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Herbal Medicine

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What is Herbal Medicine?
Most people count their and their family’s health as their No 1 priority and for thousands of years people have looked to plants to help them heal and maintain their health.

Plants still retain the properties to help in a wide range of health conditions and modern science is helping to refine the knowledge that has been passed down through the generations. Even today the World Health Organisation states that over 80% of the world’s population use plants as their primary healthcare.

Herbal Medicine, when used responsibly, has an outstanding safety record especially when compared to conventional medication and has very few side effects. If side effects do occur, they tend to be very minor and temporary and, with an adjustment of the remedy, can usually be overcome.

Under the guidance of a fully trained and qualified Medical Herbalist, herbal remedies may be taken alongside prescription medication and can often help mitigate any side effects of your medication.

What Happens in a Consultation?
When you first come to see a Medical Herbalist, they will listen to the problems and symptoms you are experiencing and ask about the history of those symptoms and your past medical history. They will note down any medications and supplements you are taking and ask about diet and lifestyle. They will also carry out a complete review of all the body systems in case there are any other issues that may be relevant.  Usually they will take your pulse and blood pressure as a matter of routine and may carry out other physical examinations they consider useful.

Once the Herbalist has come to a diagnosis, they will discuss strategies to help you regain your health. These may involve changes in diet and lifestyle and advice on taking dietary supplements. They will then formulate and dispense a mixture of herbs that will be as unique as you are!
Herbs are usually given in tincture form (a water/alcohol extract) but teas, syrups, capsules or creams may also be given.

Herbalists work with you in partnership to help you take control of your health.
The first consultation will last about 1 ½ hours. Subsequent consultations are usually ½ - 1 hour long. 

What is a Medical Herbalist?
Western Medical Herbalists should be trained to degree level (BSc or MSc) in Herbal Medicine during which they learn Medicine, Diagnostics, and Pharmacology as well as the plant sciences and traditional western herbal therapeutics. They complete a minimum of 200 hours of ‘hands on’ clinical training under the guidance of qualified Herbalists.

They are trained to know how to use herbs safely and effectively and to be aware of potential interactions with prescription medications so as to avoid putting their patients at risk.

The Professional Bodies (NIMH, IIMH or other) ensure that their members undergo regular training seminars to keep up to date with the latest information  in both medicine and Herbal Medicine.
Many Herbalists run training courses for the public to help increase peoples’ knowledge and awareness of using herbs to help keep them and their families healthy.

What Conditions can Herbal Medicine Help With?
Herbal Medicine can help with most of the conditions that you would see your GP for. If they are unable to help they will be able to refer you to an appropriate practitioner.

It is suitable for all age groups from newborns to the very elderly.

The following conditions gives a sample of what can be treated: