Talk:Herbalism

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Proposed merge since February 2017[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The majority consensus of this discussion was to merge Phytotherapy into its own section within Herbalism. --Zefr (talk) 17:14, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

  • I see it has been proposed since last October to merge Phytotherapy into this article. Since the Phytotherapy article covers substantially the same ground as this article, is a less well-known title for the general reader, and is in need of work including citation, I would support the merge. There should have been a discussion here on this page but I couldn't see it, so let's (re)start the discussion now. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:48, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support merge. I don't see there's anything in phytotherapy that couldn't be covered here. Plantdrew (talk) 17:53, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support: Will require some earnest integrative editing, but the two articles should be one. --Zefr (talk) 18:57, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support merge. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 19:13, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. The case seems pretty clear that herbalism is an overarching title that includes phytotherapy, and the latter is so closely linked that two articles aren't really warranted. Kingofaces43 (talk) 05:15, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
Per WP:SNOW I have accordingly gone ahead and merged the articles. Please take a look and help fix any slight overlaps. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:40, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. It against sources. Cathry (talk) 13:12, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
According to Michael Heinrich (head of the Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy in the School of Pharmacy, University College London.) "Phytotherapy is a science-based medical practice and thus is distinguished from other, more traditional approaches, such as medical herbalism, which relies on an empirical appreciation of medicinal herbs and which is often linked to traditional knowledge. " (https://www.britannica.com/topic/phytotherapy) (Also same info here Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy

By Michael Heinrich, Joanne Barnes, Simon Gibbons, Elizabeth M. Williamson https://books.google.com.ua/books?id=NZXQAQAAQBAJ)Cathry (talk) 15:22, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Phytotherapy/herbalism is a minefield for quackery. --Zefr (talk) 15:34, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
this source has nothing common with your beloved MEDRS Cathry (talk) 15:41, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Not really; phytotherapy is the use of plants as medicine (herbal medicine, herbalism, see attached quotations),[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] and the practice (whether called P. or H.) is steadily becoming more scientific, with better trials and quality control, as many reliable sources attest. There is certainly a special interest section who would like P. to be different from H. (I hope you are not one of those, or else please declare your interest now), but that aside, there's really nothing concrete to distinguish the two. Further, I see you state that the discussion has only been since the 21st of this month: but it's just the formal continuation of the merger proposed in October last year by other editors. For the sake of process however, I'll leave it to run until 1st March now.

