Holistic Health Practices/Part 19
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2008|
|Herbal medicine is the use of herbs and other plant products to allegedly help cure a wide variety of physical ailments, or the use of “spiritually potentized” herbs and plants for physical or psychic healing and/or other occult pursuits – as in the Bach Flower Remedies, Vita Florum, aromatherapy, and similar practices.|
New Age herbal medicine includes such things as botanotherapy, phytotherapy, aromatherapy, vegotherapy.
Herbal medicine is the use of herbs and other plant products to allegedly help cure a wide variety of physical ailments, or the use of “spiritually potentized” herbs and plants for physical or psychic healing and/or other occult pursuits – as in the Bach Flower Remedies, Vita Florum, aromatherapy, and similar practices. Particular herbs, plants, or flowers are believed to possess physical or spiritual healing properties. Roots, leaves, stems, plants, seeds, etc., are prepared in various ways, sometimes through psychic methods, and either consumed orally as medicine or used on the skin as ointment.
Some herbs and plants do contain medicinal properties and in extracted or synthetic forms are used in modern health care and medical treatment. The scientific discipline known as pharmacognosy is a legitimate and important field, but extensive scientific research is required to separate the wheat from the chaff. Unfortunately, New Age herbalism largely ignores scientific concerns and pursues its own methods and interests.
For example, New Age herbal medicine may incorporate practices such as developing altered states of consciousness and spirit contact through use of hallucinogenic plants (as in many forms of shamanism) or practicing psychic healing through regulating a supposed occult power latent within plants and herbs.
New Age herbal medicine is largely, if not exclusively, a combination of questionable commercialism and wishful thinking based on ignorance (cf. V.E. Tyler, The Honest Herbal). Many commonly sold herbal remedies, even some herbal teas, are potentially harmful by themselves or through allergic reactions or synergism. Some remedies contain plant products that are carcinogenic and others are labeled or found to be contaminated with insect parts. Further, using ineffective or dangerous treatments may delay or otherwise acerbate serious illness, and one may also encounter other occult influences through New Age herbalism.