''The interface between herbal medicine and aromatherapy; epistemological tensions between Evidence Based Medicine and Traditional Plant Knowledge”

Danny's lecture at Botanica2018 will consider the question, where does the knowledge of plant medicines actually come from? An exploration of philosophy, ethnobotancy and anthropology reveals that traditional plant medicine must involve experiential learning through close interaction with plants and the natural environment. However when we try to validate traditional plant knowledge through an evidence-based systematic approach, with a focus on randomized placebo controlled trials, we may actually risk the loss of that traditional knowledge as well as potentially dehumanizing patients in the process. This is important because the World Health Organization Traditional Medicines Strategy states that member states must preserve traditional medicine as a matter of global healthcare sustainability, and integrate it within a modern healthcare system as a matter of some urgency. This lecture will range from Aristotlean philosophy to common themes in centuries-old tribal medicine still practiced today.


Danny O'Rawe is a herbalist, naturopath, aromatherapist, horticulturalist and international lecturer with over 30 years of experience in plant-based medicines. His training has taken him from Western Herbal Medicine, to Traditional Chinese Medicine, to the Curanderos traditional medicine of Amazonian Peru, to study with Cherokee herbalist David Winston, to a Master of Science degree in herbal medicine. He is passionate about unravelling and preserving the traditional aspects of plant medicines in a world dominated by scientism and dogmatic paradigms. He runs a busy multidicipline practice in Belfast, and lectures frequently.