The extracellular matrix is the ‘stuff’ between the blood vessel and the cells. It doesn’t just carry food and waste (which is a big enough deal in itself), but also signals. In fact, the cells are completely controlled by the matrix polymers—feeding, elimination, migration, and reproduction. Signals in the matrix simultaneously communicate with all cells, so they are unified into a single whole. In other words, they do not act as individuals; the cell theory is disproven, and the basic premise of holistic medicine is now ‘evidence based medicine,’ as they say. The matrix also interacts with the microbiome in the gut and elsewhere. The implications for holistic therapy is tremendous. We will particularly study the herbal mucilages, because they are basically matrix polymers/polysaccharides. Drawing agents, astringents, warming tonics.