One of the things I am noticing as people come to the apothecary seeking herbal remedies is that people turn to herbal medicine when they are at their wits end, often when the traditional medical system has failed or wronged them in some way. The other thing I have come to realize is that many of the conditions clients are seeking to resolve are chronic, common, and sometimes very complex and multi-faceted. For example, recently a client was seeking methods for treating her toddler’s ear infection before proceeding with a doctor’s recommendation to have her child undergo surgery to put tubes in the child's ears.
Herbal medicine is different than traditional medicine in that it is “for the people”. Many of the best herbal treatments can be made at home in your own kitchen, especially as you get familiar with just a few herbs that can be used to address many different symptoms. Herbs are also affordable and support health equity. I want to continue the tradition of so many herbalists before me to share knowledge and empower others to make their own preparations, thereby liberating them as much as possible from dependence on the medical system for health and wellbeing.
Over the next few months, I am going to share examples of some of the cases that we have treated at the apothecary. One week I will describe the condition, the next I will describe the herbal remedy that we ended up with. Hopefully, some of you that read this, who also experience these conditions or similar symptoms can try your hand at making your own herbal medicine (or reach out to us for help) and play a larger role in your own healing.
With that, I will get on with the medicine show.
Case 1 - Client experiencing joint pain and severe fatigue.
Details: 47 year-old married woman is experiencing intermittent joint pain in the wrists, elbows, and knees. She has episodic severe fatigue with muscle weakness. She also reports thinning hair, and has a fine rash on her face, neck, and chest. She reports tightness in her hands. Client reports her stress level is a 7 out of 10. Her symptoms vary from episode to episode and last anywhere from three days to two weeks. She has visited the doctor who indicated she is having an autoimmune response and was prescribed prednisone for symptom management. Her primary goals are stress management, symptom management, and more energy. She would like to avoid taking any more prednisone and the daily ibuprofen she has been using for pain management.