Herbalism FAQ

What is herbalism?

 Herbalism is essentially, the ancient tradition of growing, gathering, preparing and using herbs for medicinal purposes. Herbalism has existed for millennia and may be referred to as herbal medicine, herbology, botanical medicine, plant medicine, plant spirit medicine, phytotherapy, medical herbalism and more


 Why consult an herbalist?


 A well trained herbalist is knowledgeable about the safety, efficacy and quality of herbs and herbal products.  They are familiar with potential herb/drug interactions.  As practitioners, herbalists can be a solid foundation in providing guidance to their clients as the client addresses various health concerns.  They can be an invaluable asset to assist clients in realizing the appropriate health protocol for optimum health results.  Before choosing an herbalist, a potential client may want to speak to that herbalist to gauge if they both possess a similar code of values and practitioner/client goals.  


What is the difference in traditional medicine and Western medicine?


Herbalists view the body as a whole and believe symptoms are the body's way of asking for help.  They do not "treat" dis-eases nor "cure" clients as it is done in Western medicine.  Herbalists assist in clients empowering themselves to reach their desired level of optimum health.  Depending on their comfort level and experience, an herbalist may assist clients with a myriad of health challenges or specialize in one major health challenge.  Most herbalists address spiritual, emotional, physical and environmental well-being, diet, lifestyle and protocols. 


Do I have to stop seeing my primary care physician? 


No.  The option is always available for your herbalist and your primary care physician to be in communication, especially if you have a serious health challenge.  Some clients feel most comfortable having had a traditional practitioner as their primary practitioner for years.  Others are attached to their primary care physician due to a moderate-severe health challenge or they utilize a primary care physician that embraces and understands the role traditional healing plays in the Western world.  In addition, some clients utilize their primary care physician in order to receive yearly physicals and important tests such as blood work, while still consulting an herbalist.

If traditional medicine is so ancient, why aren't more people using it?


Contrary to popular belief, there are far more people frequently utilizing natural healing modalities and herbs than we know.  The World Health Organization estimates 50% of the population in North America, Europe and other developed nations have used traditional medicines at least once.  I would estimate that this percentage is higher based on the continued traditions of natural healing passed from one generation to the next, including the most simple traditions in natural healing most people still use today without a thought of them being traditional healing.   In the US alone, it is estimated that 158 million adults use traditional medicines.  The alternative and holistic healing industry is a multi-billion dollar business yearly.   


The field of Western medicine is a multi-billion dollar industry as well.  Often times patients  do what their doctor tells them to do, because we are taught doctor knows best at an early age.  Over the centuries, patient dependency on their doctor has increased.  Taking pharmaceuticals has become a habit and a mere convenience, therein not addressing the health challenge until forced to with a reoccurring symptom that begins to change the quality of life, an emergency visit to the hospital, or a disease.  As a result, in past centuries still, we have forgotten the old ways of our ancestors.  


Some herbs have a reputation of not working medicinally, because they are of poor quality, people do not follow their protocol or there is a spiritual/emotional component that has not been addressed.  Moreover, some herbs are seen as being unsafe simply because research done on the herb was not done properly or the research was changed to further give the herb in question a bad reputation.  Many herbs are quite powerful, even as master herbs, hence they should be respected. 


All of the negatives written above are done to instill fear in people and to allow the Federal Drug Administration to ban a particular herb, resulting in that herb being labeled as bad with a negative reputation.  Thereafter, people are less likely to be interested in the herb.  As a result, money is not taken out of the pockets of hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.  Herbalism is competition for the pharmaceutical company and they do not like this.

The information contained throughout this website does not replace the advice of a licensed physician.  Shelowann Dawson is not a medical doctor and does not treat, diagnose, heal or cure clients, students or anyone else that reads the information on this website.  Shelowann believes healing is innate on a body, mind and spiritual level, hence it is in the hands of the client/student.  She makes no guarantees after clients/students receive any service available.  The more committed the client/student is and the more work the client/student gives to their healing journey, the more powerful the results.

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