What's Herbalism? - Duke's Materia Tonica

Herbalism Studies Herbs As Healing Medicine


Herbalism is the practical healing uses of herbs and other various foods for their medicinal and tonic properties to support the body's own healing capacity
. Herbalism is a method of herbology that combines classical hands-on study of medicinal remedies with the modern scientific research of herbal medicine.


Herbalism is Named After Herbs

Herbs are the most common medicinals within herbalism because of the large variety of available plant parts to use and study, such as flowers, twigs, stems, leaves, bark, roots, seeds, berries, fruits, but herbalism also includes spices, mushrooms, insects, animals and fermented foods.


The Science of Herbs

The main properties of medicinal herbal remedies are biochemically researched to identify how their various unique constituents work, not only by their essential nutrients, like vitamins and minerals.

Herbal medicine studies how herbs work to support, maintain and promote health, wellness, and well-being, including any specific glands, organs and tissues of the body.

  • Chamomile flowers contain azulene essential oils that calm the nerves, soothe minor irritation in the digestive track, maintain vascular tissue, and support digestion.

Herbs are Dietary Supplements 

Herbs And Spices Are Easy To Learn Medicine

Herbs Make the Diet Better

Medicinal herbs are used as dietary supplements which are best added as part of a complete meal within a balanced diet to make them work. Sometimes a remedy may be taken between meals or before bed.

  • Turmeric root can easily be added to any meal because it contains the antioxidant curcumin to promote liver function, support heart health, and relieve discomfort in the joints and muscles.

Herbs are Food

Medicinal herbs may be included in a recipe to increase the overall absorption of nutrition within a meal.

  • Chicken soup is a good nourishing meal that is also a medicinal remedy because it contains many culinary herbs and spices that heal the body, such as garlic, black pepper, oregano, and/or thyme, among any others used.

Herbs are Not Recreational Drugs

Contrarily, medicinal herbs used in herbal medicine are not to be confused with any kind of drug, including cannabis and psilocybin, since both medical and recreational drugs are not medicinal, in that any kind of drug does not work as a form of medicine to support, maintain, or promote health, wellness, or well-being.

For example: someone may wrongly confuse the intoxication of being 'high' from cannabis or the mental impairment of psilocybin as falsely promoting well-being.