Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Art of Healing with Herbal Plants

Study of herbal plants is not something one can master at once. Whenever there is time at one's disposal, one can set oneself the pleasant task of studying plants, one by one at a time. Then you will be well prepared to meet an emergency when it comes.

In this way, you will learn to recognize them when you see them growing wild, and you will begin to acquire an intimate knowledge of herbs. You will learn to grow them in your garden. You will not miss the right time to gather them, and you will build up for yourself that natural pharmacy which will be very useful to you.

Much patience is needed before you get the feel of the herbs and can predict the effect that a plant will have on a particular case. The plants that are all around us, e.g. garlic, onions, ferns etc., are so familiar that we cannot believe in their efficiency.

On the whole, people tend to have more faith in drugs that come from the farthest and most advanced regions, or those which cost the most money.

A good medicine is one that makes use of all the resources that nature and man's intelligence have put at our disposal. Nothing should be neglected.

The art of healing did not start in the 20th century. It has a long history, and at the same time we accept the progress of science. But to cure common ailments or in order to help in the treatment of serious illness, you can use herbs. To trust in nature does not mean that you must deprive yourself of the discoveries of modern science.

During the time of the Great Asoka, the Hindu Materia Medica contained about 700 herbs which were used by the vaidyas. They were mostly cultivated in the gardens allover the country. The time of collection, the parts used, the methods of curing, the reservation were well known.

Since the number of drugs commonly used in those days was not very large, no elaborate descriptions were given with their identification. The student of medicine used to live with his Guru in the Gurukulas, and received practical training in connection with the identification and proper time of collection.