Apothecary Philosophy

the foundation and practice of our apothecary and herb use

At Wild Meadow Apothecary, our philosophy of using herbs focuses on being clear, concise, and transparent in the quality of our ingredients, our processes, and the uses of our herbal supplements. We stand in these truths:

Herbs, herbal products, and herbal supplements are not substitute for medical care. Herbs should be used in conjunction with your health care practitioner. Herbalism doesn’t involve the condemnation of medical doctors or new technological advancements in medicine but encourages scientific objectivity in assessing the existing evidence about herbs. Modern medicine does have advantages. Advancement in technology can often save lives. Many modern medicines and over-the-counter medications can easily be replaced with herbs and herbal therapy, however, some medications do not exist in nature that are life-saving and manage life-threatening diseases and conditions. These medicines should be valued as many people need them to stay alive, manage disease, and enhance daily life. To develop an askew sense of guilt about taking prescribed medications such as these would only depreciate your efforts of healing. When they must be taken, work with them, not against them, and herbal therapy can help augment their treatment and possibly allay any associated symptoms. In the event of a medically necessary process, like antibiotics, surgery, or chemotherapy, herbs can in no way replace these kinds of life-saving procedures. Herbs can contribute to the success of them, not achieving the same goals, but to facilitate and support post-operative healing – gentle herbs to facilitate the affected tissues or organs, herbs to alleviate symptomatic discomfort where appropriate, alternative herbs to support the immune system, adaptogen herbs to support the body from excessive stress, and vulnerary herbs to facilitate optimal scar formation.

Adequate and necessary research confirms herb use. The history of herbalism has existed in many cultures around the world since the beginning of time for nutrition, healing, and strengthening. Because of the long history, herbalism has naturally disseminated into a wide scope of practice and belief. Besides being used in many valuable medicines, herbs have been subjected to all manner of fallacy, superstition, and other recriminations. It is important to separate fabrication from truth, hence the necessity of good research and record. Any information, with regard to the phytochemicals and the actions of herbs, contained herein has legitimacy and has been referenced and cited for their traditional experience, scientific research, and clinical study, providing transparency of resources and evidence supporting the healthful act of using herbs. The history of herbal medicine’s confirmation remains predominantly in the traditional uses and experiences with an herb or blend of herbs. Recently, the scientific validation of herbal medicine has been steadily growing with reliable, repeatable verification being obtained and the agreeableness of medical professionals with patients' use of herbs. We should continue to study different herbs and their phytochemicals and what plant combinations and herbal blends work together for specific causes and purposes to discover more applications in herbalism.

"The introduction of specific serums and vaccines; the wonderful advances in chemical therapeutics; the various forms of exact technic in treatment — these, with surgery, hygiene and sanitation, mechano-therapy, and dietetics — are solving the treatment of the more serious and definitely specific forms of disease. But the functional diseases, the degenerative diseases, many gastro-intestinal, respiratory, cardiac, and renal diseases, as well as a host of chronic involvements, are as much of a problem as ever and keep an army of general practitioners on the go despite the hospitals, the surgeons, and the specialists...Centuries of experience have taught the world that these ordinary affections are best combated with simple and kindly-acting botanic remedies."
– Thomas S. Blair, M.D., Botanic Drugs, Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics (1917), page 26-27

Accurate and transparent herb dosage. Our herbal preparations are created to provide transparency in herb amounts for each dosage. The transparent amounts ensure quality and potency in the herbal preparations and help determine accurate individual dosages for optimal administration of particular herbs.

"The steps in standardization include exact nomenclature and tests for identity and purity. The materia medica supply business needs to be limited to concerns employing capable experts who will properly standardize all products. Without standardization medicine and pharmacy will retrograde to the old basis of mystery and pretense, catering to the ignorant and credulous, exploiting the sick for gain, as does the patent medicine interests."
– Thomas S. Blair, M.D., Botanic Drugs, Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics (1917), page 56-57

