FIRST DO NO HARM : Primum Non Nocere




Each week we are going to explore a different principle at the heart of the natural medicine modalities of herbalism and naturopathy. Ideally, these are principles at the heart of any healing therapy, as they are ideals that are supportive of life. In these discussions we can unpack what healing actually is, and make sure our choices are in line with that. We are sometimes making choices that feel good for us, but are actually in response to temporarily numbing ourselves, distracting ourselves to relieve pain in the moment, and cause much more pain in the next. We might think that relief of pain is healing, but is it really?


Healing is to reconcile a conflict, to bring together a rift and restore amity. Healing is to cleanse something and to remove an evil. Ultimately through these processes healing is to make healthy, whole, or sound and to restore to wellness free from ailment.


The first principle of natural medicine is:


FIRST DO NO HARM : Primum Non Nocere


What this means is that the therapy or treatment used must bring about a process of restoring health and removing sickness without causing more. All of the therapeutic actions should be complementary to and synergistic with the body’s own healing process. We must utilise the most natural, least invasive, and least toxic therapies.


Can you think of ways that you tried to feel better by making choices that actually made you feel worse? You might be able eat a whole block of cheese and feel numb to your stress, but when your belly digests it, you sure will feel a whole lot more unease.


There are therapies used all throughout the world that are carcinogenic, life-threatening, and very invasive - all used in the name of healing. There may be circumstances where this feels like your only choice, but for us herbalists and naturopaths they are not therapies that we are able to utilise in good faith as it breaches the ethics of our practice.


#principlesofnaturalmedicine #naturalmedicine #herbalism #naturopath #naturemedicine #nimbin #nimbinapothecary #natureknowsbest

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