References

  1. ^ "Phytotherapy". South African Association of Herbal Practitioners. 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2017. Phytotherapy or herbalism is the oldest medical practice in the world. Our ancestors used herbs to treat their illnesses and even today many cultures still rely on herbs for their medicine. ... In South Africa, Phytotherapy is a registered profession. 
  2. ^ Ernst, Edzard (10 November 1998). "Health: Herbs that can cure you - or kill you". The Independent. Retrieved 24 February 2017. There are two types of herbalism - traditional and phytotherapy. 
  3. ^ Capasso R, Izzo AA, Pinto L, Bifulco T, Vitobello C, Mascolo N. (2000). "Phytotherapy and quality of herbal medicines". Filoterapia. 71 (Suppl 1): S58–65. The extensive use of plants as medicines has pointed out that herbal medicines are not as safe as frequently claimed. 
  4. ^ "Herbal medicine / Phytotherapy". National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Norway. Retrieved 24 February 2017. Herbal medicine/Phytotherapy as a treatment is directly regulated in 10 of 39 countries. ... Switzerland: Anthroposophic medicine, classical homeopathy, herbal medicine (Phytotherapy) and non-acupuncture TCM, practised by certified Medical Doctors (MDs) will be permanently included in KVG (krankenversicherung) of compulsory Health Insurance (OKP). 
  5. ^ Capasso, F., Gaginella, T.S., Grandolini, G., Izzo, A.A. (2003). Phytotherapy A Quick Reference to Herbal Medicine. Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-00052-5. 
  6. ^ "Phytotherapy and Herbal Medicine". Patient QI. Phytotherapy and Herbal Medicine tend to be used interchangeably as terms. Phytotherapy is the term used more in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and South America whilst Herbal Medicine is the English term and is used more in the UK Northern Europe, Australasia and North America. In North America herbal supplements are usually prescribed by naturopaths, in the UK and Europe they would be prescribed by Medical Herbalists or Phytotherapists. 
  7. ^ "Botanical Therapy (Code C15250)". National Cancer Institute. Definition: Therapy based on plant-derived preparations ... Synonyms & Abbreviations: herbal medicine ... Phytotherapy or Herbalism 
--Chiswick Chap (talk) 13:23, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Reliable sources you bring don't speak about herbalism. Herbal medicines are used in phytoherapy (scientific-based medicine) and in herbalism (traditional medicine) Cathry (talk) 14:38, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Please read the sources. I've listed quotations in each of them. The first one states "Phytotherapy or herbalism is the oldest medical practice in the world." The same message is repeated in many sources from around the world. Chiswick Chap (talk) 15:00, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
This source is not reliable Cathry (talk) 15:11, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
It's one of many good sources of different types that all agree. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:05, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Cathry: Checking the references for both articles, there are highly limited or no aspects of current phytotherapy that would stand to scrutiny by sources meeting the quality of basic research for WP:SCIRS or clinical evidence to meet WP:MEDRS. By the base of literature for the two fields, phytotherapy is closely related to herbalism, justifying the merger. --Zefr (talk) 15:07, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Suppport. While there may be some distinction between the two topics in limited contexts, the scope and content of both articles are related enough that merging the two is entirely sensible. The combined article can address any situations where a distinction between herbalism and phtotherapy may need to be made. Deli nk (talk) 15:21, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
    Herbalism in traditional meaning include not only medical uses, but also religious and magical, so it is too big theme to diminish it to one article. Cathry (talk) 15:33, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Thinking about next steps, the consensus thus far is clear, but an ANI would be messy as the formal merge proposal is only few days old. This is where following process closely is useful. Please allow this to run the 30 day course and be closed formally per WP:MERGECLOSE; if the close finds consensus to merge than doing so will be secure. Jytdog (talk) 15:58, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Ok, belt and braces it is. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:05, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - While phytotherapy can be considered a subset of herbalism, the herbalism article is quite long - if there is sufficient distinction in sources to establish phototherapy as a distinct topic, it should say separate. Confusion arises from the way the term is used - some use phytotherapy as a synonym for herbalism, while some treat it as a distinct topic grounded in science. See Blueraspberry's comment on how the confusion could be addressed by a rename. It may be possible to improve the phytotherapy article with MEDRS citations - the Ernst source describes various herbal / plant-based treatments with proven effects.Dialectric (talk) 16:02, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Evidence-based use is subset of science-based use (latter began earlier) Cathry (talk) 19:19, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
  • support - "phytotherapy" is just a gussied up version herbalism; it is along the same bullshit marketing lines as the use of "nutraceuticals" instead of "food ingredients" or "dietary supplements". Jytdog (talk) 17:28, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Explicit reference to herbalism[edit]

User:Cathry, you have made reversions based on the objection that "herbalism" must be explicitly stated in a source as follows:

  • diff 13:15, 24 February 2017
  • diff 16:26, 24 February 2017
  • diff 18:33, 24 February 2017
  • diff 19:07, 24 February 2017
  • diff 19:17, 24 February 2017
  • diff 19:21, 24 February 2017

Please discuss your objection. Jytdog (talk) 19:24, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

