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Throughout history plants have been the primary medicine used to treat physical and psychological illness. Many people are returning to nature as their primary healer, finding the approach of Western medicine often ineffective and expensive. Herbal medicine does not trade an aspirin for an herb tea; herbalism and naturopathy offer an integrated method with which to respond to sickness.
Using the plants that grow in one’s locality, a wide variety of healing medicines are available. These help rid the body of the toxins that are probably the cause of the disease (illness being defined as a state of imbalance), and also strengthen and tone the whole body. Western medicine often only treats the symptoms of sickness, responding to people as a set of either sick or healthy symptoms.
People who believe in naturopathic healing often follow the example of other animals who, when sick, don’t eat. This allows the body to rid itself of poisons; fasting is often accompanied by herbal teas, exercise and rest. The body, being an organism whose natural state is good health, will become well if given proper care.
Herbal medicines are usually milder, more restorative, and cheaper than synthetic chemicals. Plants usually have less side effect than pills; pharmaceutical preparations are frequently poisons while many effective plant medicines are also life-giving foods. Sickness, being a symptom of imbalance, becomes an opportunity to change an unhealthy life style. Following natural healing techniques a stronger being develops rather than one patched together with chemicals.