We often hear about some of the more exotic herbs such as ginkgo and ashwagandha, they are in the shops available to buy (I always recommend you get them from your trusty local herbalist) and discussed in magazines and on TV programmes. I prescribe them to patients if required and they are fabulous. But what about our lesser known indigenous herbs? The UK has many indigenous herbs that are just as fabulous and better still they are growing all around us.
We are more aware of these exotic herbs as many countries within Asia value their traditional herbal medicines and they have remained as part of the orthodox medical system. Herbs which have been used for centuries in countries such as China and India have in recent years been the subject of scientific research, proving their traditional use by herbalists.
Here in the UK, herbal medicine has been separated from mainstream medicine, although I can think of one herb routinely prescribed to the elderly by GP’s – Senna for constipation!
So in my next few blogs (or letters as I like to call them) I would like to celebrate our indigenous herbs which can be used as medicine and some can be incorporated into diet.