Herbs are an extension of food. They are closely related. Some herbs, like nettles, are more nutritious than medicinal. Other herbs like gentian root, a bitter, is medicinal.
Herbal medicine does not need to be scary. While herbs do interact with drugs, there are rarely issues with dietary use of herbs. For checking herb-drug interactions I like to use the Natural Medicines Database through my IFM subscription.
There are simple ways to start incorporating herbs into your practice.
Start with your spice cabinet. Encourage the use of culinary herbs and spices in recipes and food prep. Culinary herbs were used for a variety of reasons, flavor, aroma and preventing food rancidity. Most of our culinary herbs have some common properties. These herbs tend to kill microbes, relieve gas and bloating, improve circulation. Examples include: ginger, thyme, cumin, rosemary, oregano, dill, fennel, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Encourage herbal teas. Most folks under hydrate and herbal tea provide a non caffeinated beverage that is more interesting than water. Tea companies have spent a lot of time and money to create some fabulous formulations. Take Traditional Medicinals Cup of Calm or Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer. These two formulations are a great addition to a stressful lifestyle or day for better sleep, less night time snacking, lower anxiety and nervous system health. Just the act of sitting down and drinking the tea is a moment of reflection and meditation that is vastly missing from modern life. A moment’s contemplation, what mild bitter-pleasure moves timidly within my tiny bowl of tea? ~James Green
Soups are like teas made with meats, beans and vegetables. In Chinese medicine, tonic herbs were often cooked into soups. Some of my favorite herbs to cook into soups include nettles, astragalus, reishi, maitake, shatavari, and shitake.
We know that you want to build your tool box as a nutritionist. We want you to build your herbal knowledge. Every clinical protocol we give you includes herbal medicine as well as nutrition. Watch the video to learn some of Rebecca’s favorite herbal remedies.