So after a quick brainstorming session with Paul, Mike, and Ash the suggestion for the Straw level badge is that PEPpers are required to complete everything listed in the Sand level list (in Sand you only have to do a few).
I personally like this idea as I think the natural medicine list in Sand is excellent and has tinctures/herbs/treatments that cover a broad range of acute ailments and general wellness.
For the Wood and Iron level badges for natural medicine I would like the BBs to focus on two things:
- Treating specific ailments (Severe acute or mild long term)
- Treatments specific to the individual (addressing thing such as age, allergies, autoimmune responses, and history)
Some of the long term ailments I would like to see address are:|
- Lymes Disease
- Thyroid Disorders
- Anxiety and/or Depression
- Cancer care
- Stroke Care
- Allergies ("curing" allergies)
- Alzheimer's disease
- Kidney Diseases
- Ear Infection
- Skin Infection (Rashes in the various forms)
- Chronic Pain
- Dry cough
- Wet Cough
For Wood and Iron the focus would go beyond single treatments (tinctures/remedies) and expand into diet, exercise, a mental wellness practices.
Wood and Iron level badges would require some aspect of "proof" an illness has gone into remission/been managed/been "cured"
I hesitate to use the word "cure" as not to be accused of selling snake oils. I think these BBs should be to demonstrate a quantifiable improvement in health and wellbeing using a defined set of skills/resources.
Person could be treating themselves, a loved one, or demonstrating their professional practices.
Typically for clinical herbalism I would expect something like:
Intake/assessment, including patient history
Research, development of treatment protocol, dosage, etc.
Follow-up, checking compliance, etc
Adjust/repeat based on follow-up results
Unfortunately, most of those are hard to take pictures of, and also potentially very difficult for staff to assess for safety, accuracy, etc.
Maybe wood or iron badge could be something like treating 3 patients for one year, including at least one chronic condition with lab work to check key indicators over time (blood lipids, or c-reactive protein, or blood sugar, or whatever). That would cost some money and require outside verification, though. It's hard to think of how to show improvement in most medical conditions through photographs alone. Maybe some skin conditions.
Another option (maybe for wood) might be something like:
For the following  herbs, provide pictures/video of you preparing them in the following ways:
Infusion or maceration
Tincture or glycerite
Honey [maybe not, since not vegan friendly]
Compress or poultice
Or, if you do have not prepared the herb in one of these ways, explain why (for instance, a highly aromatic or mucilaginous herb isn't ideal for a decoction, the desirable components aren't water soluble, etc).
Include a copy of your journal pages detailing your recipes and dosage information, the uses of the herbal preparation (including the differences between different preparations of the same herb), your treatment protocol, and how you/your patient responded to treatment.
Include a picture of sketches you have made showing the habit of the plant and its leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, roots, or any other parts useful for medicine or identification (not judged on artistic merit).
Also include photographs and a list of components of an herbal first-aid kit equipped for treating acute injury or illness.
Something for people to keep in mind when treating others with herbal medicine is the potential for lawsuits and fines from the gubmint for practicing medicine. It all sounds wonderful to help a friend until something goes wrong. If you practice medicine on yourself that's fine, but people can be funny sometimes. Even the words you use such as "diagnosis" are considered part of practicing medicine. This has come up in my Traditional Chinese Medicine curriculum so that we don't run into trouble.
I suggest that one of the early requirements be a written report on local and federal laws regarding treating others with alternative medicine just so the person has a basis for what to do and not do. Then if they want to do certain things, at least they know the potential risks.
I'm not trying to be negative here. The gubmint does a fine job of it already.
Disclaimer: The above information is for educational purposes only
Double disclaimer: the above disclaimer is used a lot to cover your butt
A few more possible ailments for the list, including many of the most common infectious diseases:
Heart disease (before and after documentation could be lipid panels, c-reactive protein, blood pressure and heart rate [can track over time with an activity tracker to establish pattern], ultrasound, angiogram, etc)
Some of these can't yet be cured, but various markers could improve with proper treatment.
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
posted 2 months ago
This is probably OT, no expertise, but I've read a lot of herbal stuff, (love PFAF website) and one frustration is how often the medical uses of an herb are from 'ancient' and folklore sources.... makes it seems that dozen of plants are 'useful' for dozens of the same ailments...no prioritization of most and least effective. I seem to remember that Germany is an exception to the 'olden days' sources, and had put out many official monographs on individual plants, with accurate info.
Also, being 'supportive' in chronic cases is a little more iffy than immediate effects in acute situations. Plus, there's always the confounding placebo effect...I personally think that our own 'expectations, beliefs and expectations' may be the most powerful healers... btw, (while I'm at it:) I liked 'Suggestible You' by Vance, just overlook the first chapter trashing homeopathy : )