Reply To: History of Herbalism

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Clara Harmssen

History of Herbalism

1 – Do you remember using or do you still use any traditional remedies?
I am starting to learn more about Chinese Medicine now through my old roommate. His strength is mainly in the field of Qi Gong and Massage rather than Herbology. I have sometimes received some treatments where he has also used the methods of guasha and cupping.
Once I was at the chiropractor. A fascinating experience. It was the first time realising the power of holistic medicine.
At home I have a creme lying around which is coming from Homeopathy (Traumeel), which I often use for my ankle which I have twisted a lot in the past. It has helped me a lot already.

2 – Note down a few herbs which you see for sale locally (therapeutic herbs).
I have never really looked into this very much, but will have to keep my eyes open.

3 – Briefly describe what you understand the Doctrine of Signatures to mean.
The Doctrine of Signatures is the medical practice from the time of Dioscorides and Galen that believes that plants that look like a specific part of the body are also beneficial for it. I find this fascinating and an interesting belief. It would make it a lot easier to know which herb is good for which part of the body if this was really the case. Unfortunately it has also led to a lot of illness and death. We did gain a few herbs out of this practice as well, like the mild beneficial use of Lungwort for lung diseases, but there are other herbs that show more efficiency for the lungs.