It is common sense, source must me about article's topic. Cathry (talk) 19:26, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Please say more - four other editors differ. Jytdog (talk) 19:27, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
It is stated in britannica's article by expert "Phytotherapy is a science-based medical practice and thus is distinguished from other, more traditional approaches, such as medical herbalism, which relies on an empirical appreciation of medicinal herbs and which is often linked to traditional knowledge. An herbalist’s approach generally has not been evaluated in controlled clinical trials or in rigorous biomedical studies, whereas numerous trials and pharmacological studies of specific phytotherapeutic preparations exist. " "Likewise, preparations used in phytotherapy and in herbalism may be referred to as herbal medicines or phytomedicines." So herbal medicine is more broad term, which is used by scientific research as well as by ethnographers to describe traditional use. Cathry (talk) 19:33, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
 :: I have provided seven reliable sources, all from respected organisations, all concerning herbalism and its synonyms, herbal medicine and phytotherapy. Several of them go into considerable depth on the matter. They are beyond all doubt "about the article's topic". User:Cathry is reverting (far) more than 3 times, and without reason. Chiswick Chap (talk) 19:30, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
No, reliable sources your provided speak about herbal medicines, it is not only herbalism. Cathry (talk) 19:33, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Mind you, there is a ridiculous overcite at the start of the lede. Alexbrn (talk) 19:34, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Well, why not read the sources: "Definition: Therapy based on plant-derived preparations ... Synonyms & Abbreviations: herbal medicine ... Phytotherapy or Herbalism". "Phytotherapy or herbalism is the oldest medical practice in the world." I think most editors will agree that herbalism is indeed mentioned. The sources equate herbalism with herbal medicine. Chiswick Chap (talk) 19:38, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
I read your sources, and this "Phytotherapy or herbalism is the oldest medical practice in the world" statement is not from reliable scientific source. I provided link to britannica article, where expert describes this confusion as mistake. https://www.britannica.com/topic/phytotherapy Other sources do not contain word "herbalism" Cathry (talk) 19:42, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
You are trying to evade the point. I just quoted 2 sources, one from a national practitioners' association, the other from the NCI. The practitioners know their own practice - sources about a practice do not need to be scientific, when the question is not science but definition. On the question at hand, the sources are of exactly the right kind - people in the field who know what they are doing - and certainly reliable. Britannica is, like Wikipedia, a tertiary source and to be used with great caution, if it is to be used at all. The other sources were provided to show that phytotherapy was equated with herbal medicine, and they are reliable on that question too. Chiswick Chap (talk) 19:49, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Lead section cannot be based on non-scientific source if there is scientific. Britannica's article is article by expert. Closer look to other your sources shows there are otner non-scientific sources Cathry (talk) 19:54, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
The Britannica entry is an essay by a herbalist. Wouldn't touch it. Use independent secondary sources: much better. Alexbrn (talk) 20:02, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
It is essay by expert from here UCL School of Pharmacy (ranked 5th in the World for Pharmacy & Pharmacology) Cathry (talk) 20:07, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
So what? It's a tertiary source and fails WP:FRIND, so such prominent use of a weak source is dodgy. Alexbrn (talk) 20:14, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
It's has nothing common with fringe theories. Same stament contains here https://books.google.com.ua/books?id=fgyeCAAAQBAJ Also, britannica is common source for definitions in different articles. Cathry (talk) 20:17, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Obvious special fringe pleading in this guy's essay - "phytotherapy is a system of medical practice that is based on scientific or medical evidence". We base our article on independent secondary sources, not advocacy-tainted tertiary ones. This is all pretty basic stuff. Alexbrn (talk) 20:27, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
It is not fringe, it is mainstream scientific view. You must provide reliable source speaking something else to oppose. Cathry (talk) 21:43, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Some peer-reviewed journals Phytomedicine (journal), Phytotherapy Research, [[Planta Medica

