Herbal medicine is a relatively new entrant to higher education, although a specialist degree has been the basis of the professional qualification.
Herbal medicine has a number of important historical philosophical traditions that inform its practice, and there is also a significant association with biomedicine. The biomedical approach is strongly emphasized by some practitioners and universities and may be seen as driven in part by a desire to increase the science base of the discipline and improve legitimacy. This is, however, at variance with the practice of many professional herbalists, who have a strong inclination toward healing and holism. The everyday practice of herbal medicine has not been systematically recorded, and students and practitioners have no fundamental reference to refer to that details their practice.
The differences between a holistic and constitutional approach to treatment and a biomedical approach at first seem incompatible, but this is largely because of the lack of understanding of the medical interpretation of holism. There are virtually no texts that cover this vital area, and this is a huge gap in both herbal medicine therapeutics and within orthodox medicine.
This book provides a therapeutic approach based upon a constitutional approach to treatment and is a synthesis of the traditional herbal approach integrated with biomedical constructs, and it is likely to appeal both to those involved in complementary medicine and to those in mainstream medicine seeking a holistic approach that is rational and interpretable in biomedical terms.