This book presents a discussion of health with scant reference to disease. It formulates a number of interlocking ideas that integrate circadian physiology with the transformations that constitute human life. Time, ecology, and the biology of plants are always part of the background. The book arranges this discussion in three interrelated parts.
Part One elaborates this integrative model of health, linking circadian biology with the psychosocial human being, and takes knowledge, information, and data from various disciplines. For the phytotherapeutic perspective, it draws heavily upon the theoretical and clinical work of Drs. Christian Duraffourd and Jean-Claude Lapraz. The author follows them in using plants as alternatives, rather than as weak drugs. Their work has been developed further and collaboratively by Dr. Kamyar Hedayat.
Part Two is aimed toward the student of medicine as well as the newly qualified herbal practitioner. The approach focuses on the physical presentation of the patient and her or his extended milieu taken from a detailed narrative. It makes little mention of ailments and disease yet attempts to formulate a clinical approach that favors the development of a broader understanding than the knowledge gleaned from a narrow curriculum. The author presents a model here and in Part Three that may also provide the experienced herbalist with some new ideas.
Part Three attempts to explain how medicinal plants modify the terrain and how they can contribute toward health in what the author describes as Poise. The theory hypothesizes two different but complementary mechanisms that the author has named Sensory Priming and Stochastic Resonance. The last section of Part Three is dedicated to Materia Medica.
The three parts are nodes about which the discussion flows but, to mirror the conception of mindedness, each of them is interpenetrative with the others. The result is untidy, the more to mirror the assorted nature of life, less a manicured garden and more an extensive hedgerow adjoining ruderal habitats. The structure of the book is also founded on the interpenetrance of the tripos represented by the social, psychic, and biologic: this leaking of people into poise and plants into all our lives.
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