Herbalism: our Cultural Heritage
The practice of herbalism is a time honored tradition that dates as far back as the paleolithic age. In fact, herbalism is more than part of our cultural heritage, it is part of human heritage. The use of plants for healing purposes can be found in some form in all eras and cultures, world wide from the ancient herbalists of Babylon, Hippocrates of Greece, the Druids of Britain, the Ayurvedic practitioners of India, the Physicians of Myddfai, the shamans of North and South America, Africa and Australia and founders of Traditional Chinese medicine, to Nicholas Culpepper, Margaret Grieve. and our modern herbal experts such as Rosemary Gladstar and Susun Weed. The list goes on and on. Herbalism is as old as human kind.
The traditional use of plants for healing purposes is almost lost in our western culture. Herbalism began making it's come back in the grass roots, "back to nature", counter culture of the 1960's. However, today, while we see a growing holistic health industry, we also see a tradition which has been robbed of it's soul. Divorced from nature, herbs are branded, bottled and sold as simply part of the "pop a pill and make it better" mentality of big buisness health industry. Herbalism is a sacred cultural tradition that has been stripped of spirit in the name of commercialism. Modern wise women such as Demetria Clarke, Rosemary Gladstar, and Susun Weed work to revive and reclaim the heart of herbism, mother nature herself.