Herbalism and phytotherapy for the application of medicinal herbs to promote health - naturheilpraxis st.gallen hinterberg


Herbalism in traditional European medicine and Western phytotherapy are two different approaches to the use of herbs in healthcare. Here are some basic differences:



Herbalism in traditional European medicine is based on the concept of four elements, four bodily humors, and the principles of the four basic qualities - warm, cold, moist, and dry. Using Angelica archangelica as an example: it is warm and dry, therefore it traditionally warms the digestive organs, uterus, and respiratory tract and is used where there is an excess of cold or moisture. Its effects extend to the emotional and spiritual level, where it envelops the soul warmly (solar energy) and lovingly (Venus energy).


Western phytotherapy is based on a modern scientific approach. It utilizes plants based on their biochemical components and proven pharmacological effects. Using Angelica archangelica as an example:


Ingredients: Essential oils, coumarins, bitter substances, tannins, phytosterols

Effects: Digestive stimulant, appetite stimulant, secretion stimulant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, stimulates menstrual bleeding

Side effects: Abortifacient, do not take during pregnancy, and photosensitizing

Contraindications: Pregnancy, gastric and duodenal ulcers

Indications: Digestive weakness, general weakness, loss of appetite, chronic respiratory diseases, mucus congestion, lymphatic congestion, joint pain


A naturopath specializing in Traditional European Medicine (TEM) has a solid education in phytotherapy as well as humoral medical concepts and can combine both. The integration of both approaches enables the practitioner to develop personalized treatment plans and address the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of the patient holistically.


Angelica Root Tea Preparation:

1-2 teaspoons of dried angelica root (available at pharmacies, health food stores) poured over with 2dl of boiling water

Let it steep for 5-10 minutes, strain, and drink slowly

Approximately 30 minutes before eating


Herbal remedies have contraindications and preparation recommendations, so always inquire first with your naturopath, herbalist, or pharmacist.