Herbalism Aromatics and medicinals plants

From Juliette, Ana, Rémi

How can herbalists be actors of the conservation and sustainable use of medicinals plants?


Herbalism is the use of plants for healing purpose, it is the old profession of healing people with natural products, mainly plants.

Herbalism is usually included in traditional medicine and complementary medicines. Traditional medicine is " the sum total of the knowledge, skill, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness." (13) The terms of "Complementary medicine" or "alternative medicine" are used in some countries to refers to traditional medicines not traditionaly prevalent in those countries. (13)

Herbal medicine is composed of different approachs : magical, energetic, functional dynamic, and chemical approach. (1)The shamanic or magical approach is based on the belief that some plants, like tabbaco or garlic, have powers that can help the practitioner cure spells or witchcraft, cast by spirits or humans, the link with religious belief is very strong. Few herbs are used in this way, and even in socities where this approach is important, other persons provide herbal medicine like herbalists, midewifes and bonesetters. (8) The energetic approach concerns mainly Ayurveda, Unani and Traditional Chinese Medecine. (11) This approach is based on an energetic description of the body, which can be modulated by the use of medicinal herbs. This approach is health-oriented. The functional dynamic approach is based on the belief that herbs have an physiological action on the individual, not necessarily due to a specific compound of the plant. The chemical approach is based on the chemical properties of herbs, it is very close to the modern medical chemistry approach and is fondamently disease-oriented.

The main issues of conservation of medicinal plants concerns deforestation as well as harvesting practices, but also the coordination and inclusiveness of the different conservation programs . It also includes improvement of the fairness of the trade of medicinal remedies and knowledge, which means protection of the intellectual properties rights, equitable sharing of benefits and properties rights of their land for rural and indigenous communities. (7)

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First draft of our research about herbalism and conservation of natural areas, divided by person too organise our personal research.

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20' minutes interview with catriona GIBSON in Scotland, herbalist and member of the association "Scottish Radical Herbal Network".

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On our herbalism project, we should create an communication plan of the projct in France and french.

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Listing of every contacts view of our research, and mails called for the interview.

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