June 5, 2018 Catherine Hollingsworth, L.Ac.

Why Work with a Trained Herbalist?

The wonderful thing about herbal medicine is that it is affordable and accessible. Herbs are easy to find at health stores. And many people are able to choose herbs based on their symptoms and try them out. I love this! It puts self-care within reach for many people and ultimately my goal is to empower you to heal yourself and be healthy. So why do I recommend working with a trained herbalist?

It’s Not Just About Symptoms

To get the most out of herbal medicine, it is so valuable to consult with someone who has deep knowledge of herbs and their effects. There are thousands of herbs out there, and different preparations and dosages. A trained herbalist can help you choose from among these many options and will likely help you choose the product of highest potency and quality.

But more important is that herbs are not one-size-fits-all. Most herbs available in health stores will tell you they help a particular symptom. For example, bottle A treats headaches and bottle B helps with constipation. In many cases, yes, an herb has a predictable effect on the body and you will get the improvement you were looking for.

However, how many times have you bought a bottle of herbs thinking it sounded like the solution to your problem only to feel… nothing. Does this mean herbs aren’t that strong or don’t really work? Of course not! The problem is that the particular herb might not be a good fit for you in particular. Here’s where an herbalist can help.

Healing from the Root

In Chinese medicine, symptoms are seen not as something to be fixed or covered up. Symptoms are, instead, a valuable sign of an internal imbalance. The goal, then, is not to just make your symptoms go away.

An herbalist trained in the Chinese tradition can choose herbs that can heal more effectively because they address the internal imbalance that is causing your symptoms.

An example is headaches. To a Chinese herbalist, a headache is not just a headache. It is a sign that something is out of balance internally. So to treat a headache, he or she would first try to determine WHY you have a headache. And treating that cause (not the headache) would be the goal of your herbal formula.

You will have a much greater chance of success with herbs if you receive this kind of advice. So while it is great to be empowered to heal yourself, it’s so valuable to have guidance from a pro.

At Red Sage Acupuncture Center, I treat patients using both acupuncture and herbs. Acupuncture is excellent medicine for many problems of mind, body and spirit. And herbs help to support the acupuncture treatments. You can continue the process of healing at home with your daily doses of herbs.

I also am happy to treat patients just with herbs. With a proper diagnosis and dosage, herbs can be quite powerful!

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