Which cultural traditions run strongest in modern folk medicine?

Honestly, they really come from everywhere. For instance, the traditions that have fed the knowledge base I work with mainly come from France, England, and the USA. The USA part of it is many-fold: it encompasses a lot of knowledge that came out of Europe, which was originally elaborated from ongoing exchanges with Middle East practitioners over many centuries, then went back and forth in influences between the USA and England, to then take on many other influences on this continent. Luckily, the Eclectic physicians (before the compulsory standardization of medical practice) got a fair amount of information about native plants from First Nations people - and they left a lot of written materials. More recently, this work has been elaborated upon by a whole bunch of fantastic herbalists who also draw from Asian traditions and incorporate it all into a wide variety of approaches and understandings about health and plants. It's really important for me to speak of the diversity, because I find that the diversity is the richness of it, and different people will prefer different approaches. For instance, I co-own a school where we train herbal practitioners. My colleague is much more versed in TCM [Traditional Chinese Medicine] than I am. That works for her really well, and that's fine. Right now we're both learning some "shamanic" techniques of direct communication with plants, which is another influence that I started with in an embryonic way 12 years ago and have been expanding to this point. And we both took extensive training in anatomy and physiology, to be able to speak the language and to be able to make sense of this at different levels. One does not preclude the other.
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