About Medical Herbalism
Herbal medicine is the use of plant remedies to treat disease and is the oldest form of medicine known, as well as the most widely practised world-wide. Herbal medicines are extracts or dried parts of whole plants, which contain many hundreds of constituents. Herbalists believe that the active constituents are balanced within the plant and that this is one of the reasons that side effects are extremely rare during treatment.
Medical Herbalists are trained in similar diagnostic skills to conventional GPs but use a more holistic approach to illness, treating the underlying cause of a problem where possible. We use herbs to restore balance in the body and enable it to mobilise its own healing powers.
A wide range of acute and chronic conditions can be treated and a qualified Herbalist knows how to avoid interactions with other forms of treatment and when to refer a patient back to their doctor or to another therapist.
The National Institute of Medical Herbalists was established in 1864 and is the oldest body of practising Medical Herbalists in the world. Members have undergone a rigorous training for a minimum of three years and adhere to a strict professional code of ethics. They have the letters MNIMH or FNIMH after their names.
What can a Medical Herbalist treat?
Herbal medicine can treat almost any condition that patients might take to their doctor. Common complaints seen by herbalists include digestive disorders such as peptic ulcers, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion and skin problems such as psoriasis, acne and eczema. Premenstrual syndrome and menopausal problems may be responsive to herbal treatment. Herbalists frequently care for patients suffering from arthritis, insomnia, stress, migraine and headaches, and allergic problems such as hay fever and asthma. Qualified herbalists know when a condition is best seen by a doctor or another therapist.