Alternative Health - A History

Alternative Health is the focus of discussion for this page, with the emphasis on the history of Alternative Health and the evolution of Alternative Health in the cultures of the Western World. The emphasis of Alternative Health is on herbal medicines.

Alternative Health is as old as mankind and for thousands of years it was the only kind of health around, in other words, it was conventional health care. A bit of imagination and the origin of Alternative Health becomes clear. Virtually every account of the History of Mankind suggests that for a very long time humans were hunters and gatherers. There was a definite allocation of tasks for the men, women, and children of those early societies. Because men were normally bigger and stronger than women and children, the men had the formidable task of bringing fresh meat back to the campfire. They were the hunters.

The women and children were responsible for the less dangerous work of finding fruits, vegetables, and any other edible flora that could be gathered. Women, of course, along with children and injured or disabled men, became the gatherers.

Over the millennia it became obvious to some women that certain particular vegetation had curative properties for some of the ailments that beset humans. The knowledge they acquired was passed down from one generation to another and a huge cultural base of medical information was established, all based on the curative properties of what we now know as herbs. That cultural knowledge base is what we now call Alternative Health and it was then the standard. Certain women who were accomplished at tapping into this knowledge became known by various names that all basically mean "Healer".

The First Healers

The typical Healer would be adept at identifying the herbs that were effective treatments for the common illnesses and processing those herbs so that they could be used most effectively against those illnesses. Most of the processing would involve using the herbs to make a soup or broth. Because of their important role, the women Healers were highly respected members of their societies.

The Witch Hunts

So it came to pass that some men became envious of the women Healers and conspired to take the healing industry away from them. How, you ask? Why it was easy! They took advantage of the religious hysteria of the Middle Ages and started a rumor that the Healers were consorts of the devil. The Healers were portrayed as witches or hags stirring their brew. The brew was explained as being made up of as evil potions and not health giving herbs. The vicious lies worked and many women were killed and other healers went into hiding. As a result of the Witch Hunts, the healing industry was taken over by men.

The Pharmaceuticals

The first drugs were, of course, processed herbs. As medical knowledge became more sophisticated, techniques were refined and we had Aspirin, derived from the bark of the willow tree and penicillin which was discovered on moldy bread. Then along came companies, the pharmaceuticals, which employed chemists who were able to replicate many plant based medicines in a laboratory. Wow! They became huge profit makers and began to donate large sums of money to medical schools. Then they began to, and still do, dictate that which should be taught in those medical schools. Laboratory-produced medicine was deemed to be "in" and Alternative Medicine, herbal medicine, was "out".

Today we have the majority of mainstream, "conventional", medical practitioners who have graduated from those pharmaceutical-sponsored medical schools believing that laboratory produced medicines are very, very good and plant based, herbal medicines are very, very bad. The result of this kind of thinking is shocking. Read it in this blog. Wow!

Oh yes, by the way, the foundation of the entire science of healing, herbs, now comes under the category of Alternative Health. How is that for irony?


Health Care is a multi-billion dollar industry. Alternative Health accounts for only a small percentage of that amount. Those billions of dollars mean a lot of political clout and advertising money to perpetuate the smoke and mirrors illusion that treating the symptoms of a disease is better methodology than treating the whole body.

When only symptoms are treated there will be residual disease. When the whole body is treated the immune system is strengthened and then the immune system eliminates the disease.

Use the wonderful technology of conventional Health Care to have your body's problems diagnosed and use the wisdom of thousands of years of Alternative Health to make your body well.

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