Why do YOU post on the Herbalism Forum?

tasymoJuly 15, 2008

First of all let me say that I do not want this to be a contentious thread. I feel that maybe, if some of us were more aware of where our fellow posters are coming from, things might not get quite so frustrating.

My intense interest in Herbalism comes directly from my Ancestors. My Maternal Great Grandmother raised medicinal Herbs that she sold to the local Doctors and Mid-wives. Ginseng was one of her mainstays. She was a fascinating Woman with many interests that I share. My greatest wish is that I could have known Her. The best I can do is learn as much about what she did and knew as I can. Does that make sense?

I grow a wide variety of Herbs in my yard, and am especially fond of my Medicinal Herbs. I grow Foxglove because I love knowing what a valuable contribution it has made to Medicine, and because it is a beautiful flower. I do NOT make my own heart medicine from it! I also have Comfrey, which I DO use, though sparingly and never internally.

My point is, Herbalism is fascinating and complex subject that I want to learn more about. Talking to the Folks on this forum is a good way to do that, BUT the constant road blocks and negative statements about Herbalism that I run into, make it very difficult.

So tell me! Why do YOU post on the Herbalism Forum?

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oakleif(z6 AR)

A good question to think about for me. I want to learn more about medicinal herbs. I've been fascinated about the ancient and archeological history of mankind, which always includes foods, medicines,folklore.
I remember some years back an ancient skeleton was found in a cave. The man had been badly crippled with arthritis and had a badly injured arm that had healed years before he died. He'd been well taken care of and was an important man, probably a healer.I would have liked to have known this man. I wonder, What did they know of medicine? herbs? Man is born with a curious mind. Thats what we do. we investigate, we try things that are different, We search for answers.We could'nt be any other way if we tried.It's genetic. it's what makes us man. What sets us apart.So i wanted to know about herbs.

i grew up being a part of farming. Growing things were second nature,even in apartments i at least had a container plant. So when i retired up here with 30 acres on top of a mountain, i grew culinary herbs along with veggies and flowers.
The time has come i want to know more about the more complicated herbs. I want to know the history,the botany, the chemistry,What ever else i can learn as well as the use. That is why i post here and to share any knowledge i might pick up along the way.

My main love has always been astronomy and theoretical physics, and recently math. To me all sciences are interrelated. In another age i would have been known as a naturalist.Gardening keeps me down to earth,so to speak.

taseymo, It makes perfect sense to want to know about your great grandmother. She is a part of you. You carry her genes.

I grow a lot of herbs too. There is ginsing in the valley below us but it's fast disapearing so i use to go and look. Now i just think about it.
I've comfrey all over my big herbal wild field and i use it for compresses once in a blue moon.and i've grown foxglove as a flower. It's a popular flower.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:08AM
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I post here to take part in discussions on interesting subjects, and to learn more about what remedies people are pursuing and what new developments are occurring.

I grow herbs in my garden and find them and their history fascinating. The evolution of some herbal treatments from folklore to respected medicines is also an enjoyable subject, along with the development of new plant-based drugs.

Herbalism has, through the efforts of many people including ethnobotanists, herbalists like Stephen Foster and researchers, developed greater respectability and more interest for people who in the past would never have trusted herbal products. It unfortunately still retains an attraction for scam artists and other unscrupulous sellers who tout ineffective or dangerous remedies. This ties into my interest in various forms of medical quackery. I'm also interested in protecting rare or threatened species of plants from exploitation, which unfortunately affects some commonly sold herbs.

So that's where I'm coming from. In my area of practice (pathology) I don't prescribe drugs or profit from their sale. I do have a strong interest in encouraging people to inform themselves on the best care options for life-threatening illnesses, which typically do not involve relying solely on herbs.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:22AM
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Thank you, Oakleif and Eric oh, for responding. Yours are just the type of responses I was hoping for. I think we all have alot more in common than we realize.

Oakleif, have you ever read the "Earth's Children" series by Jean Auel? They are fiction, but the author has done extensive research and the books are riveting (a little heavy on the love scenes, but then, sex sells...) Her first book, "Clan of the Cave Bear" was my favorite. The main character is a girl raised by the Healer of an ancient Clan. I'll bet you would enjoy it.

I hope to grow Ginseng, starting this Fall. My Sister has a wooded lot that appears to be perfect for raising Ginseng, Goldenseal and Cohosh. The seeds can take a year or more to germinate, and then 3 to 5 years before the Ginseng root can be harvested. I just have to give it a try! Don't worry Eric- I'll buy the seeds from a reputable dealer, probably Richters.
I'm not interested in buying magical herbal cures off the internet, or peddling my home grown stuff either. I grow my Herbs because I love everything about them and want to learn as much as I can about them.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 6:18PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

Tazymo, Jean Aul,s books are my favorite fictions. I've reread them again and again. The skeleton found that i described above is the one she used for her character Creb. I recognized him as soon as i read the book, later it was verified by Ms Aul. She researched everything for her book exhaustively and it showed. My favorite was Valley of The Horses. It also had the most herbal information.

Gensing is tricky to grow, i learned the hardway. It insists on having the exact right conditions. Deep shade, not too damp and not too dry. I did see some growing in the Blue Ridge mnts once, that seemed totally out of character tho, so who knows. Good luck.

I wish we could get daisyduckworth back on this forum. She was so knowledgeable about herbalism. She's studied herbalism for years and years and wrote 2 or 3 books on the subject. I may post for finding her on a couple of forums.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 8:05PM
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Oakleif, somehow I KNEW you read Auel's books!

