HomePublicationsThe Tracker MagazineVol 2, No. 2&3, Spring-Summer 1983

The Tracker Magazine - Vol 2 No. 2&3, Spring-Summer 1983

Herbs as Medicine
Tom Brown Jr.

Much has been written in the past about the healing properties of herbs. Unfortunately, many of the modern books are not too sure of the way herbs work, especially when one mixes them. Now modern medical research is taking a look at the herbal medicines and finding many new drugs that are better received by the body without the side effects one gets with synthetics.

There is a general opinion that the old herbalists and medicine people were rather sketchy in their mixtures and frequently overdosed or underdosed their patients. I find this statement totally wrong and off the wall. In the old days there was a long apprenticeship in learning the gifts of herbs and the various mixtures that went into any medication. Plants had to be collected and prepared. at the exact right time of the year and prepared with chemist-like precision. This learning usually took years, more years than any chemist or doctor spends learning their profession. Usually, the person began at an early age and did not begin to treat people until he or she reached old age.

Many students of mine are awed by the precision that is used in the preparation. Many plant properties change as to time, temperature, and general weather conditions. For instance, the leaves of the strawberry can be collected six times through the growing season and each collection will have different overall properties and effects on the body. The danger comes, however, when we begin to mix herbs, using catalysts, to bring about other effects. Two plants that you can eat as food or tea, when mixed together the right way, can cause damage to your body and in some cases, death.

Be very careful with herbs and especially their mixtures. Don't take ancient remedies lightly for modern science is finding that they do what they are said to do, but also many of them don't. Don't experiment with herbs, but seek out an old one that still uses the herbal remedies. Don't always rely on books for much of the information is hearsay and could cause bodily damage. Remember that herbalogy is an exacting science and takes a lifetime to learn, a little at a time. There is no magic pill, book, or course that will make a person a healer and herbalist overnight, only good, hard and diligent work.

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