How a Herbalist Works

How a Medical Herbalist Works

Herbal Medicine is a form of holistic medicine which combines the use of herbs, with possible changes in lifestyle and diet, to bring the body back to a state of health.

The herbalist will have a face to face consultation with the patient which may take up to one hour to ask relevant questions and to obtain a complete medical history. In addition they may undertake physical examinations as required. During the consultation the herbalist will also ask about lifestyle and other factors that may be relevant to the patient’s health. At the end of the consultation the herbalist may take a few minutes to make up the herbal prescription or they may ask for some time to do further research or consult with colleagues before completing the herbal prescription.

The prescribed herbs may be in the form of a tea, a tincture (an alcohol based extract of the herbs), a skin cream, oil or a range of other forms. The prescribed herbs will normally be made In Woodland Herbs Dispensary. This may take a few minutes as the prescription will be a unique mix of herbs selected specifically for the patient.

The Herbs in your Herbal Prescription

Herbal medicine uses herbs as a source of medicinal chemicals. White willow (Salix alba) will be used as a source of salicylic acid (the historical origin of aspirin) and nettle (Urtica dioica) as a source of iron. Herbalists also believe that the actions of the whole herbs are more than the sum of the individual actions of its chemical constituents (and this is starting to be shown scientifically), and so prefer to use the whole unadulterated herb rather than pharmaceutical products (such as aspirin or an iron tablet).

Many herbalists use energetics in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, this takes into account not only the nature of the disease, but also the nature (or character) of the patient and plant. For instance temperature is often part of an energetic diagnosis, a person and a disease may be hot or cold, and this could be treated using the opposite energetics in a herb. For instance a hot inflamed skin condition may be treated using cooling herbs such as chickweed, and cold hands and feet may be treated by taking ginger, which is hot.

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