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Herbal Pharmacy

Posted Oct 03 2008 11:32am
By Dr. Christine Gonzalez (PharmD, HHC)

Who hasn’t tried some ginseng, chamomile, or Echinacea lately? I, for one, certainly enjoy my chamomile tea before bed. With many Americans seeking alternatives to conventional over-the-counter or prescription medications, the use of herbals has increased accordingly. But this branch of holistic medicine extends beyond a power boost in your daily smoothie.

As many of us have experienced, the typical symptom management approach often does not address the root cause. Symptoms like headache, fatigue, or pain are the body’s way of letting us know that an underlying imbalance exists and not something to be simply dulled and ignored. Herbs often have multiple biologically active compounds and can therefore be excellent balancing remedies. Their healing potential is rooted in restoring balance.

As I continue to learn more about traditional Western herbology, I can appreciate the value of a skilled herbalist in formulating individualized concoctions based on a patient’s specific constitution. This is quite different from the allopathic model, in which a symptom or specific disease will warrant a universal remedy without much consideration or application of bio-individuality. With a plethora of herbal combinations possible, personalized treatment can be achieved.

Mother nature has clearly provided us with many healing gifts. I’d love to hear what’s in your herbal pharmacy...
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