Herbal Medicine is a safe, gentle yet powerful form of medicine. It is both an art and a science, using the skill of the herbalist in constitutionally assessing the patient as well as deciding when further clinical testing and examination is necessary. By using both traditional practices and the latest clinical testing we find a perfect balance of healthcare.
The herbal approach to health
Medical Herbalists are trained in the same diagnostic skills as orthodox doctors but we take a holistic approach to illness and patient care. Herbalists do not treat the disease the person has, but the person who has the disease. At the clinic we aim to identify the underlying cause of the problem and address it, rather than addressing any symptoms that the patients have.
Why are herbs different from drugs?
Many of the pharmaceutical drugs used today are based on plant constituents and new drugs today are still being derived from the plant world. The pharmaceutical industry identifies and artificially synthesises single constituents in plants which they believe may work, and reproduces these on a large scale. The important difference is that our herbal medicines are made from the whole plant or part of the plant (flowers, leaves, berries, roots) and contain hundreds or even thousands of plant constituents that work in synergy.
Q & A
Take a look at some of the frequently asked questions.
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Q: What to expect at the first visit.
A: Together as patient and herbalist we decide what are the priority health issues for you and agree between us how we will set about tackling any areas of concern. I will also be able to give you some idea of how long we think it will take your herbal treatment to resolve any health issues you have. This may range from a few weeks to several months depending on the severity of your condition. If you have a terminal illness herbal medicine can still be very effective in providing secondary palliative care to increase comfort and life quality.
If further clinical tests are necessary, such as blood tests, these can be carried out at the clinic.
I will provide you with a medicine or medicines to take home. The medicines are made at the time of your consultation so you can begin taking them the same day. The medicines are put together from primarily organic herbs which are biodynamically cultivated or wildcrafted from sustainable sources. They are:
Organic dried herbs which we may ask you to use as herbal teas or washes.
Organic liquid tinctures and fluid extracts. These are the most likely form of herbs that we will prescribe to you. We will usually ask you to take 30 drops (only 1.5mls!) three times a day with a little water.
Creams and ointments.
Q: I am pregnant. Can I use herbal medicines?
A: Yes herbal medicine may be used when you are pregnant but please do not buy over-the-counter medicines. Please consult a qualified NIMH accredited herbalist who will be able to advise you on which herbs are safe to take in this most important period of your life, and the forms in which you should take the herbs.
Herbs may also be used by women who want to incorporate themselves into a natural birthing plan.
I will also be able to provide you with advice about herbs and how they can help both you and your baby's health after the birth. This may be anything from dealing with stretch marks to baby's colic and nappy rash.
Do however remember when working with babies and very young children it is important to consult a qualified herbalist rather than self-prescribing.
Q: I am taking orthodox medications. Can I take herbs at the same time?
A: Some people are wary of trying herbal medicine because there is much confusion about whether you can take herbal medicines alongside orthodox medicines.
While some herbs and orthodox medicines don't mix, some others do. So it is important to see a herbalist rather than buying over-the-counter herbal extracts.
Your herbal treatment will be more successful in the long run and you will be safe. A qualified NIMH accredited herbalist will have the knowledge required to advise you on this issue.