People often confuse herbalism and plant medicines or use them interchangeably. But, there is a difference.
Plant medicines are traditionally used by indigenous healers and shamans to achieve different states of consciousness. They believe that in these states of consciousness, healing of both the body and mind can occur. It was usually taken in a ceremony or ritual. Some examples of plant medicines are cannabis, psilocybin, and ayahuasca/DMT. They can aid in healing from trauma. These plants can make you feel more connected to the natural world around you. Giving you a sense of oneness with everything around you. Anyone can use these plant medicines intentionally to achieve conscious healing as well. Using these substances with conscious intention can be a completely different experience than simply consuming the substance.
Herbalism is the practice of using plants for their medicinal benefits. There are many different types of plants, such as, adaptogens, nervines, and sedatives. Each has their own benefits and different actions to help heal our bodies. For example, a sedative herb will help to relax and sleep. Where as, a nervine herb helps to support the nervous system and in turn, calms your nerves. Adaptogens are herbs that helps us manage our stress by helping to counteract the effects of stress in the body. I like to use a combination of both plant medicine and herbalism for my health and wellness.