Herbal Medicine

Practitioner: Lee Calderwood

Herbal Medicine is the use of plant remedies in the treatment of disease. It is the oldest form of medicine known. Our ancestors, by trial and error, found the most effective local plants to heal their illnesses. Now, with the advancement of science enabling us to identify the chemical constituents within these plants, we can better understand their healing powers. Herbalism, in this country, is now classed as an `alternative' or `complementary' discipline but it is still the most widely practised form of medicine worldwide with over 70% of the world's population relying on herbs for health. Therapists are trained in the same diagnostic skills as orthodox doctors but take a more holistic approach to illness. The underlying cause of the problem is sought and, once identified, it is this which is treated, rather than the symptoms alone. The reason for this is that treatment or suppression of symptoms will not rid the body of the disease itself. Herbalists use their remedies to restore the balance of the body thus enabling it to mobilise its own healing powers.

The first consultation will generally take at least an hour. The Herbalist will take notes on the patient's medical history and begin to build a picture of the person as a whole being. Healing is a matter of teamwork with patient, practitioner and the prescribed treatment all working together to restore the body to health. Subsequent appointments may be at intervals between two and five weeks depending on the situation.

Treatment usually includes advice about diet and lifestyle, as well as the herbal medicine, which is made to an individual prescription for each patient. Medicine may be in the form of a tincture (liquid), a tea, or herbal capsules or tablets. Vitamin/mineral supplements may also be prescribed.