I include 12 body system and herbal energetics tags in my posts, found near the bottom. (Other tags are explained here.) I’m mostly keeping the herbal medicine part of the Wild Plant series at a beginner level herbalism and simples (one herb concoctions). But the tags included with every plant are entry points to delve further into herbals.
It should also be noted that I am not including every imaginable tag for every herb. I’ll be trying to maintain an emphasis on the most traditional, and especially modern and common applications of any given herb. And for some of these “cure-all” plants, a complete historical list would be utterly overwhelming and full of placebo.
Below these basic explanations, I’ll include the best resources I can find for further learning, and we’ll also post a page regarding the top recommended herbalist schools in the near future.
12 Body Systems
(12 SYSTEMS) Cardiovascular, Digestive, Endocrine, Integumentary, Immune, Lymphatic, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive, Respiratory, Skeletal, Urinary
Cardiovascular: includes the blood, heart, and vascular network
Digestive: includes the esophagus, gallbladder, intestines, liver, mouth, pancreas, salivary glands, and stomach
Endocrine: includes the adrenals, ovaries, pineal, pituitary, testes, and thyroid glands
Integumentary: includes hair, nails, and skin
Immune: includes the adenoids, leukocytes, spleen, thymus
Lymphatic: includes lymph, lymph nodes, and lymph vessels
Muscular: includes cardiac muscles, skeletal muscles, and smooth muscles
Nervous: includes the brain, nerves, sensory organs, and spinal cord
Reproductive: includes the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, vagina and vas deferens, and the penis, prostate, seminal vesicles, and testes
Respiratory: includes the bronchi, diaphragm, lungs, mouth, nose, and throat
Skeletal: includes bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons
Urinary: includes the bladder, kidneys, urethra,
Basic/Older Herbal Energetics
(ENERGETICS BASIC) Neutral and Neutral, Warm and Dry, Cooling, Cool and Dry, Cool and Moist, Cool and Neutral, etc. Dual Entergetics describes an herb that can be warm, cool, dry or moist.
These are also reflected in some of the advanced tags ex. astringent (drying) and mucilage (moistening). In various traditions these correspond to elements, directions, doshas, yin and yang. Learning about these can certainly be confusing at first! A book you may want to purchase for this is:
Advanced Herbal Energetics/Actions
(ENERGETICS ADVANCED) Adaptogen,
Here’s a breakdown of this list of herbal energetics by Rosalee de la Forêt: herbal-energetics.html. Almost every herbal medicine reference book has a breakdown of these terms.
More Action Tags
Added Lithotriptic, which refers to the breakdown of bladder stones. There will be extra tags like this, now and then. These also include Analgesic which refers to painkilling, Antipyretic which may dull fevers, and Antitussive, which is a cough suppressant. Emetic might induce vomiting. Emollient is soothing to the skin. Styptic helps stop bleeding.
A Quick Note
My hope for all is that we use medicine (herbal and otherwise) and a healthy lifestyle to prevent disease, and to help the body heal itself at first sign of trouble. And most of all to not reach the point where drugs on top of drugs or surgery are inevitable. Self diagnosis or ignoring problems entirely is dangerous. And I am anti- a closed mind toward either traditional medicine or mainstream medicine.
And the Usual Cautions:
1) Most medicinal herbs, if edible, are meant to be eaten in moderation, even sparingly. Some require extra preparation.
2) People can be allergic or sensitive to nearly any plant; try new herbs one at a time at your own risk.
3) For medicinal use, I must recommend receiving a diagnosis and working with a reputed health care provider. I generally do not post specific treatments and dosages because I think that is best between you and your health care provider, and ideally monitored. Herbalists do not have an official certification yet, but that may be in the works.
4) Anyone pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs should talk to a health care professional before adding new food items to their diet.
5) Many plants have look-a-likes, and sometimes they are poisonous.
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