What can herbal medicine treat?

Herbal medicine is appropriate for most of the conditions for which you would visit your GP. It is particularly suited to conditions that don’t respond well to the conventional ‘magic bullet’ approach, such as

  • Improving immune response
  • Treatment of viral and bacterial infections
  • Chronic degenerative diseases
  • Most forms of allergy or auto immune disease
  • Nervous system imbalances

Specific conditions that can be treated include:

  • Allergies:

    hayfever, allergic rhinitis, histamine intolerance and other food intolerances and sensitivities

  • Babies:

    colic, teething, chronic nappy rash, fevers

  • Childhood illnesses:

    chicken pox, tonsillitis, croup, ear ache, glue-ear, worms, head lice, impetigo, conjunctivitis and hyperactivity

  • Circulatory:

    high blood pressure, varicose veins, poor circulation, swollen ankles, varicose ulcers, anaemia, Raynaud's disease

  • Chronic conditions and immune disorders:

    chronic fatigue syndrome (ME), rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, MS and other autoimmune diseases

  • Digestive:

    IBS, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, candida, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis), diverticulitis, gallbladder conditions, liver disorders, nausea and poor absorption

  • Endocrine disorders:

    thyroid disease, diabetes

  • Gynaecological:

    menopausal symptoms, period pain, PMS, irregular cycles, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, fibroids, pregnancy related and post-natal problems

  • Men’s health:

    prostate conditions, erectile dysfunction

  • Musculoskeletal:

    fibromyalgia, muscle and joint pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, gout, headaches

  • Nervous System:

    stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, neuralgia, migraine, cold sores and shingles

  • Urinary:

    urinary infections (cystitis), interstitial cystitis, irritable bladder, thrush

  • Respiratory:

    asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, coughs and colds, sore throats and recurrent infections

  • Skin:

    eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, fungal infections, bacterial, viral and parasitic infections.

Who can benefit from herbal medicine?

Patients of all ages, from infants to the very elderly, can benefit from herbal medicine. Those already receiving treatment from their doctor may also be helped, and are prescribed only herbs which do not adversely interact with other medication. If appropriate, and with the patient’s consent, GPs or consultants are kept fully informed of the herbal regime.

What happens during a consultation?

During your first consultation, which lasts about an hour, I will take a detailed case history covering not only your present problems but also your wider medical history, present medication, lifestyle, diet and social circumstances. A blood pressure check and other examinations are carried out where relevant. I will then make a diagnosis based on their findings, and, where necessary, may refer you on for further tests. I will discuss and draw up a management plan in co-operation with you and prescribe as necessary. A prescription may be a tincture (a blend of herbal extracts in an alcohol/water base) or a tea. Capsules and tablets are also sometimes used. For external use, creams, lotions or oils may be prescribed. No two patients are alike, even if they appear to be suffering similar symptoms, so no two prescriptions are exactly the same. Follow-up consultations are of shorter duration and usually every two to three weeks. Adjustments may be made to the medication during this time to ensure it is at its most effective.

What is the National Institute of Medical Herbalists?

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists was founded in 1864. Admission to the Institute follows graduation from an accredited university or equivalent course, where students are trained in both medical and plant sciences. Members are required to carry out Continuing Professional Development and commit to a career-long learning programme organised by our Post Graduate Training Board. All members are governed by a strict code of ethics and practice, and a complaints and disciplinary procedure. They are also covered by professional indemnity and malpractice insurance. The letters MNIMH or FNIMH after the name of a herbalist are your assurance of a professional practitioner you can depend on.

Where can I get more information?

For more information about herbal medicine and the National Institute of Medical Herbalists visit the NIMH website.

For the current treatment fees visit the Therapies page.

Please get in contact with me if you need to discuss a specific complaint or if you need more information about a consultation.