What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine also called phytomedicine, is an ancient healing science that uses remedies made from medicinal plants to treat symptoms of ill health. Herbal medicine has existed since ancient times, and has been used by the Romans, Egyptians, Aborigines, Native American Indians and Asians. Today many ethnic groups such as Africans, Aborigines and Pacific Islanders still use their traditional medicine. In recent years there has been a growth of interest in traditional natural medicine which has in part resulted in greater research on the health benefits of herbs. Since the 1970's the World Health Organization has included in its goals the aim to promote and integrate Traditional Natural Medicine in all countries in order to meet world health needs.
What is a herb?
A herb is a medicinal plant that contains various chemical compounds and nutrients such as; minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, anti oxidants, protein, amino acids, oils, phytosterols. As a simple illustration, aromatic and resinous oils such as thymol in thyme are a germicide effective against streptococcal infections, Chamomile contains calcium salts for bones, and in combination with magnesium and potassium reduces cramps and tension that cause symptoms such as period pain. Valerian is extremely high in magnesium making it effective for insomnia, muscle tension, constipation, anxiety and stress related symptoms in certain personality types.
Research has shown that St John's Wort may be effective for depression, ginger for reproductive and digestive conditions, garlic for the immune system and high blood pressure, and Comfrey and Calendula are specific herbs used externally for a range of skin conditions. Recent years has seen an explosion of research on herbs and spices. Curcumin derived from Tumeric is one that has shown to be anti inflammatory and helps to build brain cells.
How are herbs taken?
There are various ways to take herbal medicines
- Herbal tinctures and extracts are most commonly taken orally but may also be applied externally.
- Herbal ointments are used externally for skin conditions, burns, insect bites or stings.
- Herbs may be taken in the form of a tea (infusion) or included in cooking as a food or spice (e.g. basil, parsley, tumeric).
As a classical herbalist I apply my intimate knowledge and understanding of medicinal plants to treat your health condition. Prescribing a herbal remedy is an art that is developed over time, based on knowledge, understanding and experience. Herbal extracts and tinctures are the primary tools of my trade and as such my herbs are sourced from a reputable company which has been involved in the business for over a century.
Are herbs safe?
Herbal medicine is a safe and effective form of treatment when prescribed by a qualified and experienced herbalist.