Can holistic nutrition be practiced without the study of herbs?
The study of herbs enhances nutritional therapy.
Herbalism is a system of health care that uses plants as the source of remedies. This is no different from the practice of holistic nutrition.
At NTI we study the use of plants and the nutrients they contain as healing agents of the body. We study the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and discover the specific nutrient mix that might be therapeutic for arthritis, gastric disorders, skin abnormalities or any other conditions. We find out what foods contain certain nutrients that are specifically helpful for these conditions and we suggest menu plans that contain these foods. This is the study of food as therapy, or food as remedies.
Specific herbs are also therapeutic for certain conditions. We do not study the vitamins, minerals and macronutrient mix within the herbs. Instead we have a body of knowledge of the specific actions of the herbs on body functions. This is called Materia Medica. It has been handed down by observation and tradition over millennia. Materia Medica includes the energetics of the herbs, the synergy in the use of herb formulations and the close observation of results in real individuals. It is only recently that the scientific study and break-down of the herbs has come to light. Still the applications of food as medicine and herbs as medicine are parallel and complimentary ways to approach health.
Herbs can be taught in conjunction with nutrition. Usually when this is done, it is simply memorizing recipes for certain herbs to use with certain conditions. It does not include understanding the herbs in their complexities. Herbs are not studied in the nutrition programs at NTI. Instead we offer a distinct certification program, the Certified Herbal Therapy Program, which takes a different approach. We do not pretend to teach herbs in the fullness of their numbers or their applications or their synergies. This would take several lifetimes. We do offer an integrated approach to the study of over 50 herbs where the health applications are observed along with herbal preparations of tinctures, poultices, topicals, infusions, etc. We integrate case studies, commercial applications and herb gardening. The purpose of our program is to build a foundational base of knowledge and personal interaction with the herbs studied, to create framework and an approach to herbs that can be built on for the rest of a student’s life.
So can holistic nutrition be practiced without the study of herbs? Yes. But when you are considering how many programs to take at NTI, remember the richness, power and enhancement that you can provide to your clients and students by adding the Certified Herbal Therapy Program.Share