What is herbal medicine?
Herbal medicine is a form of traditional medicine that uses whole plant remedies in the treatment and prevention of disease.
Plant remedies have been used for over three thousand years, and are still the most extensively used treatment worldwide. Modern research is now confirming the safety and effectiveness of herbs.
Many conventional drugs are based upon extracted plant constituents.
Herbal medicine is primarily concerned with establishing and treating the cause of ill health, taking into account such factors as diet, lifestyle and emotional well being, as well as the physical symptoms.
Who can Herbalists help?
Most of the problems that you take to your G.P. can be treated with herbal medicine, and herbs can often be used alongside conventional treatment with no ill effect.
A qualified herbalist will also know when a condition is best seen by a doctor.
Herbs provide a gentle alternative to conventional treatment.
What does treatment involve?
The first consultation will usually last a full hour. In this time I will take a detailed case history and perform such physical examination as may be necessary (including blood pressure).
Following this a treatment plan will be devised which may include advice on diet and lifestyle, alongside a herbal remedy. The remedy may be in the form of tincture, infusion or juice.
A follow up visit of 30 minutes will be arranged to assess progress and alter treatment if necessary.
What about practitioners?
The National Institute of Medical Herbalists, founded in 1864, is the oldest regulatory body for Medical Herbalists in the country and is dedicated to maintaining high standards amongst its members. All members carry the letters MNIMH after their name. Currently membership is by examination, following a four year course in medicine and herbal knowledge. The Institute publishes a strict code of ethics to which members must adhere.