In these times when individuals, companies, and even nations, are distancing themselves from fossil fuels and environmentally destructive practices, there could not be a better or more appropriate time for the ‘greening’ of both medicine and pharmaceuticals.

Thankfully, our world still supports a thriving community of herbalists and homeopathic practitioners, these schools of medicine continuing to treat their environmentally and socially responsible patients in a holistically responsible manner. Homeopaths, for example, have a mostly plant-based material medica of some three thousand. 

Homeopathic remedies which are predominantly herbal, are responsibly and sustainably sourced. Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus ab Hohenheim Eremita, better known to the world as Paracelsus, once said that “There is more wisdom in a single plant than in all of the quarto volumes in the libraries of all of the medical colleges of Europe.” and when Maurice Messugue, the famous French plant healer was asked, “To what power do you attribute your healing gift?” he replied in a very simple yet telling manner – “The power of healing that the good Lord has put into plants.”

Although many modern medicines are based on herbs, these are usually based on some specific part of the plant, rather than the whole plant which a herbalist or homeopath would be more likely to use.

In a lecture given to the biological Society at King’s College London in 1947, Mrs. Hilda Leyel, the well-known herbalist and herbal writer commented that “There are many reasons why medicines made from living plants are superior to the standardised substitutes of today. One is that the herb in its entirety is a living medium which includes the ferments, and enzymes which are the curative factors. Another is that the whole herb includes the digestive elements which enable the human body to assimilate the curative properties that it needs.”

The orthodox pharmaceutical industry shows very little interest in researching plants or herbal medicine as Norman R. Farnsworth, professor of pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois Medical Centre in his foreword to Barbara Grigg’s work “Green Pharmacy,” has pointed out. He comments that “the Green Revolution and the back to nature movements have enthused people on a large scale to search out alternatives that may have less or even no side-effects.” Many of these individuals of course are finding what they are seeking either with herbalists and homeopaths. There is little doubt that the orthodox pharmaceutical industry shows little interest in researching plants or herbal medicine as Farnsworth has pointed out when he commented that “25% of all prescriptions dispensed in American community pharmacies between 1962 and 1973, contained at least one active constituent extracted from plant sources and at a prescription cost of between three and five billion dollars. Farnsworth also goes on to underline the fact that that there are 75,000 species of flowering plants on our planet, mostly un-researched. The professor also asks why there is so little interest from the petrochemical, militaristic pharmaceutical phalanx which runs our planet.

Just to point up the layman’s increasing interest in – for example – herbal teas, it is known that sales of these products from health food stores in the U.S in the year 1979 was in excess of one hundred and fifty million dollars. By 2005, this area was worth some 318 billion dollars. This fact alone has to be a pertinent comment on the increasing interest in green pharmacy as sustainable and responsible medicine for the times and world that we live in. This world of course includes the city of Glasgow, the host city for COP26, and a city that has seen many of its green medicine needs being met by Glasgow’s Complementary Medicine Centre, run by Ruth Chappell and Brian Fleming since 1986.

If you are interested in exploring the ‘Green Pharmacy’ and want to find out more about what plant-based medicine could do for you, contact us to arrange an appointment.