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How do Herbs and Supplements Work?
If food is the original ancient medicine, and pharmaceuticals are the marvel of modern medicine, then herbs and supplements are somewhere in between. Herbalism is an ancient practice of deciphering which substances in our natural world can be helpful in aiding our own bodies to heal. They used observations of symptoms, flavors, energetics, observing animals in nature, and of course, trial and error to figure out which natural substances did what, and then they passed it down to their communities. Eventually, some knowledge was recorded and cataloged into language and we have the formal practice and teaching of “herbalism”.
Supplements started with components of herbalism. Chinese medicine documented the use of calcium carbonate found in shells and fossils or animal gelatin. But the explosion in the supplements we know today came along with the scientific and industrial revolutions as we increased our ability to isolate and synthesize specific compounds. There is cross-functioning between herbs and supplements. Both provide resources to the human body when food alone cannot suffice, usually during times of illness, injury, or the aging process. But nowadays, we can argue that stress and general food quality in our environment has broadened the uses and need for nutritive support.
Herbs and Supplements basically provide resources and support physiological functioning. Trained herbalists such as acupuncturists, Naturopathic Physicians, and other trained and Certified Herbalists use their knowledge to provide the best advice for how to use these tools for your specific condition.