This description was used during the first Congress of herbalists held in 2013 in Paris by Patrice de Bonneval, herbalist in Lyon and founder of the « Ecole Lyonnaise des Plantes ».
I like this definition of the modern herbalist. I find this half plant / half human vision very relevant. It reminds me of the mandrake, this perennial herb, which seems a little magic …
It is from this interdependence, between human and plants, that traditional herbalism was born with its intuitive and empirical knowledge of medicinal plants and their beneficial effects on our health.
Herbalism is primarily the art of using plants to maintain, restore or improve the health and well-being.
The modern herbalist understands plants, grows them, knows how to mix them up; his knowledge lies between science and tradition.
As my friend Marie Provost, Master herbalist in Quebec, would say. « Its future depends in a close collaboration between science and traditional worlds. »
France is one of the only countries to overshadow this ancestral knowledge that is traditional herbalism.
Herbalist in France is an endangered species.
Indeed since 1941, the herbalist degree no longer exists: it was discontinued under the Vichy regime by Philippe Pétain. There are no longer new herbalists in France. Only those with former degrees can practice this profession.
Only pharmacists are authorized to sell plants with medicinal properties.
From my point of view, this quarrel between PHARMACISTS and HERBALISTS is useless, mercantile and sterile.
These professions are complementary and should cohabit in harmony for the welfare of all.
Actually, in many countries and continents, traditional herbalism is recognized and plays a major role in the care and treatment.
In other parts of Europe, countries like Germany, England and Italy, the herbalist profession exists and they are many operating their practice.
In Canada, several private schools started teaching herbalism again, and the Guilde des Herboristes du Québec plays an important and dynamic role in the recognition of this degree in front of governmental authorities.
And what about countries like China, Middle East, India, the African countries and South America, where herbalists have a prominent standing in their health system.
Let’s be optimistic for the future and hope that everyone can be free to choose their type of care (chemical or natural).
Healing oneself with plants is a choice, a freedom of expression!
Long live the HERBALISM OF TODAY AND TOMORROW.