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Herbalism and Alternative Treatment


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A small presentation on the practice of herbalism as form of alternative treatment. Describing many methods from different cultures and parts of the world.

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Herbalism and Alternative Treatment

  1. 1. HERBALISM (as Complementary or Alternative Medicine) By Kebakuile Legae G. B.
  2. 2. Description • • • Study and use of plant material as food and medicine for healing and health promotion. Botany describes an herb as a low-growing non-woody plant, herbalists make use of the entire plant kingdom. It has been practiced outside of conventional medicine, but is rapidly becoming mainstream. Helped by the analysis and research of herbal constituents and activities, delving into their value in treatment and prevention of disease. History and Background • Archeological findings suggest that plants had been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history. Indigenous cultures (e.g., African and Native American) incorporated herbs into their healing rituals, while traditional medical systems (e.g., Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine) developed systematic uses for herbal therapies. • Ethnobotanists have discovered that widely separated groups of people have a tendency to use the same or similar plants for the same purposes
  3. 3. History and Background cntd  • • Most traditional herbal uses were derived through observation, sensory perception, sacred teachings, and intuition. Western herbal medicine has been influenced by the development of the scientific method and advances in analytical technology: – SCIENTISTS began manipulating plant materials by extracting their active principal ingredients, and by chemically modifying isolated ingredients to reduce side effects and enhance therapeutic properties – CHEMISTS began synthesizing organic compounds – PRACTITIONERS began the transition from raw herbs to synthetic pharmaceuticals ** In 1870, the United States Pharmacopeia listed 636 herbal entries; by 1990, only 58 were listed. Some herbs were dropped from the list because they were considered unsafe or ineffective. However decline in use was mainly due to regulatory and economic factors favouring pharmaceuticals and the trained practitioners (e.g., medical doctors)
  4. 4. History and Background cntd  Scientific Principles • Herbalists often use whole plant extracts containing multiple constituents. – Theory= the ingredients collectively reduce the side effects of any individual constituent (known as "buffering") – They provide synergistic actions. – In addition, herbs are generally used in combinations, rather than singly. Using several herbs together is thought to augment synergistic activities, enhance efficacy, and reduce toxicity • Diagnosis and treatment are based on the herbalist's understanding of the whole personbody, mind, and spirit. Diseases are perceived within the context of the entire system.
  5. 5. Mechanism of Action • Western science attributes herbal mechanisms of action to plant constituents— – e.g. carbohydrates, tannins, lipids, volatile oils, steroids, alkaloids, peptide hormones, enzymes, etc. – Therapeutic actions of plants may be influenced by: • Species (the individual plant itself), Including such variables as; habitat, companion plants, pests, collection, storage, processing, dispensing, and dosing; presence of contaminants/plant disease; • Patient: age, health status, disease, receptivity to healing; the symbolic or cultural significance of the plant; and the placebo effect. • For most herbal medicines, the exact compound that produces the pharmacological action is unknown and any therapeutic effects are most likely the result of synergistic action among herbal constituents.
  6. 6. Clinical Applications • Herbalists treat many conditions such as: • asthma, eczema, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine, menopausal symptoms, chronic fatigue, and irritable bowel syndrome, among others. • Although herbal preparations are best taken under the guidance of a trained professional, many patients self-medicate with herbals. Risks, Side Effects, Adverse Events • Although herbs, when properly prescribed, are generally thought to offer fewer risks than conventional medications, misidentification, mislabeling, self-prescribing, allergic reactions, undeclared additives, and contaminants increase the likelihood of adverse effects. • Other risks involve interactions between herbs and conventional medications, and herbal prescribing by unqualified practitioners. Most contraindications involve drug-herb interactions.
  7. 7. Session Description • • Basic 30mins. Many herbalists either treat patients through a private practice, or as part of a holistic medicine clinic. Typically they see patients to understand their ailments or health conditions, and determine the best treatment plans based on the patients’ needs. Herbalists work in the same manner as traditional physicians, beginning with patient consultations, working through the diagnosis, and providing an appropriate treatment plan. • Treatment: one-on-one healing sessions may include soul retrieval ceremonies, massage-therapy, herbal steams, healing remedies, plant brushings, aromatherapy and more. • Common Practices/Herbs: – – – – – – – • Analgeasics– cardamom, camphor, aloe vera, cloves, castor oil, devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) Anti-inflammatory—aloe vera, apple, alfalfa, chamomille, black seed oil (Nigella sativa) Antibacterials--cranberry, eucalyptus, lemon grass, kava-kava, sage (Salvia officinalis), tea-tree oil Hypertension—mistletoe tea, hibiscus tea, dandelion and billberry coffee Diabetes—cinnamon, green; black and white tea, aloe juice Cancer prevention—alfalfa, turmeric, dong quai root. Libido—damiana, ginkgo, goat weed Herbal teas & oils, capsules/powders, massage oils & balms, aromatherapy, tinctures, smokes. • ,+tinctures,+powders,+massage&sa=X&ei=rLe0UOuCPMeftAbL7IHYAQ&ved=0CFIQBSgA&biw=1366&bih=600
