What is Herbal Medicine and how can it help me?
What I love most about herbs are their ability to treat our bodies on all levels mind, body and spirit. They have a gentle action on the body that doesn't suppress or push but rather gently nudge the body in the right direction to help heal itself.
The use of herbs as medicines on both the physical and subtle levels dates back as far as we know but in recent decades with the advance of communications we now are able to draw on a number of systems when healing the body. The traditional herbal systems of Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic medicine have been based on the same therapeutic healing principles for 1000's of years and still form the primary healthcare of those countries.
In the western world the healing system of herbs has been broken down and replaced with allopathic drugs, meaning conventional medicine. Whilst there are certain benefits to conventional medicine it works on suppressing the symptoms rather than aiding the body in it's own innate healing capabilities and with its many noted side effects, it's nice to know that there are other healing modalities.
Luckily today, herbs are making a come back, There are numerous scientific studies and these are some of the big players now in mainstream medicine including Saw Palmetto, Ginseng, St John wort, Echinacea to name but a few and even better still some of these are now recommended by doctors. Studies prove now and again how effective these herbs really are and how some of our mainstream medicine mimics the constituents we find in our herbs.
When having a herbal consultation, I look at healing the whole person, it's not a case of this herb does this for that, although this is certainly true of some herbs, but it's about creating a blend of plants that work in synergy with each other and therefore with your own body. It's about creating harmony within the mind, body and spirit. Nothing is separate and all three have to be in balance otherwise this is why dis-ease occurs in the first place. We take a deep dive in to the inner and out workings of your life.
The consultation process also includes a thorough look at the diet as improving the digestive system is top of list for all conditions. Healing from a physical standpoint begins with the gut.
When I form a prescription the following factors will be addressed
Safety is of upmost importance so it is crucial to tell me of existing medications so I can see if they are contra- indicated in any way.
Using herbs as medicines
As a herbalist we use the leaves, flowers, barks, berries, roots or seeds of medicinal plants as a therapeutic tool. By definition, a herb is any plant that has a medicinal action in the body and this includes most fruits and vegetables. Plants absorb vital nutrients from the soil and then process and store them, providing raw materials - close in chemical composition to those that make up the human body, growth and repair of bodily tissues - they are easily digested and assimilated. Every part of the plant from the vitamins and minerals to the chemical constituents have particular affinities with particular systems and tissues of the body that gently aid the body back to it's normal state of being, Herbs don't just work on biochemical actions but also heal the vital force that is within us, that which encompasses our hearts and our minds.
Chronic and acute conditions
Herbal medicine I find is successful for both, when treating for chronic conditions, generally mild herbal remedies are taken 3 times daily, over months at a time if necessary. It may be that the first prescription will include dietary advice and that is intended to to improve digestion and absorption, and to clear toxins from the system, which is necessary in so many cases. This will be followed up by more nourishing tonics medicines.
Acute conditions may require stronger herbs given up to every 2 hours. This is especially true of onset of cold, stomach bugs etc.
Tinctures are a concentrated extracts of herbs made with a alcohol, although glycerin and vinegar can also be used. They are able to extract the constituents of the plant and also act as a preservative.
Because they are concentrated only small amounts of the tincture needs to be taken at regular intervals, which is lucky as some can taste real strong and bitter. These can be taken in a little warm water, tea or juice if the taste is too overpowering.
Tinctures can also be added to the bath, mixed with water for compresses, mouthwashes or gargles and can be mixed into creams.
Another way to take herbs is through the use of herbal infusions. These are water based preparations that extract the medicinal properties of either fresh or dried herbs. Again they can also be used externally as skin washes, eye baths, compresses, douches and added to sitz baths.
Want to know how you can incorporate herbs for optimum health? I always take a herbal infusion on a daily basis. Click on this link here to see what herbs you can benefit from and how to do it.
Booking an appointment with me
If you are seeking a more natural approach to your health, why not book in for a consultation to see what herbal medicine can do for you. From skin disorders, digestive issues, insomnia, anxiety, menopause to headaches and everything in between. Herbs can help you.