Anthroposophic Medicine in Practice
An individual is not simply a body, there is also the psyche and personality to take into account as well. Anthroposophic doctors regard physical and mental existence together with personality as a unit, each element having the capacity to influence the others. One of the fundamental aspects of anthroposophic medicine is to take this into account during diagnosis and therapy.
Nevertheless, it is not an “alternative medicine”– it doesn't aim to replace conventional medicine. On the contrary – it is based on accepted medical science; it just takes things a step further. Or in other words, anthroposophic medicine makes use of everything that scientific research has revealed to be of benefit to the human being. Moreover it supplements “material science” with aspects of spiritual science in order to assess the individual as a whole entity. For instance, this may include body language, personal history, breathing, and many other aspects besides– all of which determine an individual's personality. Anthroposophic medicine therefore attempts to include the individuality of the patient, as well as the accepted features of an illness, in the treatment process. For just as each person is unique, so is each treatment – even though some may appear to apply to many people.
Anthroposophic medicine is not pre-determined. It avoids protocol. Even if, owing to their characteristic features, the same disease pictures constantly recur, each illness manifests itself differently in each patient – a manifestation inseparable from the uniqueness of the individual. Anthroposophic medicine therefore aims to form a picture of the physical, psychological, and personal circumstances that have paved the way for an illness to take hold. Taking such factors into consideration during diagnosis and therapy and re-applying the process to every new patient, guided by scientific findings, medical experience, personal discernment, and disciplined intuition, is fundamental to anthroposophic medicine. Any medicine that ignores the person as an individual cannot claim to be true human medicine.
All anthroposophic medicines are designed to stimulate the patient’s powers of self-healing. In this way they complement conventional medication. Where conventional medicine concentrates solely on destroying the agents of disease, suppressing associated processes and replacing missing substances (e.g. vitamins, hormones, blood elements), anthroposophic medicine, wherever possible and sensible, aims to enable the human organism to overcome a disease through its own resources. The emphasis is on restoring the balance of bodily functions and strengthening the forces of individualization and autonomy in the organism. The right medicines play a major role in this process.
All kinds of naturally occuring raw materials are used in the production of anthroposophic medicines: substances of mineral origin--like pyrite, gold, and quartz, plant origin--such as Calendula officinalis (the golden marigold, above), arnica, or yarrow, and animal origin--like the honey bee or red ant.