What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is the oldest form of medicine known, and the most widely practised in the world today. It offers a complementary or alternative treatment to conventional medicine.
Medicinal plants have been used to treat illness for thousand of years, with as much as 80% of the world’s population currently relying upon treatment with plant-based medicines.
In a modern context, Herbal Medicine combines orthodox medical knowledge with traditional and scientific understanding of medicinal plants.
Medical herbalists are trained in the same diagnostic skills as orthodox doctors but take a more holistic approach to illness. They use remedies made from whole plant extracts, and are trained to identify and treat the underlying cause of a problem, helping the body to correct imbalances and heal itself. Herbal Medicine offers a safe, gentle and supportive approach, which allows the body to regain its equilibrium. The approach is not to treat symptoms, but to treat people.
Qualified herbalists are trained to know about any potential herb/drug interactions and can advice on the safety of taking herbal medicines alongside your conventional medication. They also know when a condition is best seen by a doctor or another practitioner. Please visit www.nimh.org.uk for more information.
Who can benefit from Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is suitable for adults and children alike. Those already receiving treatment from their doctor may also be helped, and are prescribed only herbs, which do not adversely interact with other medication.
Herbs prescribed are sourced from trusted, ethical herbal suppliers, and are mainly organic and biodynamic wherever possible.
What can Herbal Medicine treat?
Conditions that respond well to Herbal Medicine are:
Women’s health problems • Digestive problems • Anxiety, stress and fatigue • Joint problems • Skin problems • Allergies •Auto-immune conditions • Frequent infection
The first consultation lasts about an hour. A detailed case history is taken, covering not only your present problems, but also your wider medical history, present medication, lifestyle, diet and social circumstances. A blood pressure and other ecaminations may be carried out if necessary using orthodox medical techniques, such as listening to the lungs and heart.
A treatment plan is then discussed and prescribed as necessary. Each prescription is carefully considered, and tailored to meet your specific needs, combined with diet and lifestyle advice.
The prescription is freshly prepared and may be a tincture (a blend of herbal extracts in an alchohol/water base) or a tea. Capsules are also sometimes used. For external use, creams, lotions or oils may be prescribed. If necessary, you may also be referred to your GP if appropriate.
Follow up consultations last approximately 30 minutes and will usually be required at regular intervals during treatment to check on progress. Adjustments may be made to the prescription during this time to ensure it is at its most effective.
All consultations are strictly confidential.