Lifestyle

Whole Plant/Body Approach vs. Mechanistic Approach

Ancient alchemical and holistic herbal practices know that herbs are most
effective when used as ‘biological wholes’ and not merely vehicles for their
‘active ingredients.’ In contrast, a mechanistic view has grown since the 17th
and 18th centuries, largely due to Newtonian physics. In a mechanistic view, the
physician diagnoses an illness and administers drug protocols in an effort to
heal the symptom (and not necessarily the patient.) Herbs can be applied in
much the same way, solely according to their therapeutic properties and
chemical constituents. The ailment is separated from the individual, just as a
plant’s chemical compounds are separated from the whole living plant.

The mechanistic model is based on the illusion of isolation. It argues that one
aspect of a patient can be isolated and treated separately regardless of the
person’s other issues; or that an herb can be isolated irrespective of the rest of
the plant’s components. The result is that modern medicine treats diseases
separate from patients who experience them. In truth, we must treat the whole
person, just as we must consider the entire plant to benefit from its full healing
potential.

The body is an organic whole; all the parts are interconnected and dependent
on each other physiologically while influencing each other pathologically. In this
same way, the use of the whole herb brings greater healing power, capable of
balancing the body’s emotional, mental, and physical dimensions. We cannot
separate the mind, body, spirit, or social and environmental factors, from a
person’s health. Failure to account for the whole system can drive short-term
gains at the cost of damaging long-term health.

The Whole Body approach aims to move the entire system into homeostasis—a
balanced system functioning at optimum levels. This equilibrium is accomplished through the synergetic relationship of using full-spectrum and whole herbs, as nature designed them. In the simplest of terms: The whole body becomes illuminated by the energy of the whole plant.

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