Dr. Jillian Stansbury, founder of Battle Ground Healing Arts and Apothecary, which specializes in natural medicine, has made it her life work to become an expert in botanical medicine.
In addition to her education, she has accumulated awards to back up her experience.
“I was the chair of the botanical medicine program at the Naturopathic University in Portland for over 25 years, and I remain on the faculty, and I’ve written some seven books on herbal medicine that dive fairly deep into chemistry,” Stansbury said.
Stansbury said the world of natural medicine can be as simple or as in depth as someone’s interests.
“Then, the deeper and deeper you go, you can learn about specific nutrients that are therapeutic for different conditions,” Stansbury said. “Over the decades that I have been involved in natural medicine, there’s been a lot of maturation in the science itself and what used to just be called vitamins or nutritional therapy.”
In nutraceuticals, instead of using vitamins and multivitamins to target ailments or complaints, nutrients can be made to target a person’s specific needs, Stansbury explained.
For example, someone could have a medical complaint or disease causing them to lack a certain enzyme to turn fatty acids into anti-inflammatory compounds. Fish oil wouldn’t be absorbed and nor would any old B-vitamin, Stansbury said.
“And so a lot of research over recent decades has kind of turned just your run-of-the-mill vitamin therapy into nutraceutical therapy,” Stansbury said. “What really might treat colitis, what really might treat cancer, what really might treat schizophrenia, there are certain nutrients that maybe people (with these illnesses) just don’t metabolize well.”
Stansbury explained the idea of two poles of natural medicine: Those who focus on their health by incorporating more nutrients and superfoods into their diets and those who receive treatment from a specialist with a doctorate or medical degree who understand the science behind why certain nutrients work compared to others.
Stansbury said her passion is herbal medicine, where people take certain herbs to treat certain ailments, such as mint tea for nausea, chamomile to settle down a cranky child, or alfalfa for added minerals.
“And so it’s possible to take an herb course or even listen to online Youtube teachers or something like that and learn the 20 most all-purpose, nontoxic herbs that are never going to hurt anyone even if you give them to the wrong person,” she said.
At the Battle Ground Healing Arts and Apothecary, Stansbury stocks hundreds of herbs to suit customers’ needs. Custom formulas with precise dosages based on physician instruction can even be made for people with specific ailments.
Stansbury said multiple physicians and even dentists outside of her business refer their patients to the apothecary for alternatives to antibiotics or opiates. Even veterinarians have sent pet owners to the apothecary for natural alternatives.
The apothecary also features herbal tea mixes to provide natural relief for specific symptoms, such as allergies, or Stansbury can provide more specific regimens to relieve symptoms before they become problematic.
“But similarly, I think natural medicine does really well for chronic diseases: high blood pressure, diabetes, bowel problems, headaches, hormone imbalance, skin disorders because in mainstream [Western] medicine, a lot of the therapies are immunosuppressants, like a steroid inhaler, and when you run out of the steroid, you got to go get another one because it didn’t cure anything in a deep way,” Stansbury said.
Stansbury said natural medicine may not provide fast relief, but can provide in-depth, restorative treatment over time.
“There’s a lot of chronic diseases that, in my humble opinion, are treated better and more deeply with natural medicines than they are with just another round of antibiotics and another dose of steroids and those kinds of ongoing pharmaceutical approaches,” Stansbury said. “Many, many people will have less allergic reactivity and less bladder infections and less migraine headaches if you kind of figure out the right combination that’s deeply corrective to their physiology and kind of changes their core biochemistry or just the load of oxidative stress. That’s all the rage in the science.”
To learn more about the Battle Ground Healing Arts and Apothecary, visit battlegroundhealingarts.com. The apothecary and clinic is located at 408 E. Main St. in Battle Ground and can be reached by calling 360-687-4492 or by emailing BGHealingArts.Apothecary@gmail.com.