The Herbal Possibilities

There are many ways to use herbs to enhance immunological vitality. Allthe diverse herbal traditions, with their unique cultural roots and expressions, have valuable insights into treatments and specific herbs. This should comeas no surprise after the ideas concerning the ecological nature of immunitydescribed above. Herbal medicine is ecological medicine. It is based onan ecological relationship that has evolved through geological time. Ofcourse, there will be remedies that directly address the ecological processof human immunity.

Phytotherapeutic immune system support is a good example of where traditional knowledge is being confirmed by modern pharmacology. A growing number of remedies are being shown have marked immunological effects in both the laboratory and the clinic. Some are stimulants to immunity but most can best be described as modulators, that is they enable the bodies natural responses to be more flexible in the face of disease. However, rather than focusing on the plant, we shall look at the whole treatment process. Looking for a plant immuno-stimulantis simply organic drug therapy, which is not the goal of the herbalist.

Before developing an approach that is based upon such ideas, it is worth considering current ideas from phytopharmacology. Much of the material is drawn from :

H. Wagner & A. Proksch (1985). Immunostimulatory Drugs of Fungi and Higher Plants.

in Economic and Medicinal Plant Research Vol.1, Academic Press, New York

R. Bomford (1988). Immunomodulators from Plants and Fungi.

Phytotherapy Research, Vol. 2, 4, 159-164

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Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

Explore Wellness in 2021