  8. 8. Training/Educational Requirements • Since this is a newer form of medicine, there are no set educational requirements. Herbalists often have a medical background, but this is not a prerequisite. The most important educational requirement for an herbalist is to keep up with current trends and healing properties of plants and herbs. • However, there official schools and certification programmes/studies widely available: These range from lower level certificates up to Degrees and Honours. • As well as on-line courses which offer basic guide to using herbs. Accreditation • Herbalist usually a have to sign up with an organizing body/society. Their accreditation can be based on where they studied/learned. • Guild/29. • European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA) • The National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH)-UK • The Canadian Herbalist's Association of BC • National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA) • The National Reference Centre for African Traditional Medicines (NRCATM)
  9. 9. Code of Ethics - SA • • • • • • • Everyone has a right to equality Traditional Health Practitioners and their patients may not unfairly be discriminated against on the following grounds; race, gender, sex, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief, culture, age, marital status, association, ethnicity among others Traditional healing should not experience any form of discrimination when compared with other health professions. Everyone has a right to human dignity Traditional Health Practitioners and their patients have to be treated with respect and dignity. Patients of THPs must not be subjected to any form of discrimination or unfair treatment. Everyone has freedom to associate Traditional Health Practitioners like all other individuals have a right and freedom to associate with an organisation / association of their choice without fear of intimidation. Everyone has a right to privacy Traditional Health Practitioners must respect their patients’ confidentiality and not disclose any medical information to third parties without their patients’ express consent and no one will have the right to search Traditional Medicine Clinics and have the right to seize their possession without a formal communication served. Every Traditional Health Practitioner has a right to Assembly, demonstrate, picket and petition Traditional Health Practitioners like other groups have a right to stage a peaceful picket, demonstration and submit a petition. Everyone has the right to freedom of religion, belief and opinion Traditional Health Practitioners and their patients may not be prevented from expressing or practising their beliefs, tradition and healing techniques, unless proven beyond reasonable doubt that such practice causes undue suffering or infringes on the human right of others. Everyone has the right to freedom of trade, occupation and profession
  10. 10. • • • • • • Traditional Health Practitioners like other health professionals must be free to practice their profession. Everyone has a right to Life Traditional Health Practitioners are always expected to preserve and respect their patients’ life, as an absolute right. Everyone has a right to fair labour practice No employer may dismiss an employee for presenting an accredited medical certificate from a Traditional Health Practitioner. Everyone has the right to have their environment protected Traditional Health Practitioners have a right to gather and prepare medicines however, in the process of doing that do not contribute to environmental degradation but natural resource. Everyone has a right access to health care services Everyone should be able to make use of adequate, accessible, safe and beneficial health care assistance of their choice without any intimidation. Everyone has a right to property Traditional Health Practitioners may not be forced or compelled by anyone to give information related to their indigenous knowledge. • Everyone has a right to Freedom of Expression All Traditional Health Practitioner’s including members of the THO to enjoy without fear of intimidation all rights as enshrined in the constitution of the Republic, in particular this right. THPs like any other profession have the right to speak out on anything that bothers them and their professional administration. No one has absolute right over freedom of expression, this mean the right to practice hate speech, sell wrong, misinformation news and ridicule members. Members have a right to speak out on poor service delivery, discrimination, hate, intolerances and any other forms of abuse exerted upon them by whether the private sector, civil society, state or institutions of the community and individuals.
  11. 11. Code of Ethics-National Herbalists Association of Australia • mid=76 Code of Ethics-The National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) – UK •
  12. 12. Case Example • Mr Blakeymore, the keen Herbalist • Mr Blakeymore suffers from severe aggressive Rheumatoid arthritis. For reasons which are not completely clear to you, he refuses treatment with NSAIDs (from normal medicine) and pins all his faith in herbal remedies which he obtains from a long standing friend. As far as you can see, this treatment is having no effect at all, and Mr Blakeymore is developing quite severe Rheumatoid deformities. • You feel very upset about his deterioration, which you feel is due to the lack of “proper” treatment. Are you justified in trying to persuade Mr Blakeymore that his treatment is pointless?
  13. 13. NO ACTUAL DILEMMAS ??  • There aren’t any specific ethical dilemmas that could be identified in relation to using Herbalism as a form of treatment. The usual findings are that Herbalist must always maintain a truthful relationship, must never prescribe herbs as a single, basic or straightforward cure to any ailment. They must always give clear and prudent advice to their patients about the herb properties in contrast with normal Modern medicine. It must always be the patient’s decision. •
  14. 14. That’s All. Thank You.