The Role of Herbs in Human Health
Updated: Feb 27, 2021
For as long as the human race has existed, herbs have been growing in earth’s soils. Herbs were nature’s intended medicine for both humans and animals. Utilizing herbs used to be instinctual, and with practice, still can be!
In nature, it has been witnessed that animals inherently understand which plants to use in order to heal their injuries (Pandey et al., 2011). While this used to be the case for humans as well, modern day culture has leaned so heavily on the usage of pharmaceuticals that we have lost our innate touch when it comes to natural healing.
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, herbs can be used for both the healing of specific ailments and to maintain one's health, keeping our bodies operating in homeostasis (Pathak & Das, 2013). Herbs are packed full of vitamins and minerals, which are essential to human health. Our bodies were intended to ingest and utilize natural resources provided to us by mother nature. Our bodies were not designed to be able to effectively breakdown synthetic substances.
James Green in his book “The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook” discusses the relationship that humans should have with herbs and their many uses. He refers to herbal medicine making being similar to a dance, “natural and undeniably delightful” (Green, 2002).
Once you understand how to properly identify herbs and how to use them, herbal medicine making can be interpreted however you would like. Similar to baking bread, there is not one way to make it. It is all up to the baker’s interpretation. Herbalism is part of our nature and should not be feared. It is something that should be embraced as part of our journey through life. Herbs are readily accessible to all, mother nature does not discriminate. We as humans should strive to be thankful for their presence and knowledgeable in their medicinal properties.
Green, J. (2002). The herbal medicine-makers' handbook: A home manual. Berkeley: Crossing Press.
Pandey, H., & Jauhari, E. (dec 2011). Garden lizards visit holy basil to heal injury: A novel observation on zoopharmacognosy. [Abstract]. Bioherald: International Journal of Biodiversity & Environment, 1(2), 173-178.
Pathak, K., & Das, R. J. (2013). Herbal Medicine- A Rational Approach in Health Care System. International Journal of Herbal Medicine, 86-89.