Find out how herbal medicine can help you
Herbal medicine is the oldest form of medicine on the planet. It uses leaf, roots, berries, flowers and bark to create medicines. Countless drugs are still derived from plant sources. More than 80% of the world’s population still depends on herbal medicine for survival. Herbal medicine can support the body to heal itself or while it is undergoing orthodox treatment. Some people prefer to use herbal medicine as a lifestyle choice. Some people turn to herbal medicine to assist them with a chronic illness, often where orthodox medicine has been unable to help. Patients with long term conditions can find a new level of wellbeing using herbal medicine either alongside or in place of their orthodox treatment.
Medical Herbalists do things differently…
Medical herbalists are taught to diagnose medicine in the same way as orthodox doctors but believe in treating you holistically to achieve the best results. This means treating you, the person, not the disease and getting to the root cause of the problem not just relieving symptoms. We encourage patients to play an active role in your own wellbeing. We mix individual medicines for every patient – there are no off the shelf remedies. We have studied herb/drug interactions and know which plants can be used safely with any pharmaceuticals you may be taking. We can work in partnership with your GP or other health care provider. As balanced, natural products, herbal medicines have few side effects and are often more gentle on the body than modern drugs. However, herbs are powerful and it is always recommended that you consult a fully qualified medical herbalist rather than self-medicating as the strength and potential interactions of some herbs may be missed. Members of the National Institute of Herbal Medicine www.nimh.org.uk carry the letters MNIMH after our names. This indicates that we have completed a stringent training regime to degree or postgraduate level, alongside a minimum 500 hours of clinical practice. We have a strict code of ethics and a robust programme of Continuing Professional Development.
What to expect at your consultation
I start by asking you about what brought you to the clinic. In other words, what’s wrong? Once I’ve got a good idea of what that is then I’ll ask you all about your medical history from birth to the present day. I usually ask if there are any health conditions that run in your family – like heart disease, or cancer. I will usually then work through every system in your body asking questions about each one. Perhaps you have been diagnosed with eczema. That seems straight forward, but why do you have it and what type do you have? Is it triggered by foods, environmental factors or stress? Is it dry, flakey, itchy and cold? Or is it weeping, hot, red and moist? Each type of eczema needs to be treated in a different way. The dry, cold, flakey type needs to be warmed, moistened and healed. The hot, weepy eczema will be more prone to infection and needs cooling, drying and healing. Luckily, I have a wide range of herbs in my dispensary which means that I can pick the right herbs to treat you. We will usually have a chat about your diet and lifestyle to see whether there’s anything here that might be causing you problems. If you’re comfortable with it we might look at any emotional factors that could be influencing you. I’ll also need to know whether you have any allergies and if you are taking any other medication. It’s helpful if you can bring your current prescription with you so I can check what herbs are safe to take alongside. If appropriate, I might ask to carry out a clinical examination. Herbalists are taught the same methods as orthodox doctors and sit the same clinical examination exams (OSCE). Initial consultations usually take an hour. Repeat visits are usually 3 weekly and last around half an hour. How long your treatment lasts is a very individual thing and depends on what we are trying to resolve. We can chat about this at the first consultation and agree times for review.
Herbs can be prescribed in many different ways
Once I’m satisfied that I understand the problem, I’ll write a prescription and make up a bespoke herbal medicine for you. Herbal medicines usually come as tinctures (alcohol extracts) or teas. Sometimes I might also make creams, lotions and ointments and may use glycerol extracts for children or for adults who do not want to take alcohol.
Please note that due to Covid restrictions all appointments are currently on Zoom or by phone.
The Carrick Clinic Ltd
145-147 Main Street
Prestwick KA9 1LA
Tel: 01292 478 888 / email@example.com
Paisley Natural Therapy Centre
76A Causeyside Street
Paisley PA1 1YP
Tel: 0141 889 8416 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Postal orders: When a repeat prescription is posted out to an existing patient, a dispensing fee of £5 plus £5 P&P is charged.
PLEASE NOTE: All charges above the £6 per week standard tincture charge will be agreed with the patient before medicines are dispensed.