What’s Science Got to Do With It?

upon a time, healing was considered an art. Healing was understood by
all to be a complex interaction between the patient, the healer, the
community of living people, the communities of the plants and animals
(and insects and rocks and fish), the communities of the non-living
people (such as ancestors, spirit guides, and archetypes) and that
mysterious movement known by so many names: Creator, God/dess, All High.

 The healing arts included a keen knowledge of human
behavior, a thorough knowledge of plants, a flair for the dramatic
arts, especially singing/chanting and costuming/body painting, and a
comprehensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. (If
you think these areas are not arts, look at the system used by
Traditional Chinese Practitioners which includes such “organs” as the
triple heater and a dozen different pulses.)


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Spirit and Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition

we enter the twenty-second century, herbal medicine is being integrated
into mainstream medicine in the United States. Or is it the other way
around? Are we in danger of adopting the limited, linear scientific
view of a practice that is also considered an art? Are we abandoning
the sense of delight that drew us to herbal medicine? Are we vulnerable
to needing to be validated from outside because we don’t value
ourselves highly enough?


In order to answer these questions, we will use the model of the
Three Traditions of Healing–Scientific, Heroic, and Wise Woman.
Knowing the differences between these three views allows us to become
informed consumers of health care, to repossess the power of our
health/wholeness/holiness in a new and uniquely functional manner, and
to maintain our dignity as herbalists in a world dominated by


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Using Herbs Simply and Safely

Are herbs “dilute forms of drugs” – and therefore dangerous? Or are they “natural” – and therefore safe? If you sell herbs, you probably hear these questions often. What is the “right” answer? It depends on the herb! These thoughts on herbs will help you explain to your customers (and yourself) how safe–or dangerous– any herb might be.

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