The first step to practicing medicine is knowing your resources. There is no cure all method of medicine as death is as natural as life. These methods are to enrich the lives of the living, not to rob the Soul Reaper of souls. The Green Man has created many plants with soothing, healing, and other beneficial properties as well as many with toxic, poisonous, and other fatal properties. The berry of a specific plant might be edible, the leaves may cause a rash, and the roots might do nothing. Many berries, leaves, and overall plant structure may look similar but have very different colors, tastes, odors, and textures that can be used to identify different plants. Dosage and application are also very important as too much of a relaxant can stop the heart or a stimulant can poison the body whereas some plant parts can be fatal upon ingestion but are good for promoting skin growth.
The skill for identifying the correct plant for their properties as well as using said properties in the appropriate manner with the correct dosage lies with the individual doing the preparation. The preparation itself is another skill based on practice and technique. It is possible for one to have a well-endowed knowledge of plant life but be unable to apply their knowledge, just as it is possible for one to have the accuracy and motor skills to do the preparation but may lack the knowledge.
Humans are capable of all methods listed below except potions, which are only available for preparation by those with magic. Anyone with proficiency or a blessing in natural magic, specifically plant and/or earth, will be able to tap into a plant’s property more intimately for stronger potency in their respective application. The effects of medicine are limited to what the body itself can do—medicine merely speeds that process along. To achieve effects the body is not capable of—such as regrowing limbs—additional magic or blessing will have to be provided. No form of medicine, magical or otherwise, is foolproof.
This is the method of medicine most endorsed by the Green Man, the god of medicine, for it is the direct offshoot of his domain. It is common practice to invoke his name in prayer while preparing or applying remedies, especially the more complex mixtures. Many remedies are passed down through families and can vary. Anyone is capable of producing a remedy with the right instruction. Sometimes the remedy is as simple as chewing a chamomile leaf to calm the nerves.
Elixirs are meant to be imbibed but can sometimes double as a less potent poultice or salve. Elixirs are typically used to calm the nerves, soothe the senses, alleviate muscle aches and pains, serve as an anti-venom, prevent or abort pregnancy or cause temporary sterility, and promote physical healing by supplying the body with nutrients. This method is also commonly used as a sleep aid. There are typically traces of poisonous plant material in elixirs, as this material provides the property that relaxes muscles, eases the mind to rest, and provides the poison necessary to produce an anti-venom or to rid the body of other substances.
Poultices are directly applied to the wound or skin and must be held in place. They can either be a mass of plant material (such as moss or leaves) or a cloth dipped in plant substance. Most poultices have no effect if one ingests them, but some may cause negative side effects. Poultices are often used for short-term uses, such as in wound recovery with promoting the body’s natural healing mechanism. The poultice also acts as a layer of skin to prevent additional infection from interfering with the muscle and skin regrowth.
This branch of medicine includes a magical aspect, such as an enchantment, hex, or curse. See (link later) for more information. Humans are not capable of producing potions without magical assistance, but they can outsource and feel the effects upon consumption.
Salves are ointments and are meant to be absorbed by the skin. Not all salves are meant to be used on open wounds or ingested but can be used for minor cuts and abrasions as well as relieving dry skin and rashes.
More invasive forms of medicine are not condoned or condemned by the god of medicine but are merely practices humans have come up with on their own. Cauterization is often used for closing wounds and preventing too much blood loss; it is typically the method employed fresh after amputation. Amputation is considered when a limb has been deemed beyond saving and the individual is not ready to meet the Soul Reaper. Surgery is available but is inadvisable in this day and age as it often leads to more complications.