Thursday, November 19, 2009

Herbs and Medicine in Germany

I was doing research for an article today and stumbled upon this paragraph. It has nothing to do with the article I am writing, but it was such a good description of "what is wrong" with our way of looking at medicine I wanted to share it here:


One of the driving forces that has resulted in mainstream acceptance of phytomedicine in Germany is the inclusion of phytotherapy in the medical and pharmacy school curricula. In the opinion of several medical groups, "modern phytotherapy is not perceived as alternative medicine, but as a part of so-called traditional medicine" [i.e., conventional medicine] (Schilcher, 1997c). Since 1993 all medical school students in Germany must successfully complete a portion of their board examinations in the area of phytotherapy as a precondition for practicing medicine (Schilcher, 1991). Medical education on medicinal plants and phytomedicines includes regular lectures in universities and medical schools, four one-week courses with 26 hours of lectures in phytotherapy in Weiterbildung (continuing education), lectures and courses in Fortbildung (postgraduate education), the publication of scientific literature (papers and books), the Commission E Monographs, and directions on product uses according to section 11 of the Second Medicines Act (AMG 76) (Schilcher, 1991, 1997c).