Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine has been used for centuries and is widely used throughout the world. There is archaeological evidence to show that prehistoric man used plants for healing.

More and more people are wanting to take control of their health and wellbeing and are turning away from orthodox forms of medicine towards natural alternatives.

Unlike some of the more mainstream medications, herbalists use herbal medicine preparations to treat the whole person and not just the symptoms. Herbalists aim to help reduce the incidence or recurrence of the symptoms and improve the body’s own natural healing ability.

Herbal medicine is becoming more recognised and validated by scientific investigations. Many commonly used drugs today have been based on or derived from the chemicals found in the healing properties of certain plants.

For example, the heart medication, Digoxin, is derived from Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). Similarly, Aspirin is derived from chemical compounds in White Willow (Salix alba).

Using the healing properties of plants, herbal medicine is effective in treating a range of ailments (both acute and chronic), as well as supporting the immune system and improving overall health. Herbal medicine is holistic – treating the cause of the underlying problem and restoring health.

Below is a list of some of the more well known herbs and their uses:

  • Echinacea preparations (from Echinacea purpurea and other Echinacea species) and Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) can help improve immune function. Echinacea is one of the most popular herbal medicines and has been shown to reduce the incidence and duration of common colds;
  • St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) can help alleviate mild to moderate depression due to its antidepressant action; and
  • Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) can help improve sleep and reduce anxiety due to its mild sedative effects.

Most herbal medicines have fewer side-effects than synthetic pharmaceutical drugs. Patients taking Valerian, for example, may not suffer from morning drowsiness like they would if taking prescription sleeping tablets. Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), used to reduce fever or used as an anti-inflammatory, does not irritate the stomach compared to Aspirin.

While antibiotics and other prescription medications are sometimes necessary, there are other times where an over-prescription of medication can lead to the body’s immune system becoming weakened and the symptoms not clearing up.

On your first consultation with a herbalist, a full case history is taken ensuring that any underlying problems are identified.

A specialised treatment plan is then designed and implemented, with all herbal formulas being prepared according to the specific needs of each client and administered with clear dosage instructions.

It is important when visiting a herbalist to list all of your current prescription medications and other herbal medications (if any) to ensure there are no drug-herb interactions.

Follow-up consultations are available to monitor progress and ensure best results.

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