Herbology is the study of plants [herbs] and understanding how the use of plants, provided by nature, assists the body in restoring and enhancing health through their use in a variety of methods.  These methods can be culinary, used in cooking and to season our food; herbal teas; tinctures; supplements; cosmetics and on our body in the way of compresses and poultices.  Herbal medicine gives our bodies not only the nutrients and vitamins it needs, but also a variety of chemical constituents that react with different organs and organ systems to have a positive effect in healing the body and/or assisting the body in healing itself.

The practice of herbal medicine is several thousand years old.  The Summerians, a now dead civilization left written records of their medicinal uses on clay tablets which date approximately 6,000 years ago.  Records also exist for Egyptians, Chinese and Indian cultures during these same time periods.  Approximately 80% of the world uses alternative sources such as herbs and plants for their main source of medicine.

Today, over 40% of pharmaceutical and over the counter drugs originally came from herbal sources.  As an example, aspirin comes from an herb named “White willow bark.”  While western medicine or allopathic medicine such as we know today is a system that treats symptoms, as opposed to herbs and plants that treat underlying causes of an illness or disease and allows your body to heal itself.  Even though the usage of medicinal herbs is commonplace throughout the world in many countries and cultures, it is not considered main stream in the United States, nor is it generally accepted by our scientific community.  Many people are turning to herbal remedies to avoid the harmful side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and when they fall victim to the failure of modern medicine.

Before the 1920’s herbal remedies were used extensively in the United States, but since the creation of the AMA [American Medical Association], the knowledge and use of herbs has dramatically taken a back seat to what is now know as, “western or allopathic” medicine or the treatment of illness and disease by prescribed drugs based on symptoms.  In many countries such as Great Britain, France, Germany, China, and India, herbal remedies have always been available in local pharmacy and drug stores and are prescribed by Pharmacists and Doctors alike.

Believe me, I am not denouncing or bashing western or allopathic medicine, because I have seen modern medical miracles.  In 1997, my wife was the recipient of a gift of a kidney that was transplanted into her body and she is very healthy today because of the wonderful doctors, a modern hospital, pharmaceutical anti-rejection drugs and the gift of life from a dear friend.  If I were in an accident and had broken bones and trauma or a birth or genetic defect, I would want the best doctors at my side.  All I am saying is that there are other avenues to optimum health especially for illnesses and progressive disease, the use of herbs is a very important method to give our bodies what is needed to build an enhanced immune system and bring our various systems into balance, which will keep us healthy and keep sickness and health issues at bay.  Our bodies are an incredible created work and has the ability to heal itself if given the proper nourishment through herbs and other natural health opportunities.  This is what Cornerstone of Life and my Blog is all about, resources, ideas and life style changes.

In the near future we will have a “featured herb” section on a bi-weekly or monthly basis that will explain each herb, the benefits, nutritional value and how it reacts in your body.  STAY TUNED!!!

Dennis Shollenburg      “Sholly Sez !”