Alternative Medicine Guide

Seeking Healing With Herbs

"For just about every condition there is in standard medicine," says Houston master herbalist Mark Hammer, "there are answers in Chinese medicine."

By Alice Levitt May 25, 2017 Published in the June 2017 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Herbalist Mark Hammer of Longevity Mountain Herbs

Master herbalist Mark Hammer has been practicing for 22 years using a unique combination of traditions, from herbs native to the Americas, to European, Indian and even Middle Eastern and Egyptian medicines. But the last that he added to his bag of tricks, Chinese medicine, may be the most potent.

“For just about every condition there is in standard medicine,” he says, “there are answers in Chinese medicine.”

Most clients come to Hammer at Longevity Mountain Herbs after having read about a particular herb that they think may be helpful to them. Sometimes they’re right, but he usually has to convince them that, most of the time, a single herb is not the answer. “A real master herbalist will tell you there are ways to combine herbs that will be really impactful,” he explains.

After reading the patient’s assessment form and having a consultation, Hammer will come up with a formula for treatment that he often claims will work within an hour. “If they have a chronic condition,” he says, “they may take one to five days—that’s the most I’ve seen.”

That said, Hammer recognizes that some herbs can be dangerous and shouldn’t be taken without a trained herbalist’s supervision. This is just common sense, but, Hammer believes, so is taking herbs before resorting to potentially toxic Western medicines.

Herbalism has a significant following in Houston, Hammer says. However, he wishes that there were more cooperation between practitioners like him and the Medical Center. “We need all fields of medicine,” he reasons. “What would be better is if we were talking together and respecting each other.”

Also Try:

  • At Acupuncture Care, Drs. Shen Ping and John Paul Liang, who perform acupuncture, are also skilled herbalists who have worked in conjunction with Western medical institutions. 5177 Richmond Ave., Uptown
  • In Houston proper as well as Katy and The Woodlands, Chris Axelrad of The Axelrad Clinic offers healing with herbal medicine and therapeutic nutrition, as well as acupuncture and mind-body coaching. Multiple locations
  • In China, Dr. Lin Jia was a neurologist, while Dr. Yanfang Liu was a gynecologist. At Acupuncture Herbal Wellness Center, they offer a truly holistic approach to health. 3701 W. Alabama St. Ste. 388, Greenway Plaza 
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