Medical Herbalism or Herbal Medicine is both a science and an art. Those who have studied a degree level course have been trained in a range of subjects including (but not limited to) materia medica, pharmacology, clinical skills, anatomy & physiology, pathology and botany.
When consulting a medical herbalist they will take into account your whole clinical history and prescribe plant medicines specific and personal to you. They may perform clinical examinations, much like what happens when you see a doctor, to gather more information and help in diagnosis and may refer you to your GP for further tests depending on your case. The plant medicines prescribed may take the form of alcoholic tinctures, syrups, creams, ointments or herbal infusions. There is a myriad of ways that herbalists prescribe and herbs can be prepared in many different ways.
Before the birth of modern medicine, herbal medicine had been used as the main source of medicine since the beginning of human kind. For a large amount of the world population, this is still the case. Nonetheless herbalists now weave in scientific research and modern medical diagnosis to assist in treating the patient while also looking at the client as whole, considering such things such as lifestyle and dietary factors and any medication that they have been prescribed by a doctor. Herbalists are trained to prescribe safely alongside pharmaceutical medication.
Some herbalists are members of professional bodies (see list below) however some choose not to become members. This does not reflect on the quality of the practitioner you are consulting with but you should always feel confident in the capabilities of your practitioner so do not be afraid to ask what qualifications they hold and for them to confirm that they are insured.
Herbal medicine is a huge and varied subject. Plants and humans have evolved over time together and there is much wisdom and comfort to be found in the plant world so why not dive in?
Our Medical Herbalist is Hannah Robson