Why Consult a Herbalist?
- Herbalists are trained in herb-drug interactions.
- Clinically trained and a comprehensive understanding of anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pathology, differential diagnosis, pharmacology and much more.
- Herbalists will make up a herbal prescription tailored to the individual which will include several herbs according to symptoms, causes and coexisting complaints.
- Herbs are normally prescribed in a formula to utilise their synergistic effect (when the combined effect is greater than the sum of the effects of individual herbs). Herbal medicine does not work in quite the same way as orthodox medicine. Herbalists treat the individual and do not just substitute a herb for a pharmaceutical. For example, people may ask
“what herb can I take for hair loss?”
- The answer is not necessarily straight forward as additional information is required in order to get a full picture of the person and achieve the best possible results. What is causing the hair loss? Stress? Hormones? Lack of vitamins and minerals? Bereavement? Circulatory problems? Side effect of pharmaceuticals (e.g chemotherapy) or over the counter drugs? How long has it been going on for? What is the pattern of hair loss?
- Although two people may suffer with the same complaint, it is likely they will receive different prescriptions. Prescriptions are informed from the traditional knowledge of the use of herbs (which goes back thousands of years), scientific research and experience.
- Additional advice is given regarding diet and lifestyle. Dietary changes combined with herbs is often the most effective way to make and sustain improvements in health.
Herbal Medicine refers to the use of plants for medicine and has been used in the UK for millenia. At least 80% of the world’s population rely on herbal medicine as part of their primary health care and more than 50% of pharmaceuticals are derived from the chemicals in plants.
Aspirin was derived from White Willow (Salix alba). The compound Salicin in White Willow changes to salicylic acid in the body. Aspirin is really acetylsalicylic acid which also changes to salicylic acid in the body. Salicylic acid is a compound which reduces fever, pain and inflammation. White willow is put into a herbal prescription when these effects are desired.Aspirin (pain killer and fever reducer) is unfortunately renowned for its ulcer causing side effects among others. White Willow on the other hand is kind to the stomach and consists of additional constituents such as tannins that help to protect the stomach.
Herbalists treat the cause and symptoms of disease and enhance the health of the individual. Tinctures, teas and creams are the most popular forms of herbal medicine. Fluid tinctures are taken 5ml three times a day and teas are drunk three times a day.