I was working on an article for the Nov/Dec issue of TEH earlier today, and suddenly realized that it was difficult to decide exactly on the intended audience. Just as a vast number of my cohorts are thrilled to find chicken feet to add to their bone broth, an equal number (probably more, honestly) are still quaffing down aspartame in sugar-free drinks and foods. I am hardly one to judge. Although I am well educated in the various types of diets and lifestyles out there and the reasoning behind them, I rarely stick with anything. I'm an omnivore :-) In fact, over the past few weeks of super hectic travel and work, it's been very fortunate that summer fruits and vegetables are as easy to lay my hands on as a bag of chips. There have been some truly horrible (health-wise) meals.
The same sort of lines have been drawn when it comes to using medicinal herbs vs over the counter preparations. It isn't even a case of everyone wishing they had the time to make their own comfrey salve for cuts, herbal tea blends for headaches, or syrups to fight colds. Some people will reach for an over the counter pain medication because it works and it's what they know, and I suspect that it is a lot more frequent even in the herbal community than people admit. For myself, there are occasions (much rarer than a decade or two ago) when I just don't want to bear with the pain and work through it. Sometimes it just needs to go away NOW.
Do harried, working parents need to be guilted because they wake on a Tuesday morning to a child with a runny nose, and they don't have any lacto-fermented ginger soda? Or because they forgot to make the sprouted grain nettle and amaranth crackers? Having been in precisely those shoes, I think we need to applaud them for the smaller victories and be gentle. Maybe the over the counter medicine was washed down with some herbal tea. Maybe the chest rub was something Mom made during a class.
There are just so many ways to be wrong these days.
So as I thought about it, I realized that the purists don't need to hear my thoughts on the subject of the article. They've already been canning and drying and tincturing and blending. Instead, I'll talk to that mom who would trade her next day off if a sleeve of saltines and a bottle of gingerale would magically appear in the cupboard for her sick kid.
Sometimes it is the small steps that change everything. If when I became interested in herbs, it appeared that it would mean changing everything, I would never have done it. I still haven't changed everything, and probably never will.