What is herbal medicine and whom is it for?

Herbal medicine (herbalism or phytotherapy) is an ancient complementary therapy and branch of a profession focusing on a holistic approach to improve one’s wellbeing, prevent disease and/or to treat ill-health. The holistic approach emphasises the uniqueness of an individual as a whole person by focusing on the physical and mental wellbeing, establishing the factors and underlying causes of the manifesting symptoms in order to support their own healing process. Qualified medical herbalists will provide respectful and non-judgemental assessment of one's needs and aims to offer the most suitable treatment options.  

 

In the past, herbalism was mostly based on the traditional use of plant remedies (so-called folk medicine) providing the foundations of allopathic medicine. However, contemporary herbalism is nowadays based on scientific evidence of the plants' complex chemical compounds — also known as phytoactive compounds, their properties and medicinal actions on human physiology and thus pathophysiology. 

 

Herbal preparations available include tinctures, which are liquid extracts of dry and/or fresh herb parts such as flowers, berries, leaves, stems or roots concentrated in precise ratios of water-alcohol solutions. Apart from tinctures we prescribe dry herbs in form of teas, powders, capsules and tablets, aromatic waters, topical creams, gels or balms.

 

Herbal medicine treatment can be used as an alternative to conventional treatment (if appropriate) or alongside it, and is suitable for all ages under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. In addition, herbal medicine complements other therapies such as acupuncture, osteopathy, homeopathy, bodywork, nutritional therapy and many more. 

Herbal medicine is suitable for various chronic and recurrent conditions, and some acute conditions. Treatment response and it's effectiveness depend on the type of condition and the individual. 

 

Conditions that are effectively managed by herbal medicine include, but are not limited to: 

  • skin conditions such as eczema, acne, dermatitis 

  • gastrointestinal conditions such as constipation, IBS, Crohn’s disease

  • metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, thyroid dysfunctions, obesity   

  • cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, anaemia

  • musculoskeletal conditions such as CFS, pains, osteoarthritis  

  • neurological conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, stress, migraines 

  • respiratory conditions such as asthma, hay-fever

  • gynaecological conditions such as PCOS, PMS, fertility issues, menopause

  • autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, psoriasis, coeliac disease. 

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