Energetic System of Herbal Medicine | David Winston | The Sacred Science

[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..

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