Medical Herbalism

Borage for Courage

I plan to launch a clinical practice in 2021 and will be taking patients then. In the meantime I offer herb walks and talks as well as demonstrations and workshops to include harvesting, foraging, medicinal tea mixes, hydrosols, salves and creams. Please do get in touch if you would like further details.

What is herbal medicine?

Plants have evolved for millions of years and, as they don’t often run away, have developed complex strategies in order to protect themselves from harm. For example, some plants contain essential oils which can protect from harsh climactic conditions; others are high in tannins which help protect against invasion from bacteria or fungi.

As new comers to this planet, we have evolved to rely on the pre-existing plant life. This means we have an intrinsic resonance with the properties that plants possess.

Ever since time immemorial humanity has recognised that certain plants have certain virtues, which we can harness to our benefit. Archeological remains have shown that pre-historic peoples had awareness of the properties of plants for medicine.

We have written records dating back thousands of years detailing the uses of specific herbs for particular medical actions. The emergence of modern medicine’s scientific approach has only gone to show the accuracy of ancient uses and the majority of modern medicines are based on plant constituents.

However, rather than the isolated components used in modern drugs, herbs contain hundreds of constituents which work together. With an unsynthesised molecular structure herbs are easily recognised by the human body, which may go some way to explaining the low incidence of adverse side effects reported with herbal medicine.

Of course, other benefits of herbal medicine include the redundancy of animal experimentation, as herbal medicines have been used and proved for millennia.

As a practitioner who has a strong bias towards using locally sourced, organically grown materia medica, herbal medicine provides recognition that the natural world, where we each stand, is a precious gift worth nurturing. A gift which allows us to preserve our own health and well being.

My experience with Medical Herbalism:

I have been using herbs medicinally for all of my adult life. When travelling with the horses through the countryside we didn’t have easy access to mainstream healthcare, so it was imperative that we knew which herbs to use for health. Living so closely to animals give me the valuable opportunity to observe how they would carefully select plants for self-medication.

In 2016 I began studying for a diploma (BSc level) in medical herbalism and am currently completing my final year with Heartwood Professional, an organisation affiliated to, and accredited by, the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH).

As a medical herbalist, I have studied the active constituents of plants, how to prepare different constituents and how those constituents react within the body, as well as how they may or may not react with prescription medication.

We medical herbalists are trained to diagnose pathologies and see the body as a whole, recognising how systems within the body influence each other and the patterns which can lead to dis-ease. We also have some training in nutrition, counselling skills and referral. We are happy to work hand in hand and consult with other health care providers.

As someone works with people, plants and medicine, I offer knowledge which enables my patients to create an internal environment which promotes good health.