Helping women reconnect with their body and achieve well-being

What is a functional herbalist?

When you consider working with an herbalist to improve your well-being, you might be confused by the number of different modalities. In writing this blog, I want to clarify what are the stepping stones of the herbalism I practice. In the past five years, I was trained as a functional clinical herbalist. It sounds like a long pompous name, but when it comes down to a couple of simple principles. 

Functional Herbalism is founded on the following:

  • Traditional Western Herbalism
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Functional Medicine

Holistic Approach to Health

Health is not the absence of disease but a complete harmony of the organism’s physical body, thoughts, feelings, and life full of meaning and joy. 

Functional clinical herbalist integrates all these faucets into their relationships with their clients. For example, a woman in her early 50s might come to me with an autoimmune disease condition, but during our conversation, I might find she is a new empty nester. She experiences the emptiness of her house as a hollow feeling in her gut. A meaningful part of her life is lost. As her herbalist, I will have a conversation with her about finding new meaningful ways to connect to people and share her gifts. 

functional herbalist

Preventative Gentle medicine

Functional clinical Herbalism is founded on the ethics and philosophy of ancient traditional medicines. In ancient medicine, the healing person was committed to preventing illness and applying the most gentle cure possible.

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the clients used to pay their practitioner as long as they were healthy. When they got sick, their healthcare practitioner had to pay them. What a wonderful system to provide the doctor the right incentive to keep his clients well.

In ancient Baghdad, health care was provided in the town’s market. To be qualified to practice medicine in the Baghdad market in 800 AD, you had to abide by the following rule;

“Any physician found to have given a strong herb when a mild herb would suffice, or a mild herb when a food would suffice, or a food when a lifestyle change would suffice will be disqualified from practicing in the marketplace.”

Client center herbalism

Functional herbalists recognize that each of us has a unique experience of our body, symptoms, and well-being.

The intake meeting can last 60 to 90 minutes (sometimes longer), including daily habits, sleep patterns, diet, and extensive medical history. The herbalist wants to know what keeps you up at night and what brings joy to your life. 

The herbalist will tailor your care plan to your unique body, lifestyle, and budget. After all, it is not helpful to ask a client to follow up with recommendations that will cause them to be stressed out.

As a functional herbalist, I don’t perceive myself as a healer but more as a guide. My goal is to help my clients find their way back to their bodies. The body’s innate ability to heal is the healing power; my role is to help the client utilize that power. 

Proof based Herbalism

Functional Herbalism combines the traditional wisdom of Western Herbalism with an up to date medical research. The herbalist is trained to read lab reports and is engaged in an ongoing study of the research relating to their practice. 

The root cause of disease

Root cause medicine

Functional herbalists will seek to find the root cause of the symptoms and apply health from the roots up. However, that does not mean a rigid approach that ignores the symptoms. For example, if a client comes with arthritis pain, you want to address the root cause of the pain while applying pain-relieving herbs that will allow them to relax and rest. 

Nobody got a gut inflammation because they have calendula deficiency.

Nobody get cancer because they have chemotherapy deficency.

So let’s get to the roots of the conditions.

The 4 root causes of all conditions are:

  • Mental and emotional stress
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Physical Trauma
  • Toxic exposure

Imbalances in the body are frequantly related to all four root causes; hence most care plans will address them all. 

Curious to learn more about how I can help you? 

Let’s Chat! 👇

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