Herbal Medicine

Brief explanation about the therapy

Modern Western Herbal Medicine is founded firmly on the time-tested empirical knowledge of the past, but equally embraces the disciplines of modern medical science. All these various branches of learning are allied under the basic philosophy of Herbal Medicine: to treat the whole person with preparations made from whole plants.

Herbal Medicine is neither suppressive nor invasive; it does not cover up illness by dulling symptoms or force the body into unnatural and unsustainable states. Rather, it activates and supports the innate healing capacity possessed by all living beings, channelling and encouraging it to normalise function, remove toxicity, correct imbalance and repair damage gently, thoroughly and without side-effects.

What can the client expect at the appointment

A consultation will begin with a thorough assessment of the patient’s state of health. Once a fundamental personal diagnosis has been made, the practitioner will dispense an individually formulated medicine, together with any relevant advice on diet, exercise and any other areas which affect the patient’s present and future health. The end result aimed for is not solely the cure of a particular disease, but rather a return to an overall state of good health and well-being.

Medicines prepared individually for each patient are made using extracts of whole plants, rather than isolated “active constituents”. Again and again it has been demonstrated that these whole-plant remedies are safer and more effective than individual chemicals. The complex interactions of the various constituents of medicinal herbs act in concert to produce an effect that is safe, cumulative and deeply healing. Herbal Medicine works with nature, encouraging, supporting and directing the organism’s own innate powers of self-healing.

All consultations are conducted under conditions of complete confidentiality, and you can be assured of a patient, compassionate and professional environment.

How many sessions should the client need before they see a result

This depends entirely on the nature of the condition and the patient’s individual response to it. On average, a patient with a long-standing problem might need 5 to 6 sessions, spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart.

What can the therapy help

The basic principles of herbal medicine are holistic; the medical herbalist’s approach to any patient is to attempt to discover the underlying causes of the individual’s ill-health, rather than apply stock remedies for given conditions. The basic aim is to restore and harmonise overall functional integrity and promote healing. Because of this approach of treating people rather than diseases, the exercise of delineating which medical conditions are particularly responsive to herbal therapy is somewhat artificial, and can only be seen at best as a rough guide. With this caveat in mind, the following list outlines some of the commoner presenting problems with which patients approach a herbalist.

Digestive System:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • Hyperchlorhydria /Peptic ulceration.
  • Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease: In conjunction with corticosteroid therapy if needed; can help reduce incidence and severity of acute relapses.
  • Reflux oesophagitis.
  • Chronic constipation, flatus and similar functional disorders.

Cardio Vascular:

  • High Blood Pressure: medium-level hypertension can often be successfully controlled; particularly useful with patients who poorly tolerate conventional drugs.
  • Raynaud’s syndrome.
  • Intermittent claudination.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Angina, heart disease: as with all potentially dangerous conditions, herbal treatment would normally only be undertaken with the knowledge and co-operation of the patient’s G.P.

Endocrine:

  • Menstrual disorders: this is one of the most successful areas for herbal therapy.
  • Menopausal symptoms.
  • Thyroid disorders: mild hypo- and hyper-thyroidism are treatable.
  • Hypoglycaemia.

Urogenital:

  • Non-specific Urethritis.
  • Recurrent cystitis.
  • Thrush.
  • Prostate problems.

Respiratory:

  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infections including common cold, bronchitis, chronic catarrhal conditions.
  • Hay fever & Allergic Rhinitis.

Ear, nose & throat:

  • “Glue ear” in children.
  • Certain cases of tinnitus .
  • Recurrent tonsilitis .
  • Laryngitis.
  • Mouth ulcers.

Psycho-emotional:

  • Anxiety states.
  • Insomnia.
  • Depression.

Miscellaneous:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • ME.
  • Fibromyalgia.

Who would benefit from this type of therapy

Patients suffering from medium to long term complaints such as those outlined above. For those patients unable or unwilling to take conventional medication due to side-effects, herbal treatment can often provide a safe and acceptable alternative. Herbal Medicine can also be successfully combined with conventional treatment. I have worked for over 15 years as a herbalist within the NHS, so I have a lot of experience in combining herbal treatment for patients who also need to take prescribed drugs.