Well, The HerbSmith website has been up and running for a few weeks now, which means a proper welcome is way overdue. So: welcome to www.herbsmith.uk, my (Adam Smith's) electronic window on the world and one of my primary means of getting the word out about what I do.
And what is that, I hear you ask breathlessly? The brief answer, as the page banner above says, is 'herbal medicine' – which is an incomplete reply that raises many questions of its own. What is herbal medicine, for instance? Is herbal medicine different from mainstream medicine, and if so, how? Why should I even consider seeing an herbalist for my health issues, rather than my GP? All perfectly rational queries, and ones that I'll try my best to answer in future posts.
What does an herbalist do?
As an herbalist, I use the healing powers of the amazing plants that grow all around us to restore a state of health. Since their histories are entwined with our own through centuries and millennia, plants have evolved to be humanity's perfect medicine. Gentle yet powerful, effective and virtually free of side effects if used appropriately, herbs and herbal medicine have been unfairly relegated to a supporting role in 21st century medicine, particularly in the Western world.
As a naturopath, I use the healing power of nature - vis medicatrix naturae - to gently bring the unbalanced body back into a state of health. This basically translates as helping people to get out of their own way! The body's natural state is one of glowing, vital health, to which it will return if blockages are removed.
Perhaps the deepest beauty of herbal medicine, though, is its infinite adaptability. By selecting different herbs, by changing the doses of herbs in a mixture and by preparing the herbs in different ways, the herbalist can create an herbal remedy for everyone. This is why you'll always hear herbalists say that they treat the individual, not the condition. In other words, John's eczema may be very different to Jill's, and may require a very different approach to treatment.
I am no different to other herbalists on this. I'm passionate that this underlying philosophy of herbal medicine is the right one.
Treating the individual - not the condition
Natural healthcare for the win!
I'm equally passionate that natural healthcare more widely not only works, but is also safe, rational and cost effective. Creaking and groaning alarmingly, Western-style healthcare systems are beginning to collapse under the weight of too many sickly people and expensive medications. A widespread move toward natural medicine and healthcare systems based on prevention, rather than expensive and often fruitless and damaging treatment, becomes more of a no-brainer every day. To me, at least!
Herbal medicine on the Surrey, West Sussex and Kent borders
But until politicians get with the programme and begin to see the world the way I do, I can try to make difference in a small way, by offering my services as an herbalist to the public. I believe that herbalists should be educators, so please sign up on the right to my mailing list to keep up-to-date with what's going on here! I'll be posting here regularly from now on, and frequently in the next few weeks: lots of health-related information, recipes, waffling about herbs and ranting about this and that. It would be wonderful to have you along for the ride!
An irregular blog
I'm Adam Smith, a Herbalist and Naturopath practising in the Surrey/West Sussex/Kent border area. Although I hope it will change, I don't currently post here regularly.