The Complete Home Guide to Herbs, Natural Healing, and Nutrition

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6 The Complete Home Guide to Herbs, Natural Healing, and Nutrition

are a qualifi ed medical doctor. Nevertheless, plant usage is very much
alive among the ordinary people in those countries, and I have had the
honor of learning a great deal from European herbalists, particularly
those of the older generation who used only the herbs found growing
around them, maybe fi fteen or twenty varieties in total, to treat a wide
range of diseases. Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and
Britain remain among the few nations in Europe where herbalism can be
practiced legally by practitioners.
In developing countries, by contrast, plants are still the main source of
medicine. According to the World Health Organization, as many as 80
percent of the world’s people rely for their primary health care on
traditional medicine, most types of which use remedies made from plants.
In fact, the use of traditional medicine in developing countries is
increasing. The reason is that populations are increasing, and
governments want to encourage indigenous forms of medicine rather
than rely on imported drugs.
In summer 2002, the British Department of Health discussed the
possibility and desire to integrate herbal practitioners into the National
Health Service — in other words, within its hospitals and the medical
community at large. It hopes to go ahead with this idea if and when
Statutory Self Regulation has been accomplished, perhaps by 2006.
Britain has been running many training courses in herbal medicine,
providing more qualifi ed practitioners as each year goes by. Additionally,
the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (the British
equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) is regulating over-
the-counter sales of herbal medicines to make sure that quality is
safeguarded. This is a European-led policy and it is hoped that a more
uniform approach throughout Europe will be the outcome, helping to
ensure that safety and quality are priorities. Certainly the new labeling will
allow greater information for the purchaser — from the product’s usage to
daily dose, adverse reactions, and so on.
Dr. Christopher’s style of herbalism is particularly suited to home use,
partly because he was always working outside the law and, therefore,
employed methods that could be safely used at home. His favorite saying
was, “There should be a herbalist in every home, a practitioner in every
town.” He often treated those who couldn’t afford medical insurance, and
used many revolutionary approaches for home health care and fi rst aid
that work simply, cheaply, and effi ciently. These methods were
subsequently upgraded by his apprentice, Dr. Schulze, to suit modern life
and its diseases. Much of the style of natural healing and herbalism
described in this book owes its origins to these two men. It has also been
infl uenced by the teachings of Dr. Shyam Singha, an Ayurvedic practitioner,
acupuncturist, osteo path, and natural healer with whom I also served an

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