What's Eclectic Herbalism? - Duke's Materia Tonica
Eclectic herbalism was a part of the now defunct American-based branch of allopathic medicine known as eclectic medicine which used both healing-based medicines to support health, wellness, and well-being and also the diagnoses of diseases for treatment. Eclectic herbalism advanced the scientific understanding of how unique constituents work within medicinal remedies.
Eclectic Medicine Incorporated Medicinal Herbs
Eclectic herbalism began when many physicians in the mid-1800's used medicinal herbs as part of their medical practice because they were displeased with the application of dangerous, sometimes deadly, mercury based drugs and bloodletting to treat diseases and sought other therapeutic ways to treat disease.
Eclectic Herbalism Comes from Native American Herbalism
The eclectic physicians studied the practice of American doctor and herbalist Samuel Thompson. Samuel Thompson created a system of herbalism called Thompsonian herbalism from the use of herbal remedies in North American Native American herbalism.
Theoretical Herbal Medicine was Created by the Eclectics
Eclectic herbalism advanced research into theoretical herbal medicine by learning to identify the biochemical constituents of medicinal herbs for healing, sometimes making drugs to treat disease. Eclectic physicians integrated herbal-based drug disease therapies for greater effectiveness than the mercury and bloodletting methods.
Quackery Brought About The End of Eclectic Medicine
Unfortunately, eclectic medicine came to an end for a few reasons. Public scare of drugs increased around 1900 when allopathic doctors were causing too much harm by freely distributing unsafe drugs, creating untested and ineffective drugs, and making overzealous miracle claims of drugs, while also making fraudulent quackery claims that food, medicinal herbs, and dietary supplements worked like drugs.
Private Interests Take Hold of Allopathic Medicine
Additionally, through private business interest funding, the Flexner Report of 1910 was implemented by the the American Medical Association (AMA) as a method to selectively accredit and fund the chosen schools of private business interest and the AMA together, while not accrediting other medical schools which included eclectic medicine.
Allopathic Medicine Becomes Government Regulated
Altogether, the need to protect public health from allopathic quackery along with the private business interests funding petroleum based drug makers, legislative law was created to put drugs under government regulation. Foods, medicinal remedies and dietary supplements are no longer a part of allopathic medicine with the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 and it's numerous amendments. The last medically based eclectic school closed in 1939.
Eclectic Herbology Contributions
Eclectic medicine has lost disease treatment practice and eclectic herbalism is all that survives since 1939 to now only support healing, health, wellness, and well-being by a limited scope of dedicated people.
Eclectic herbalism advances the understanding of many herbal remedies to the forefront of herbology, especially cayenne pepper, lobelia and bayberry.