I agree, Daisy is wonderful source of knowledge and so generous with it. It's really too bad she doesn't post over here, but at least we can still find her on the Herb forum. I'll keep you updated on my progress with my Ginseng plot, though it will be awhile before I know if it'll grow. I have a really good feeling about it though...

Have you ever made a Comfrey ointment or salve? That is another project I'd like to try. I'm thinking of a Comfrey and Calendula combo, since I have plenty of both in my Garden.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 10:11PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

People who push bad science often bust into science forums and shout out their claims and disrupt things, I just figured I'd stop in and check to make sure every one here was using logic and reason before recommending health care measures.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 10:55PM
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I have also appreciated having daisyduckworth's contributions here. She's had a lot of good advice on herbal therapies, including when to self-treat and when to see a professional. We haven't agreed on everything, but our exchanges have always been civil and pleasant.

brendan, good to have you on board.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 1:01AM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

eric, at least own up to your bad behavior. I read some of your old statements to daisy.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 4:19AM
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Brendan- tell us more about your experience with Herbs?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 6:27AM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

My apologies. That was a very rude thing for me to do on this thread. Thanks tazymo.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 7:43PM
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Maybe Brendan doesn't use Herbs, or grow them? Was he saying Herbalism is "bad Science"? Perhaps We'll never know...

Oakleif, you remind me of my Mother in Law. She never hesitates to speak her mind, or to own up to a mistake. She also has a heart of gold.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 8:36PM
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First, I'd like to say Thank You for the compliments!

Second, in answer to the original question, I used to enjoy coming in here because like others, I like to share my knowledge, and often learn, too. I've always found herbs fascinating, and there's always something new to learn.

Third, one of the reasons I stopped posting here was because of the bias in attitude of some contributors. While it IS a herbalism forum, there are very few here who are qualified to give treatment advice. I found this to be of great concern.

Anyone who has read any of my posts will know that I am an advocate of herbal medicine. They will also have realised that I do not hesitate to recommend seeking more conventional medical help in serious, or chronic, cases. I believe that there should be a balanced approach, and to be fiercely blinded to one or the other form of treatment is downright dangerous.

I found the bias towards alternative medicine here to be a little TOO strong. To me, it is as if some people have completely shut their minds to the fact that herbal medicine is not always the magic wand they want it to be. There are several reasons for this - herbal medicine is not an exact science when it comes to dosages; it usually takes longer for results to show; some conditions are so serious or life-threatening that herbal medicine just won't do the job required; and worst of all (to my way of thinking) there is an immense risk in using herbs for conditions which are self-diagnosed. Sadly, many herbalists are able to prescribe a particular herb for a particular condition, but they are lacking in the ability to diagnose in the first place.

That is why I advise people to take advantage of practitioners on both sides of the fence. Get your diagnosis, then get informed about the alternatives you have, then make an informed choice.

In answering specific questions, I can (often) say that X herb is good for X condition. I cannot tell you for sure if you have X condition, or something else. I cannot tell you the correct dosage for YOU (though I can (often) tell you the usual dosage for Mr or Mrs Average). I will, whenever relevant, mention that herbs have a down-side as well as an up-side. Some people object to that, demanding that we only tell them what they want to hear - the good side. Some people also object to the very idea of conventional treatments - where, in my view, conventional and herbal treatments can go very well hand-in-hand.

I still browse through here from time to time. I haven't replied to questions recently because I'm rather too wrapped up in my own health problems (I've been ill for about 18 months with only one end in sight) to be concerned about the health problems of others. Call that selfish if you will, but that's how it is. It doesn't stop me talking about herbs in general over on the Herbs Forum.

Meantime, I urge all participants in this Herbalism Forum to keep an open, balanced mind, and to be courteous to each other and respecting of views other than their own. Remember, too, that some people come in here in desperation, looking for a miracle. Be gentle with them.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 4:35AM
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Hello Daisyduckworth! It's really good to hear from you. There seem to be only a handful of Folks posting over here of late. Your input, as always, is welcome and valuable!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Daisy, thanks for your input.

All the best to you, and I hope you're feeling better soon.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 11:51AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Tasymo I actually have done some bioprospecting, colecting wild herbs and sending them off to be tested for various effects, and I have been keenly interested in the synthetic chemistry involved in making compound found in rare forms of life that have a potential medical benefit so as to avoid the over harvest and extinction of those plants and corals. I am a big coral buff as it turns out and the marine environment has vast potential to contain medicinally important compounds. I also grow herbs for cooking purposes, because herbs are delicious, and eat a great deal of cinnamon because adult onset diabetes runs in my mothers family.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 4:38PM
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I am here for purely selfish reasons, I have cancer and am exploring alternative cures.

I have never grown much in my life but I've decide to start a greenhouse and grow what I think may be good medicine. And my wife and I would like to grow our own vegetable when applicable.

I have just started to explore the many cures/treatments brought to our attention by our Indian ancestors.

I am open for suggestions, always.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 5:24PM
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Hello Patriotsniper-
I'm sorry to hear thay you are fighting cancer. Please do include veggies in your garden/greenhouse! There is nothing but good to be had from fresh vegetables grown without pesticides! There is also a certain amount of healing to be had simply by living close to the Earth. Good luck to both you and your Wife.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 6:57PM
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thanks tasymo, I have the MOST POSITIVE attitude of anyone with cancer my friend told me and that is part of the battle.

I'll probably die helping fight in the next revolution (which is coming) to restore the Constitution and Bill Of Rights before the cancer gets me. :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 7:58PM
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