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Herbal Medicine is the original medicine. In the modern context, in the West, herbs are used as part of a holistic healthcare model, where the patient and not the disease is treated, using natural medicines. The aim of treatment is always to work with the body's own defences to work towards a cure or long term management of many conditions and common maladies.
Western herbal medicine is characterised by a person-centred approach, where the patient rather than the disease is the focus of the practitioner's attention.
is assessed through a thorough case history, taking account of family history, personal health history and lifestyle choices.
is directed at the causes, not just the presenting symptoms. Treating the body as a whole involves working not only with the physical, but also the mental and emotional aspects.
uses the information obtained during the taking of the case history to make an assessment of the vitality and constitution of the patient. The choice of herbs in the prescription is based on this assessment.
rather than being based simply on the diagnosis of a disease or condition, is determined by an understanding of the significance of the signs and symptoms in that individual. Prescriptions may vary substantially between individual patients apparently presenting with a similar condition.
is commonly backed up by appropriate advice on lifestyle, particularly nutrition, and the practitioner works at all times to create a positive ambience of mutual trust in the therapeutic relationship.