Herbalism is a form of traditional medicine in which botanical (plant extracts) are used for their medicinal properties. In fact, it’s the active ingredients (phytochemicals) found in many herbal remedies from ancient times that some of today’s pharmaceutical medicines are based-upon.
Herbalism offers an entirely natural, safe, and non-toxic form of medicine through the use of herbal teas (tisanes), tinctures, extracts, ointments and supplements.
There are many different types of herbal medicine which reflect the diversity of plants from different locations and cultures of the world including Western Herbal Medicine, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Ayurveda and Traditional Tibetan Medicine.
What are the benefits of Herbalism?
The major benefit of herbal medicine is that it is follows the principles of holistic medicine, which means a herbalist considers the health of the person as a ‘whole’, encompassing their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
The natural pharmacy that exists within plants has the ability to assist with a tremendous range of health complaints and illness including physical ailments, mood and emotional disorders, skin complaints, digestive issues and hormonal imbalances.
Plants, leaves, flowers, seeds, berries, roots, resins and tree barks are used to help promote cellular and tissue repair, activate immune cells, support physiological and biochemical bodily functions and nurture the body towards a state of health.
Many herbs have anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial properties providing the potential to help the body fight infections.
Other plants contain natural phytochemicals which help balance the endocrine (hormone) and nervous systems or act as natural sedatives to aid sleep, calm anxiety and support the stress response.
What can I expect from an appointment with a Herbalist?
You may be asked to complete a health questionnaire before your initial consultation. During the session, your herbalist will take time to complete a full review of your health history from childhood to present day. They will ask you about previous illnesses, operations, medications and times of stress before discussing your current health concerns, symptoms and imbalances.
All the information that your herbalist gathers helps to provide a picture of what’s been influencing your health and helps ascertain the root cause of your current condition. Your herbalist will then prepare a herbal tincture, tea or capsule consisting of one or several plant extracts and provide instructions on usage and dosage. The herbalist may also make some nutrition recommendations.
How do I find a Herbalist that suits me?
Firstly, choose the form of herbal medicine (Western, Chinese, Ayurveda, Tibetan) you would like to experience.
Next, check the herbalist you are interested in specialises in the area of support you require. Recommendations are always welcomed but an introductory phone, Skype or face-to-face chat helps determine if you are a good client-therapist match.
Herbalists registered with URHP (Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners) BHMA (British Herbal Medicine Association), NIMH (National Institute of Medical Herbalists), AMH (Association of Master Herbalists), APA (Ayurvedic Practitioners Association), ATCM (Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine, BAAAP (British Association of Accredited Ayurvedic Practitioners) have credible qualifications, are committed to continual professional development and follow a code of conduct.