What is herbal medicine?

Herbal Medicine is the use of whole plant-based medicines to treat illness. Modern Medical Herbalism combines in-depth knowledge from traditional western herbal medicine alongside the latest modern scientific research to create a gentle but effective holistic healing system. Each person is treated with a unique formulation tailored to their specific needs and background.

Medical Herbalists conduct one-to-one holistic consultations and use medical diagnostic skills similar to that of doctors to ascertain the possible causes of illness.

Herbal Medicine preparations can come in the form of liquid extracts, herbal teas, capsules, decoctions, ointments, creams, lotions. Every prescription is formulated individually to meet the specific needs of the person.

Lifestyle and nutrition support is also given so that the patient may have the best chance of returning to vibrant health. A course of herbal medicine treatment and nutritional programme will usually last a number of weeks or months.

The use of plant medicines is as old as humanity and is still the most widely used form of medicine in the world. Many modern drugs originate from plants because plants contain many active chemicals which effect the human body in a wide variety of ways.

Medical Herbalists use plant medicines in their whole form as opposed to isolating constituents as modern pharmaceuticals have done. The use of whole plant medicines provides a gentler form of medicine which can work deeply and effectively at helping restore balance to the overall system without many of the side effects of modern pharmaceuticals.

Herbal medicine can also be taken alongside orthodox medications where appropriate under the supervision of a trained medical herbalist.

What can herbal medicine treat?

Conditions commonly treated by Medical Herbalists include:

  • Women’s hormonal health challenges including period difficulties and menopause-related symptoms.
  • Poor sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Low mood
  • Allergies
  • Digestive complaints
  • PMS
  • Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.
  • Low mood
  • Low energy
  • Colds and Flu
  • Low immunity
  • Post-viral fatigue
  • Skin complaints
  • Chest complaints
  • High blood pressure

Herbal medicine can also be used to treat other conditions, both chronic and acute. Herbalists can also order blood and stool samples where needed.

Jessie Martelhof, Medical Herbalist, Bsc (Hons) BA (Hons) MNIMH

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