Dr. Jillian Stansbury, a physician at Battle Ground Healing Arts, recently received the James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award for her textbook series, Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals.
Stansbury received the award on March 9.
“I’m delighted, of course,” she said. “It was a lot of work. It’s great to receive some recognition and I’m happy to have received that announcement last week.”
The honor marks her first literary award, but Stansbury previously received the Order of the University award from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland in June 2019 for teaching and mentoring students.
Stansbury said she developed the Herbal Formularies series from her 30-plus years of teaching for the university. It originated from her quarterly lecture notes and became more polished, she said. She also added it’s heavily footnoted to showcase the research behind natural products, as she said there are sometimes complaints that there’s no proof that they work.
“They are titled ‘Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals’ because they’re somewhat in-depth,” Stansbury said. “They assume some background understanding of chemistry, physiology, or biochemistry, and they footnote those chemical pathways that would make them be a pain reliever or make them affect neurotransmitters and so on.”
The subject of the books is also derived from folklore. Stansbury borrowed old traditions like putting aloe vera on a burn or drinking chamomile tea to help with an upset stomach. She backs those remedies up with modern molecular research.
“I’ve been a physician for almost 35 years and I have a lot of case studies to draw from and a lot of my own clinical experience,” she said.
Stansbury felt inspired to publish the books since she already had the material laid out. It took her a few years to flesh out the content, but she said it was worth the additional effort.
“I knew that it would take a few years to polish what I’ve already been working on for decades and found a good fit of a publisher to help me do just that,” Standsbury said of her publisher Chelsea Green. “For the last four years, I released these five volumes over the last four years, with the last one being published in October.”
Although the books cover treatments for conditions as far-ranging as diabetes, colds, and sinus infections, she said they’re effective “when part of a greater protocol,” especially for chronic illnesses.
“For people who’ve been given prescription after prescription for their kid’s ear infection, reflux disease, their own episodes of wheezing, or irritable bowels, it can be remarkable for those individuals that just didn’t know there was any other way,” Stansbury said.
For anxiety, she notes St. John’s Wort works, which serves as a substitute for Prozac and other pharmaceuticals. Stansbury said she and other natural medicine physicians can fine-tune a herbal formula so it’s highly specific to a person’s unique symptoms, which she said is something that isn’t always present in medical circles.
“It’s kind of like ‘well, let’s give you the Prozac and if that doesn’t work or you experience side effects, here’s the next one and the next one.’ It’s not fine-tuned to people’s unique presentation (of symptoms),” Stansbury said. “That’s something unique to herbal medicine and something I try to flesh out in the Herbal Formularies books, which are those really specific niche herbs or presentations, and how to craft herbal formulas that are tailored to the individual people, so that way you’re treating a person and not the diagnosis.”
Besides the award, Stansbury said the series is also listed as a bestseller on Amazon in the technical reference, botany, and natural medicine categories.
Battle Ground Healing Arts is located at 408 E. Main St. in Battle Ground. More information can be found online at BattleGround HealingArts.com.
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