Growing up in a small rural village, I have long had a love for plants and the natural environment. In addition, my mother’s enthusiasm for home remedies and the medicinal use of herbs was instilled in me from an early age. I was taught to identify many different plants, and which parts can be safely used as foods and medicines.
In 2002 I moved to the Peak District and decided to pursue my long term interest in herbal medicine more formally, completing a BSc (Hons) degree in this subject. In order to increase my understanding of anatomy and to enhance my practice as a medical herbalist, I also undertook a Diploma in Holistic Massage at this time. I quickly discovered that many of my clients presented with complaints that could be effectively treated with massage alongside herbal medicine.
Plants have a very long tradition of being used medicinally and form the basis of many of our modern medicines. They continue to be researched for their potential to produce new pharmaceutical drugs as well.
In western herbal medicine we prescribe spices such as ginger and turmeric, weeds such as dandelions and nettles, trees such as hawthorn and lime, flowers such as chamomile and calendula. In short, Herbal medicine harnesses the therapeutic properties of not just the familiar herbs we use to flavour our cooking, but a huge range of plants, trees and even the fungi kingdom.
The medicines are taken internally, usually in the form of teas or tinctures. They can be a combination of herbs, but each prescription is tailored to you very specifically as an individual. Don’t worry if you are on medication from your GP or specialist, we are trained to high level in pharmacology and will work alongside your existing prescriptions.
What to expect at a herbal medicine consultation:
You will be asked questions about your general health and what, in particular, is causing you problems. This may also involve a clinical examination if appropriate. We also ask you what you’d like to get out of your treatment.
Often apparently unrelated symptoms can be linked, and because we treat you as a whole person, not just as a particular medical condition, we explore other systems of the body too. For example we might ask you questions about your digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular or musculoskeletal functioning. We will also ask questions about how you sleep and your general mood.
No herbal medicine consultation would be complete without addressing diet and lifestyle. I strongly believe that nutrition plays a key role in our health and that poor nutrition underpins many modern health problems. You may be asked to keep a food diary for a few days. You will not be judged on your diet, rather it is a another way of understanding what is affecting your health. I don’t advocate faddy or unrealistic diet plans, but I look at what can be sensibly done to improve your overall diet, which in turn will have a positive affect on your health.
The herbs did make a difference and I would recommend herbal medicine to anyone looking for an alternative.
TJ – Sheffield
I’ve understood for a long time that conventional medicine cannot provide me with a cure for my disease, at last I have found a way to improve my symptoms.
JC – Dronfield
My physical and mental health were suffering and coming to see you helped me.
JB – Chesterfield