I do not see herbs as drugs. They certainly can have a drug action and must be used with respect.
However, I prefer to look beyond the mediatisation f herbs as active ingredients. Perhaps it is because of the need for herbalism to be tested and verified scientifically. This is in itself a needed. However, we consume 25000 different phytochemicals during our life and their interactions are incompletely understood.
Traditional herbalism considers the whole plant (where possible) in synergy with the life experience.
This is why I feel home gardening is so important. Herbs should be experienced. Herbs and plants should be part of our sense experience. To feel the touch and smell of aromatics that sadly few truly experience.
It is why I fear the over commercialisation of plants. The reduction of phytochemical diversity in a world of what Guido Mase calls “Plant Deprivation”
Plant life should be enmeshed in daily life: food, ritual for beauty and the delight of the senses. Integrated and not just as a natural drug to cure a disease. Plants are the great networkers that bring nutrition from the earth .
The renaissance writers attempted to link nature, religion, science and psychology. In a way we need to return to a polytheism of the soul, or at least a recognition of the many components of life and psyche much as the internet can connect so many things together. What if we could also model life on ecology, mind and soul, instead of dryly divorced from it?
It would transcend economic interests. It would require a consensus that while less efficient , such a cooperative would mirror the ecologies collective, collaborative back loops that and not the hierarchical systems of corporation.