What is Herbal Medicine?

Herbal medicines are plant-based medicines made from differing combinations of plant parts e.g. leaves, flowers or roots. Each part can have different medicinal uses and the many types of chemical constituents require different extraction methods. Both fresh and dried plant matter are used, depending on the herb. Herbal medicines are dispensed in various forms:

  • Tinctures (herbal constituents preserved in ethanol)
  • Water-based infusions (teas)
  • Syrups (cough mixtures)
  • Poultices (topically for healing) and lotions and creams (topically)
  • Oil based preparations (chest and muscle balms)
  • Gargles and mouthwashes
  • Eyebaths
  • Pessaries and suppositories
  • Powdered capsules taken internally

Medical Herbalists are trained to aware of the importance of medicines being sourced from reputable manufacturers, who maintain consistent quality standards with full traceability.  Sustainability is also of crucial importance.

What does a Medical Herbalist treat?

Herbal Medicine is suitable for people of any age, including children, who respond especially well to the gentle actions of the herbs and can be taken alongside conventional medicine.

Medical Herbalists are specifically trained to have up to date knowledge of any herb-drug interactions. If you would like more specific information on how a medical herbalist approaches health problems, please send me an email at info@theherbalist.ie

  • Joints and Bone
  • Heart and Circulation
  • Skin
  • Nutrition and Nourishment
  • Fertility, Pregnancy and Childbirth
  • Hormone Health
  • Emotional Health
  • Fatigue Syndrome
  • Energy and Stamina
  • Digestion
  • Allergy
  • The Immune System

Can Herbs and Pharmaceutical drugs be used together?

There are many instances in which herbs and pharmaceutical drugs work well together. However, in some situations, there can be negative interactions. Some herbs, like St John’s Wort or Ginkgo, cannot be taken along with certain other medicines.  Medical herbalists are trained to know which herbs to use safely and will be able to advise on any situation.

How long will herbal treatment take?

There is no definitive answer because so many variables will influence the duration of treatment. Our biological makeup is as unique as our medical histories and bodies heal at differing rates. Influential factors affecting length of therapy required include:

  • The condition
  • Severity of the condition
  • How long it has been present
  • Past medical history
  • Drug history
  • Current health status

I may be able to give you an estimated guideline once I have taken a detailed case history.  It is important that progress is closely monitored and herbal prescriptions are adjusted accordingly over time. Herbal medicine can sometimes take longer before beginning to achieve their desired effect when compared to pharmaceutical drugs. However, its gentle, supportive action aims to address the root cause of the condition and therefore usually produces more permanent results. In addition, when correctly prescribed, side effects are rare. Whilst the above is applicable for chronic cases, the right dose of herbs can produce immediate results in acute situations.