What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbalism is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world, and Medical Herbalists use a wide variety of plant & mushroom remedies – herbs, roots, flowers, trees, fungi, seaweeds – to treat common health complaints.
We choose to use the whole plant over isolated constituents which makes herbalism a safe and effective natural healthcare option with few side effects. Our practice is based on a holistic philosophy which aims to treat the ‘whole person’ not just your diagnosis or current symptoms.
This means that during our appointments we will ask about your wider medical history and your psycho-emotional situation and work together with you to identify any underlying patterns or root causes we can treat. At the end of the appointment we will give you a herbal prescription tailored to your individual need.
What Health Conditions Can Herbal Medicine Treat?
Most conditions which are treated by a GP can also be supported by herbs. In our clinic we see a wide range of patients, of all ages, who come to see us for a variety of reasons.
Some of the most common reasons that people come to our Community Herbal Clinic in particular are for chronic health conditions especially: digestive ailments, chronic pain, low energy, hormonal imbalances and difficulty sleeping. We also support a lot of folk struggling with low mood, feeling low in spirit, in withdrawal from substances, experiencing anxiety & panic and dealing with the effects of trauma in their lives.
Conditions commonly seen in Herbal Practice Include:
Digestive conditions: IBS, constipation, dysbiosis, diarrhoea, ulcers, colitis, IBD, high cholesterol
Cardiovascular conditions: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, varicose veins, leg ulcers
Respiratory conditions: sinusitis, colds, coughs, asthma, hay fever, COPD, lung cancer
Skin conditions: eczema, psoriasis, acne, fungal infections
Emotional & Mental Health: anxiety, stress, PTSD, insomnia, depression, addiction, drug & alcohol recovery & withdrawal
Musculoskeletal disorders: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, auto-immune conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome
Endocrine disorders: thyroid imbalance, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome,
Reproductive Health: painful periods, irregular menstruation, PMS, fibroids, endometriosis, fertility, menopausal symptoms, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
Children’s health: skin disorders, allergies, tonsilitis
Supportive treatment for chronic illnesses
Although, this list gives you an idea of conditions often supported by herbalists, we will always focus our treatment on the person, and not their disease.
What Happens in a Herbal Consultation?
An initial herbal consultation lasts for 1 to 1.5 hours. In this time we will discuss your main health issues, previous medical history, family history and your general health and well being. This will include your diet and lifestyle, emotional health and social circumstances. All information provided by you at the consultation will be strictly confidential (there are a few exceptions to this however. If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch). Depending on your health issues a physical examination may be required with your consent. This in depth level of information is necessary to help us get to the root cause of your complaint rather than just treating your symptoms. Follow up appointments usually last half an hour and will be arranged within a time scale suitable to your condition, usually 1-4 weeks.
What Does A Herbal Prescription Involve?
After your consultation, a herbal medicine will be made up specifically for you. We most commonly prescribe herbal tinctures, teas, creams and ointments but can also make up other preparations if necessary.
Our selection of herbs will be chosen to relate to your particular case.
The natural healing properties of herbs combined with dietary and lifestyle advice, with our ongoing support can help you to regain a sense of control of your health.
Can I Take Herbal Medicine alongside my Regular Medications?
Professional Herbalists are trained to prescribe herbs alongside orthodox medicine, taking any possible herb-drug interactions into account. Our role is to work in conjunction with your GP – please bring a list of all of your current medications to your appointment. You should continue your current treatment as well as taking the herbal remedy. Don’t stop your existing treatments without seeking your doctor’s advice.