or preparation Does not address safety of the herb Expense may prohibit good companies from using certification The good Helpful to ensure WYSIWYG Raising awareness of importance of herbal quality Important to ensure Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)are used Can address the real problem of contaminate Herbal certification

    30. Next week A four hour lab devoted to the hands-on experience of making herbal preparations including tinctures, salves, poultices, infusions, and more. Come prepared to be a bit messy and work with materials new to you as well as familiar. It may recall the early practice of pharmacy, and we’ll have fun in the process. The results will include products you can take home and use.

    31. Dogs harvesting herbs

    32. Contact Information Linda Diane Feldt P.O. Box 3218 Ann Arbor MI 48106-3218 734-662-4902 lfeldt@umich.edu www.holisticwisdom.org/hwpages/pharm.html Free Herb Class usually 4th Thursday of each month, sponsored by the People’s Food Co-op, at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, Ann Arbor