this section, seven Boston-area herbalists discuss their approaches
to finding and correcting imbalances in the body’s energy, using herbs
(including homeopathic remedies and essential oils), muscle
in some cases, iridology.
Chinese have a take on health that you don’t find in American
medicine. We tend to be more focus-approached. ... For the
Chinese, there’s no one isolated system." Elisa Adams
there were drugs, there were herbs. Herbs contain the necessary trace
elements to help keep the body balanced, and because herbs are foods, the
body absorbs them more readily.
are just foods — no more, no less — that have been noted over
centuries of time for having certain effects.” Bill
always seeks a balance. The fundamental flaw with the pharmaceutical
approach to health is that drugs can help balance the body one way, to
relieve a particular problem, but they unbalance it in other ways.
Sometimes these show up as side effects; other times, we don’t perceive
don’t argue with the designer. I don’t replace body functions. I
enhance your ability to heal by supplying you what you need."
several of the herbalists point out, illness typically arises for three
reasons: nutritional deficiencies, toxic overload, or stress. Nutritional
deficiencies are common now, because of the refined, chemicalized,
artificial foods in many people’s diets and the depleted soil in which
much of our food is grown. Toxic overload is common, both from the
environment and from the adulteration of the food supply. Stress is a
frequent result of the fast pace of modern life.
don’t look at diseases — I look at where the deficiencies are, how we
can help the elimination organs work better, and what we can give the body
to help it with the stress."
whole-food diet helps us stay balanced but is often not enough. Herbs
can help keep us healthy by supplementing dietary deficiencies, promoting the discharge of toxins,
and providing support during stress.
weak-constitution person can actually have a stronger constitution
if they apply the correct methodologies of healing themselves and
providing nutrients for their children.” Cheryl Kelly
finding the correct herbs or combination of herbs we need, and the correct
amounts, can be a challenge. It’s easy to spend a lot of time and money
on herbs without any improvement in health. Everyone’s needs are
different. Moreover, not all herbs are equivalent in quality. The
herbalists interviewed here use muscle testing (and, in some cases,
iridology) as an effective way of determining a person’s needs for a
successful herbal program.
people come in and they have questions about products, I say,
‘Let’s just do some muscle testing.’ I can’t tell you the
response we’ve been getting lately, because it works so well.” Joan
of people just know it works—they don’t understand why and how,
but they want you to do it anyway, because they’ve always had good