What is Naturopathy & Herbal medicine?
This week we welcomed our new practitioner Monica to the Kaptured Nutrition team, and in turn introduced a new modality in which is Naturopathy, because everyone needs a good Naturopath and Nutritionist in their corner. Monica is a Naturopath with extensive experience and particular expertise in mental health. Monica has experience in a range of conditions but her main areas of expertise include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, OCD and ODD, PTSD, endometriosis, motor tics and ASD support.
So today, we’re giving you the down low on all things Naturopathy and herbal medicine including what it is, how Naturopaths treat different conditions, what herbal medicine and how Monica can help you. Let’s get into it.
First things first, what is the aim of Naturopathy?
Naturopathy is an evolving system of medicine focusing on both evidence based and traditional methods to inform treatment depending on the individual. Naturopathy is eclectic and inclusive within its modalities including iridology, flower essences and as Monica does, incorporation of other traditional methods of healing such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Over time, Naturopathy has incorporated evidence-based information into its practices using herbal medicines and nutritional advice and supplementation where necessary.
However, treatment is always based of the Naturopathic principles including first doing no harm, encompassing the healing power of nature, identifying and treating the root cause, treating the whole person, acting as a teacher (Doctor as teacher), and prevention as cure (Hechtman, 2012).
Okay so how do they do that?
Naturopaths will take your entire case history within the initial appointment, connecting different body systems to uncover the root cause of the problem you are presenting with. This is instead of covering individual symptoms (Band-Aid solution) without removing the problem underneath, as if you don’t work toward doing this, as soon as you take the so called band aid off, the problem will arise again.
Monica will talk through different body systems that may be connecting to your presenting complaint, aswell as going through relevant pathology, nutrition, lifestyle factors aswell as personal and family medical history to look at genetic components. Monica also offers DNA testing which will be unpacked in more detail in next weeks blog post but put simply, it can assist us in identifying the root cause of different conditions, in particular to do with mental health and therefore inform treatment.
From there, Monica will curate a completely individualised treatment plan much like Katherine & Holly, however also incorporating herbal medicine if necessary, suited to you and your lifestyle.
What is herbal medicine?
Herbal medicine is one of the main treatment modalities of Naturopathy and is quite exactly what it sounds like. Medicinal herbs are extracted oftentimes with alcohol to make a tincture, but otherwise can be put into capsule or used as a fresh herb in food or in herbal teas. Liquid herbal tinctures are blended depending on you, your life and your symptoms – the epitome of individualised medicine. Western herbal medicine includes hundreds of herbs that have been used for centuries with more and more evidence coming out to explain how they work on a deeper and biochemical level.
Herbs consist of thousands of different chemicals or constituents that can all do a variety of different things to the body, however the beauty of herbal medicine is that these constituents act synergistically (i.e. work together for a more powerful effect) within the plant and then subsequently our body when we consume them.
How can a naturopath help me?
A Naturopath can assist anyone at any stage, whether from general wellness to improve day to day functioning or chronic disease you’ve lived with for years, we will unpack it and create a treatment plan tailored to you to reach your goals.
Book here with Monica, she cannot wait to help you toward your health goals.
Leah Hechtman. (2012). Clinical Naturopathic Medicine - E-Book: Vol. Rev. ed. Churchill Livingstone.