Herbs: Nature’s Natural Nutritional Supplements
by Steven Horne
My first herb teacher, Edward Milo Millet taught me that herbs are nature’s natural nutritional supplements. He believed that the healing properties of herbs didn’t just lie in their so-called “active constituents.” He maintained that they also supplied the body with specialized nutrition.
I believe Ed was absolutely right. Over and over again I see better results with whole herbs than I do with isolated vitamins and minerals and concentrated “active constituents.” It’s true that the isolated and concentrated stuff is more medicinal, but it isn’t more healing. There’s a difference.
Something that is medicinal will help to balance the body temporarily, but you’ll have to keep taking it to get it to work. Herbs have the ability to shift the body’s biochemistry so it returns to normal function and you no longer need the herb to stay well. That’s what healing is all about.
Let me give you just one practical example. Many times I’ve seen anemic people taking iron supplements and their blood levels of iron are not climbing. I’ve put them on herbs such as alfalfa, yellow dock, marshmallow and nettles and watched their blood iron levels normalize in just a few weeks. Yet, the herbs I’m giving them have a fraction of the iron found in an iron supplement.
This is because the body doesn’t assimilate nutrients in isolation. Even the simplest of foods contains thousands of chemical compounds. Are we smart enough to know what parts we need and what parts we don’t? I don’t think so.
All the subtle co-factors in a whole plant work together to restore normal function to the body. When nutrients and compounds are isolated, they appear to lose much of this healing power.
It goes deeper than this. Native people say that if you harvest an herb without asking permission from the plant to take it’s life, it’s body will help to heal your body. But, if you approach the plant and ask for it’s help, it will also help to heal your soul. I’ve literally found this to be true.
I believe we are too caught up in our “cleverness” at isolating and concentrating stuff we think is important, but over and over again we find that this approach results in unwanted side effects or other problems.
That’s why I like to use HSN-W, BON-C, Herbal CA and PLS II for healing tissues instead of calcium supplements. I use real lemon juice, rose hips and fresh fruits for Vitamin C. I use I-X and iron-rich herbs to build iron levels. I find this approach works better. Sometimes you have to take a lot of the herbs, but they seem to have a greater healing effect.
So, I encourage you to think of herbs like my teacher Ed Millet did. Don’t look at them as just medicine. Think of them as natural nutritional supplements, prepared by the master nutritionist and healer, the Creator.