Herbalism, also known as Phytotherapy, is the traditional medicinal practice of using herbs and plant extracts to promote good health. Herbal medicine is the oldest form of medicinal healing and has been used by all people for millennia. Throughout our evolution alongside plants, we have learned many different ways of working with them.
An Herbalist is a person who studies, collects and knows how to use plants, trees, resins, roots, flowers, foods and fungi to positively affect health.
Herbalists prefer to use remedies extracted from a part of, or from the whole plant with all its bio-chemical constituents, rather than extracts of individually isolated chemicals. The reason behind this, is that the phytocomplex of active principals in the plant, not only contains the main active principle to treat a given condition, but also contains other chemicals that attenuate the side effects of the first one, or/and that increase the bioavailability of the main active principle.
A common misconception about the use of herbs is that 'natural equals safe'. In reality the use of herbs can be dangerous - they are to be used with respect, in the right dosage and with careful consideration for possible medical interactions and negative side effects.
At Casa Nacura, my base in the SW of Portugal, I offer Workshops on Herbalism and Herbal preparations, as well as Walks for Herb Identification and Collection (medicinal and edible plants).
If you would like to participate in one of these amazing retreats or have any questions, feel free to get in touch and show your interest, so I can keep you updated on future dates.