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The last t wo option s are often given to
people who simply will not take the herb in
liquid form due to strong or unpleasant taste
and those who can’t c onsume any alcohol.
However, tablet form is not as efficient as a
fluid extract. If a pers on’s digestive sy stem is not
working efficiently for any reason the actives
in the tablet may not be fully absorbed and
assimilated. Fluid is always the better option.
Infusions are very mild and may
be rec ommended to support the entire
health program the practitioner has put
together for you.
Decoctions can be quite strong,smelly and
unpleasant to taste but they are commonly
administered if you visit a TCM practitioner.
They also issue small herbal pills.
Tinctures are not as strong as fluid
extracts but they are very effective at helping
resolve m any physiologic al imbalance s.
Many ret ail product s consist of tinct ures.
However, fluid extracts are what Western
herbal medicine practitioners will use. They
are strong, potent and ver y effective. T hey
are quite safe when used in trained hands and
are the preferred option.
Some one who is not a trained herbalist
not dabble with potent herbs and mix
them, especially if you are taking any
pharmac eutical medications. All fluid
extracts are manufactured in Austra lia
unless, of course, the practitioners sourc e
any products from overseas. We can be
a ssured of top quality standards in both
col lection and the entire manufa cturing
process. Extensive qu ality control is put
in place a nd no source material is used if
there is a ny contamination. Usually, local
products are the best quality.
Why take herbs instead of
Herbs are healthier for you and do not create
any side effects if you have received them
from a trained practitioner.
In some cases, herbs can be administered
when you are on some pharmaceutical drugs
but care must be taken with any drugs that
are working with your ner vous system or
brain. These include anti depressants and
tranquillisers. In the case of drugs taken for
blood pressure and cardiovascular disease,
you’ll also need to consult a qualified
practitioner who can assess you and
recommend which herb is right for you.
Herbs are metabolised easily by the body,
especially the liver, unlike pharmaceutical
drugs which interfere with digestion and
liver function, creating toxicity and stress
on many organs. The entire physiology is
affected by pharmaceutical drugs. Even one
tiny drop can create a systemic reaction. I
know this from personal experience!
However, herbs are natural so it makes
more sense to consider them for your health
and wellness due to their affinity with the
Herbs have the ability to work on the root
cause of the problem, rather than just treat
you symptomatically as many pharmaceutical
drugs do. Some medical practitioners may
recommend a fe w common herbs to people
but they are really only offering symptomatic
relief through one herb rather than drawing
upon therapeutic activities of the correct
herbs and formulations.
Most pharm aceutical drugs have evolved
through the powerful active constituents in
herbs, something that surprises m any people.
This is where medicine began – through
nat ure. However, there are no great profits to
gain by using active constituents from herbs
a lone. Pharmac eutical companies rea lised
this so, over time, as technology and scientific
testing became more sophisticated, synthetic
Genesis 1:29: And God said, Behold, I have
given yo u every herb bearing seed , w hich [is]
upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in
which [is] the f ruit of a tree yielding seed ; to you
it shall be fo r meat.
a ny of you have some awarene ss
of herbal medicine. T here are
hundred s of products available
in a variety of formulas in
health food stores and pharmacies. However,
most of these are generalised and many other
herbs are not available through retailers
since they require qualified practitioners to
formulate and dispense them . No doctor
or surgeon will know how to do this and
unfortunately it is this lack of knowledge that
often initiates their suspicion and disbelief in
the effectiveness of herbal medicine.
Types of herbal medicine
• Traditional Western herbal
• Traditional Chinese
herbal medicine (TCM)
• Traditional Ayur vedic herbal
There are many other c ultures which have
their traditional ways of using herbs but
these three philosophies are the best known
in our society.
How are herbs taken?
• Infusions such as in teas. Chamomile and
peppermint tea are good examples.
• Decoctions such as in TCM where you
boil a quantity of water and place the
twigs/leaves and plant parts in the water
for a given period of time, strain then
drink in accordance with instructions
given to you.
• Tinctures. Here, the herb is macerated in
water and alcohol (known as menstrum)
then pressed to extract the active
components of the plant.
• Fluid Extracts which are the most potent
form of herbs m anufact ured. The herb
is m acerated a s above for longer before
extraction of actives via pressing. The
fluid extract is often 1 part herb to 1 part
menstrum (quoted as 1:1), with variations
1:2, 1:5 and 1:10.
• Capsule which is 100% powdered herb.
• Tablet which c ontains powdered herb
often with some filler.
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‘Herbs are metabolised
easily by the body,
especially the liver, unlike
Herbs, Nature’s Healers
Naturopath Lyn Craven takes up the baton for one of the
most traditional and powerful forms of healing – but one
increasingly demonised in the West – herbal medicine.
Continued Page 21
drugs were manufactured with the same or
similar molecule structure to the original
plant source. This is where side effect s occ ur.
Nature, in her cleverness, has evolved a wide
array of plants for healing many disorders.
When the most powerful actives are removed
from plants to create pharmaceutical drugs,
other plant constituents were discarded. This
is where imbalance arises.
Let’s take the example of aspirin. It
is created by extracting the most potent
c on stituent from plants like Meadow sweet
and Willow Bark, ca lled salicylate. However,
a mucilaginous substance within these plants
and tannins counteracts the irritant action
of salicylate, t hereby enabling someone to
ingest this remedy (the herb as a whole), over
a period of time without any side effects.
When aspirin is ingested continually, it can
irritate the stomach lining and contribute to
bleeding. Both plants also contain tannins,
which have an a stringent action on the gut
mucosa, generating toning and healing
activity to the cells at a deep level. A spirin
a lso interferes with normal digestive acid
a nd enzyme f unction, unlike the whole
‘Most pharmaceutical drugs
have evolved through the
power ful active constituents
in herbs, something that
surprises many people.’
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