The use of herbal medicine is not limited to herbalists, however. Traditional herbal medicine is a multidisciplinary field, comprising both medicine doctors and herbalists who use their knowledge of medicines of all kinds to heal the body. A common theme of herbalism - healing the body - is common to medicine and herbalism.
What is herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is a wide and varied field of study, and one that includes herbalists and various forms of doctors who use drugs based on their therapeutic recommendations. What is a Herbalist?
In herbalism there is no distinction between medical practitioners. In fact, the word doctor refers to physicians who practice medicine. To begin with, a Herbalist is someone who uses plants and/or herbs for a medicinal purpose. The use of plant medicines is widespread in herbalism, but that is not to say that all herbs are medicinal. There are many plant medicines that are not medicinal in nature. Herbalists are people who use both the medicinal and non-medicinal effects of herbal compounds. A Herbalist could also use other plants as well - such as plants traditionally used for a religious purpose or otherwise not medicinally useful. This is why a Herbalist is not necessarily a physician.
What is herbalism?
Herbalism is a field of medicine that is concerned with healing the body, a wide variety of plants, and specific types of plants. Herbalists may use the medicinal (or non-medicinal) effects they learn from both their experience as a herbalist and from their education in medical and other fields, as well as their education in other branches of the natural sciences such as botany, chemistry, or physiology. In addition, herbalists may use non-medicinal effects such as flavorings and extracts, which are not considered medicinal but can be seen in modern medicine as being helpful for patients in a wide variety of situations. Herbalists in general do not believe that herbal medicine has any place outside the medical context, even as a legitimate therapeutic approach to illnesses related to the body and environment.
Can I Practice herbal medicine?
Yes. As a practitioner that uses herbal medicine, it is your responsibility to know your legal position and take action for the benefit of patients and patients' families. It is important for this position to be taken and for your legal authority to be respected. If your position is based on herbalism or traditional medicine, it might be helpful if you also share with your patients information about the potential medical risks of using herbs. In general, herbalists do not practice medicine if they or their clients believe that their use of herbal substances poses a significant risk to patient health. It is also important to understand that herbal medicine can be as powerful a tool as any other medicine.