In recent years, since about the early 90’s, alternative medicines have really begun to popularise, slowly releasing western society from the clutches of the Biomedical Model of medicine as the one and only solution for physiological healing. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for biomedical medicine, you wouldn’t call a herbalist to perform an emergency surgery if you’d been hit by a car for instance. But we know now that natural medicine is more effective as a preventative treatment and the treatment of chronic ailments than their pharmaceutical alternatives, because they are safer, especially for long-term use.
Jean-Francois Sobiecki is a teacher, healer and ethnobotanist. Medicinal plants have been important on Jean’s path as a healer and that is why he calls himself a phyto-alchemist; phyto meaning plants and alchemy meaning the transformation of one state to another – in this case from illness to wellness!
Jean-Francois’ main interest lies in the role of medicinal psychoactive plants (those that treat the nervous system) in healing consciousness. It has taken him on an incredible journey of studying various traditions of plant use from Amazonian and Southern African shamanism, through to Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
For more information on Jean-Francois’ work, visit his site: www.phytoalchemy.co.za