Traditional herbalism makes use the whole plant or whole plant parts because they contain the multitude of compounds that work together to create the actions. Herbal treatment addresses the whole body or whole systems by utilizing the entire plant or plant part and all its containing phytochemicals, as opposed to only certain chemicals and ingredients. It is not always possible to isolate the chemical mechanisms that explain the actions of plants on the body because the activity of herbs is more complex than a study of specific active compounds. As phytochemicals rarely act alone, herbal treatment addresses the body by utilizing the entire plant or plant part as a biological whole, as opposed to isolating only one desirable herbal constituent not in favor of the other actions and effects of the herb. As to say, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A little bit of all the compounds in a particular plant may have more benefit than a lot of only one compound. In herbalism, it is important to recognize the plant as a biological whole and the value of phytochemicals interacting and working in synergy with each other to produce the medicinal actions and effects. Herbs act as a result of complex synergistic interactions between the chemistry of the whole plant and the whole body. This concept is shown scientifically: in the use of full-spectrum CBD with other cannabinoids and is known as the "entourage effect"; the number of volatile oils and tannins in chamomile that benefit the digestive system; curcumin and other curcuminoid in turmeric that have antioxidant activity; and the tannins in meadowsweet that soothe the stomach and allay diarrhea.

Herbalism takes different pathways to approach multiple aspects of health. Herbalism approaches health wholly preparing the body to cope, supporting the ability to heal and improve in order to regain health, providing valuable nutritive and medicinal compounds, protecting from sickness, treating imbalances in the body that could give rise to some other problem, strengthening the body and its functions, and supporting the body’s natural responses and systems in its own healing process. Herbal use remains within relative simplicity and used in harmonization with life. It is used in conjunction of whole being needs, like eating a variety of whole foods (and foods for the soul), sleeping adequately, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, sunshine and fresh air, maybe listening to music, and other personalized healthy habits. These personal needs should be met because they promote health and prevent disease while creating a healthy foundation of wellness preparing the body to cope in times of injury and illness and supporting the body’s ability to heal, strengthen, and improve in order to regain health. In physiological and psychological terms, the functioning of all aspects of the individual is fundamental to health. Mental health is being recognized, now more than ever, as an aspect of a person's health, and poor mental health is a risk for persistent tiredness, ability to think clearly, ability to heal normally, lack of motivation for healthful living, general debility, and even chronic physical conditions. Mental factors, self-image, and personal purpose are an important aspect of health. A conscious and free-flowing emotional life is fundamental to achieve inner harmony, and openness to spirituality can be vital and meaningful to an individual's mental health – strong foundation, unmoving sense of self, values, and beliefs; organized relgion; personal vision; appreciation for art, music, and nature; and enjoyment in living. The ability to ease physical symptoms, as well as underlying psychological tension, is one of the greatest benefits of herbs in stress, anxiety, depression, and other mind-befuddling conditions.

Herbs are not used as cures for disease but as a way to support normal bodily function and enhance daily vitality. Herbalism focuses on helping others understand health and wellness to help themselves by stressing education, self-care, and due diligence, specifically in regards to one's own health. Herbs are used to support the body's own attempt to maintain a stable internal environment. Herbal protocols are for preventative measures and general support for the body. There are no "detox" herbs, teas, or products. Herb use for detoxification is based on the premise that the human body is intuitive, self-healing, and homeostatic. Herbs must simply support the normal processes. The body has effective and astoundingly complex mechanisms for ridding the body of waste, pathogens, and poisons. This "detox" is achieved through the eliminative process of the kidneys, colon, liver, lungs, menstruation, and skin. The idea for herb use is to address eliminative processes as a whole, ensuring all organs and the various pathways of elimination receive support with a focus on the body that is under the most pressure – the lungs of a smoker, the liver of a person who has substance-related problems, or the digestive tract of the person with an inflammatory bowl disease. Cold, flu, and infection are sometimes unavoidable and inevitable, however, herbalism can be used for prevention, to strengthen the immune system, and support the overall health of the body to combat and deal with sickness. The result would be to prepare the body to cope and that the illness would then be less effective.

The application of herbal therapy is valuable. Sipping a cup of herbal tea could help with a number of conditions, however, herbal treatment in an effort to help a specific condition often benefits from continual therapeutic use. As opposed to a remedy, herbal therapy is a method of continual herbal use to enhance daily vitality, prepare the body accordingly, prevent any negative incidence from occurring, and strengthen the body and systems. As seen with feverfew for migraines and repeated headaches, vitex berry for PMS and endometriosis, and hemp for numerous medical conditions, herb treatment benefits from this persistence in use.