is The San Francisco Botanical Medicine Clinic?
The SFBMC is a health care practice in which western
herbal medicine is used as the main therapeutic modality, and applied
by herbalist Joshua Muscat.
is Joshua Muscat?
am an herbalist in my seventeenth year of clinical practice. I have been
formally studying herbal medicine for the past seven years. My education
in the art of herbalism includes studies at the Pacific School of
Herbal Medicine, studies with Chuck Garcia who is a Curendero, studies
with Herbalist Karyn Sanders, studies at the Southwest School of
Botanical Medicine, several college courses on subjects such as
anatomy physiology nutrition and botany, independent studies in
whatever subject seems applicable, and much time spent sitting with
the plants themselves.
is western herbal medicine?
Western herbal medicine is the use of plants that
grow in the western world as primary therapeutic agents. The title
of western herbalist could be applied to a diverse range
of herbalists including Native American practitioners and the Eclectic
physicians of the 1800s. I have drawn knowledge from numerous
sources in my training. For the most part I use botanical agents
that I wildcraft myself in California and the surrounding states.
is wildcrafting? Wildcrafting
is the harvest of wild plants so that they may be processed into
medicine. I go to great lengths to insure that the harvesting I
do is done in a responsible and sustainable fashion. If I do not
find enough of the herb I am looking for to harvest in a sustainable
manner, then I do without that particular medicine. I do my best
to find functional alternatives to plants that are under consumer
and environmental stress such as Echinacea and Golden Seal. At the
SFBMC you can be sure that the herbs you are given have been acquired
with utmost sensitivity to the land.
services are available at the San Francisco Botanical Medicine Clinic?
Health care can be broken into two broad categories,
acute and chronic care. While herbal medicine is suitable for treating
certain types of acute issues (such as a urinary tract infection,
genital warts, or a head cold), its true strength lies in
the ability to subtly influence metabolic patterns found in long
term disorders (such as sinus allergies, chronic fatigue, or arthritis).
This is the basis of a constitutional approach to medicine.
is constitutional medicine?
Constitutional medicine is an approach to administering
therapeutic agents where the choices of which medicine to use are based
on the recognition of patterns of imbalance. At the SFBMC, herbs are
chosen for their ability to strengthen weaknesses, redirect excessive
tendencies, move fluids, and excite stagnating tissue. This is in sharp
contrast to forms of medicine that choose therapeutics because they
are supposed to help a named condition. I believe that it is important
to see beyond disease names in order to more clearly identify the processes
that are supporting the existence of the symptoms. I have learned that
any two people with a process of illness of the same name will manifest
that illness in a way that is unique to their person, thus requiring
an approach that is tailored to their own specific needs. This is the
basis of holistic medicine.
is holistic medicine?
Holistic medicine is taking a clients whole life experience
into account when administering medicine. At the SFBMC many factors
are taken into consideration when determining what therapeutic options
to utilize. Diet modifications may be recommended, life style adjustments
may be in order, and referrals to other types of practitioners are made
when appropriate. I have even found myself recommending relocation to
a different part of the country. I would like to stress however that
I recognize the fact that not everyone is ready or willing to change
their diet, lifestyle, etc. I make a point to work with people within
their limitations. I will be as holistic in my recommendations as you
want me to be. Many people do things they know are not good for them,
yet that thing may serve a needed function for them. I see that it is
my job to work with people on the level they want me to. To me part
of working holistically is recognizing my clients limitations.