The practice of herbalism in a clinical setting is a many-faceted form of healing. In general, herbalism is a non-invasive, holistic practice, meaning that instead of and/or in addition to focusing on isolated ailments, the herbalist works with clients to treat the underlying causes and the whole person. Herbalists work primarily with whole plant medicines such as medicinal teas, tinctures (plant extracts made with alcohol, glycerin or vinegar), topical applications such as salves and ointments, and an array of others. Often, seemingly unrelated imbalances may all be improved with herbs that support entire body systems. In addition, characteristics such as body type, occupation and family life are often clues for the herbalist as to how best to help clients succeed in the healing process.
Herbalism is a practice that encourages, and indeed often requires, people to participate in their own healing. In this way it is an empowering modality, allowing people to become more self-reliant and informed about their bodies and their health. Herbalists realize that herbs alone cannot always do the job; sometimes allopathic medicine, physical therapy, and/or other modalities are vital parts of the healing process.
In addition, changes in diet and lifestyle are very often an integral part of correcting imbalances. However, herbalists recognize that drastic diet and lifestyle changes are not always possible due to socioeconomic inequalities, cultural considerations and a myriad of other circumstances present in the human experience. Therefore, we are not rigid in our application of method and criteria, but attempt to customize programs, recommendations, suggestions, and remedies to fit individuals needs, desires, lifestyles and abilities.
Our work as herbalists requires us to have a working and constantly expanding knowledge of anatomy, physiology, body systems, nutrition, whole plant actions and chemical constituents. In addition, we value working closely with clinicians in all modalities of health care to ensure a clear understanding of clients health issues and treatments, and also to further learning and understanding between practitioners of different modalities. We believe that when herbalists have a definitive presence alongside practitioners of other healing modalities, including those from both allopathic and naturopathic schools of thought and practice, the health care needs of individuals and communities are served most effectively.