Friday, April 15, 2011

What phytotherapy can do for you.

Phytotherapy or herbalism is probably the oldest medical practice in the world. In South Africa it is a registered profession, and to become registered, a university degree in Phytotherapy is required. At present the university of the Western Cape is the only university in South Africa which offers the program

Most phytotherapists use dried herbs and herbal tinctures or tablets. Medicines are formulated and prepared by the phytotherapist. The phytotherapist also can make a syrup, cream, lotion or ointment for a wide variety of internal or topical applications. Most medicines and topical medicaments are formulated specially for the individual.

What can you expect when you visit a phytotherapist?

  • The first visit takes about an hour, maybe longer
  • A complete history is taken - that means questions are asked about your whole body
  • A medical examination is conducted
  • If necessary blood tests, scans, or other tests may be requested
  • Diet and lifestyle will be discussed
  • Herbal medicine will be formulated and dispensed 
  • Treatment will be explained
Herbal medicine is most effective when dispensed and formulated by a phytotherapist. It is much stronger than the over-the-counter medicines and the dosage is correct for the condition. It is also specific to your body's needs. Self medication with herbal remedies is often a complete waste of money because of poor formulation of the product and inadequate potency.

Herbal medicine has many advantages:

  • It facilitates body functions by nurturing and balancing the various organs
  • It doesn't block functions to "normalise" physiological states
  • It is not alien to the body and side effects are very rare
  • It is nutritious as well as healing
  • The chemical constituents of herbal medicine are "recognised" by the body as most of them are abundant in nature and foods
  • Certain herbs have strong effects on certain systems, either calming or stimulating
  • It can be used together with allopathic medicines, which may be necessary in some conditions
  • It is non-polluting once excreted and will not harm our waterways
  • In many instances it is scientifically validated by research
  • Progress can be clinically evaluated by blood tests, scans, endoscopy etc
  • The use of herbal medicine strengthens the immune system and does not cause antibiotic resistance
Herbal medicine is very efficient for acute or chronic disease. It can eliminate the need for antibiotics in acute situations and with the guidance of a practitioner. Recovery is in line with what nature intended - no quick fix.
Above all herbal medicine is really green and planet friendly.