Sunday, September 23, 2012

Herbs Past & Present # 7~Merging of Practices

There was a time ( before all the land battles ) when early pioneers and the Plains tribes shared much of their herbal lore/knowledge with each other.

One of the early and most popular was Samuel Thomson-founder of "Physiomedicalism."  Born in 1769 he learned his craft as a child from Widow Benton--" a root and herb doctor," who combined Native American skills with the traditional role of " herb wife."

Maintaining Balance....Central to the Physiomedicalism view was the belief that it is possible to strengthen the body's vital force by keeping both tissues and nervous state in balance. This was/is accomplished by sedating one and stimulating the other. ( chamomile was a popular sedative herb, while ginger was perfect for a stimulate.)

Eclecticism....Other "botanic" systems followed, among them the Eclectic school founded by Dr. Wooster Beech in 1830's.
Along with the herbal remedies and the Native American practices was the addition of a more orthodox medical technique, and the analysis of disease.
At it's peak this practice claimed more than 20,000 qualified practitioners in the United States and was serious rival to regular medicine.

* The challenge ended only in 1907 when , following a review of medical training schools, philanthropists Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller decided to give financial support solely to the orthodox medical schools. *

This was in truth the beginning of the separation/war between herbal and what we now know as Western medicine.

The Movement In Europe....Physiomedicalism was brought to Britain in 1838 by Dr.Albert Isaiah Coffin, who set up a similar system of patent remedies and do-it-yourself guides to diagnosis. Wooster Beech followed in the 1850's to preach his Eclectic message. The movement took hold and was popular until well into the 1930's.

In 1864 the various groups merged to form the National Association of Medical Herbalist. It continues to thrive today as the National Institute of Medical Herbalist--the oldest formalized body of specialist herbal practitioners in Europe.

Next...From Plants To Pills.

Bea Rigsby-Kunz

 Disclaimer....Any and all herbal articles from and by Sage Hill is offered totally as educational information only. We do not intend this information to be viewed as medicinal advice for any given treatment.
Sage Hill does not sell Medicinal products nor do we give Medicinal advice.


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