Herbal Medicine is the use of plant remedies in the treatment of disease. It is the oldest form of medicine known. Our ancestors, by trial and error, found the most effective local plants to heal their illnesses.
Now with the advancement of science enabling us to identify the chemical constituents within these plants, we can better understand their healing powers. Herbalism, in this country, is classed as an "alternative" or "complementary" discipline but it is still the most widely practiced form of medicine worldwide with over 80% of the worlds population relying on herbs for health.
The Herbalist's Approach
Medical Herbalists are trained in the same diagnostic skills as orthodox doctors but take a more holistic approach to illness. The underlying cause of the problem is sought and, once identified, it is this, which is treated, rather than the symptoms alone. The reason for this is that treatment or suppression of symptoms will not rid the body of the disease itself. Herbalists use their remedies to restore the balance of the body thus enabling it to mobilize its own healing powers.
The first consultation will generally take at least an hour. The Herbalist will take notes on the patient's medical history and begin to build a picture of the person as a whole being. Healing is a matter of teamwork with patient, practitioner and the prescribed treatment all working together to restore the body to health. Treatment may include advice about diet and lifestyle as well as the herbal medicine. The second appointment may follow in two weeks, subsequent ones occurring monthly- this will depend on the individual herbalist, the patient and the illness concerned.
How do herbs work?
People have always relied on plants for food to nourish and sustain the body. Herbal Medicine can been seen in the same way. Plants with a particular affinity for certain organs or symptoms of the body are used to "feed" and restore to health those parts, which have become weakened. As the body is strengthened so is its power and ability to fight off disease and when balance and harmony are restored, health will be regained.
National Institute of Medical Herbalists
The National Institute of Medical Herbalists was established in 1864 and is the oldest body of practicing Herbalists in existence today. All members have achieved the necessary standard of training for entrance into the Institute. They are fully insured and adhere to strict a professional Code of Ethics. They carry the letters of their qualification after their name, MNIMH or FNIMH. These letters are a guarantee that you place yourself in safe, trained and caring hands.