[David] I teach a energetic system of herbal
medicine and energetics is pretty much universal throughout the world's great systems of herbal
medicine. So whether we're talking about Chinese medicine, TCM, whether we're talking about
Ayurveda, Unani-Tibb, whether we're talking about Kampo from Japan, Jamu from Indonesia,
Northeast Cherokee medicine – whatever tradition we're talking about, there's usually a system of
energetics. And this is how you match the herb to the person. So some herbs are cooling, some
herbs are warming. Some herbs are moistening, some are drying. Some are stimulating, some are
sedating. And so you match the herb to the person instead of trying to treat disease.
So I would say
that really good herbalists, or even, better great herbalist don't focus in on treating disease they
treat people. Hippocrates said more than 2,000 years ago, 'it's more important to know the person
that has the disease, than the disease the person has.' He was right. And so what you get with a lot
of American herbal medicine, up until relatively recently, is this herb's good for a headache, this
herb's good for depression. So we could see things like St. John's Wort, the depression herb. No, it
isn't. There's more than a dozen different types of depression and St. John's Wort only works
really well for about three of those. And then you hear that Black Cohosh is the menopause herb,
except black cohosh is not particularly great for menopausal symptoms. It is useful for menopausal
and other types of hormonal depression and it does have some modest benefits of reducing hot flashes
and night sweats, but most women who take it are gonna be underwhelmed.
Just like Saw Palmetto is
not the prostate herb. And Saw Palmetto by itself taken for benign prostatic hyperplasia, that's the
swelling of the prostate in middle-aged in older men, again, they'll notice some modest improvement
but if they think it's gonna make their symptoms go away they're gonna be really disappointed.
And so in the US what we see is a very allopathic approach to herbal medicine – this herb's good for
this condition. In the world's great traditional systems of medicine what we see is which herbs
are appropriate for this specific person sitting in front of me with their specific disease
patterns that they have now – that's a system of energetics.
And so a lot of that comes from taste,
all right. Taste is the easiest way to determine the energetic of the plant. So for me it's always
been imperative that I have a deep sense of the plant, its taste, its action, you know, the
potential adverse effects. And so we don't want to limit our understanding through science.
So we want to look at science, we want to look at tradition. We want to look at personal experience,
we want to look at what you might call intuitive or spiritual understandings. Many traditions in
the world they're under their knowledge of plants comes from dreams, comes from visions and when you
put that all together, all right, that what you have is much stronger than any of the components.
My uncle used to to just to describe this he'd say, he'd hand you an arrow and he'd say, all
right, just a single wooden arrow.
He said break it and you just go break it in half. Then he'd
take 12 arrows, wind a leather cord around them and say, 'here, break that.' And you, you know, you
try break it can't break it. You put on your foot, can't break it. Try bent it wouldn't break. And he
used that as an example of not just people coming together or being stronger but again traditions
and ways of seeing things and instead of having a narrow tunnel vision you try to see things in
multiple ways and that's where the strength is..