]]Cathry (talk) 21:50, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

  • Three refs, showing "herbalism" is the umbrella term within which "phytotherapy" falls:
    • popular media ref by Edzard Ernst: "Herbalism: what is it? The treatment of disease by plant products is called herbalism, or phytotherapy." He does go on to make a distinction between traditional herbalism and phyotherapy, but puts them both under "herbalism".
    • PMID 12919112, a MEDRS source albeit dated, discusses the history of herbalism in dermatology and puts it all on a continuum as well
    • The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine article on "Herbalism, Western" discusses contemporary training and says "Some programs are comprehensive, with curricula in physiology, clinical diagnosis and treatment, ethnobotany, pharmacognosy, phytotherapy, plant identification, ethical wildcrafting and cultivation, and preparation and application of herbal remedies". ref: Hanrahan, Clare; Odle, Teresa G. (2005). "Herbalism, Western". In Longe, Jacqueline L. The Gale encyclopedia of alternative medicine (2nd ed. ed.). Detroit: Thomson/Gale. ISBN 0-7876-7424-9.  Jytdog (talk) 20:05, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
      • There are plenty works describing continuum from alchemy to modern chemistry, so what? Merge alchemy and chemistry articles?
      • Popular media is not reliale.
      • So you want to merge this article with physiology and cultivation? Cathry (talk) 20:10, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
a) No; b) in this case the article is by an authority and the actual definition of the field does not require MEDRS (but does, as everything, require high quality), and c) no. Jytdog (talk) 20:19, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
a) and why? it is obvious that herbalism and phytotherapy, is like alchemy and chemistry b) He is not authority " Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation " is other branch c) and again, why? Cathry (talk) 20:28, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Cathry: please don't joke, this is a serious discussion. The Gale Encyclopedia, like Britannica, is a poor tertiary source. Ernst correctly puts phytotherapy under herbalism. I have not used "popular media". You are grasping at straws; it is overwhelmingly clear from "multiple reliable sources" that these terms are close synonyms. Chiswick Chap (talk) 20:23, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
No, in science these are not synonyms. I provided already this book https://books.google.com.ua/books?id=fgyeCAAAQBAJ Search term "herbalsim" there Cathry (talk) 20:32, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Textbook by Heinrich, Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy ISBN 978-0-7020-3388-9, makes it clear that these are not distinct: " Today, pharmacognosy embraces the scientific study of compounds from plants, animals and microbes, of both terrestrial and marine origin, and has evolved relatively recently to also include phytotherapy and nutraceuticals. The teaching of pharmacognosy has become even more relevant than previously over the last decade, as a result of the increasing use of herbal remedies (phytomedicines) by the public in Europe, North America and Australasia. When entering a pharmacy today it becomes apparent that considerable shelf space is devoted to a selection of ‘herbs’, to a degree which would have been quite unimaginable even 20 years ago. If the United States is taken as an example, community pharmacists nowadays have to deal with a rather bewildering array of botanical ‘dietary supplements’ ,many of which were introduced soon after the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994." "herbal remedies (phytomedicines) " Yep. Jytdog (talk)
Don't you understand herbal remedy is not only used in herbalism (traditional medicine) but also in phytotherapy (science-based medicine). For whom Heinrich wrote page 3 in Ethnopharmacology book? Cathry (talk) 20:58, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Also there is "COMPARISON OF HERBALISM WITH RATIONAL PHYTOTHERAPY " part in "Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy" Cathry (talk) 21:03, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
I understand that you believe this. And there are indeed, a very few botanical drugs (I created that article) but those are medicine, not "phyotherapy". Phytotherapists don't practice medicine; they practice alternative medicine. They don't prescribe carefully controlled and well-defined substances; drug manufacturing, including the manufacture of botanical drugs, is extremely well controlled. Herbal preparations vary widely and that undermines anyone's ability to do valid science with them much less claim they are doing science-based medicine. Your claim is not supportable with mainstream refs. You will find alt med "in bubble" refs making those claims but per NPOV we give WEIGHT to mainstream refs. Jytdog (talk) 21:07, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Your opinion is not reliable source. Expert from high-ranked Pharmacology university is authority instead. <redact>

Herbalism contrasts with rational phytotherapy in several ways (Table 13.2). Importantly, the herbalist’s approach has not been evaluated in controlled clinical trials, whereas there are numerous controlled clinical trials of specific phytotherapeutic preparations. Another important difference is that, although many of the same medicinal plants are used in each of the two approaches, the formulations of those herbs are often very different (Heinrich et al "Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy" https://books.google.com.ua/books?id=NZXQAQAAQBAJ).

Cathry (talk) 21:13, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
I acknowledged that you will find in-bubble references trying to draw a big bright line. Jytdog (talk) 21:26, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
You cited this source few minutes ago as reliable. I don't know what is "in-bubble", but suppose it is something like current sources in lead Cathry (talk) 21:33, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── ISTR when I looked at this before this is one of those topics where there's a distinct European view, and a push to draw a bright line there. Sadly, I can't remember the sources for this ... Alexbrn (talk) 04:44, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

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