General Guidelines

What is Herbalism?

What to expect when you visit a therapist

History (in brief)

What is herbalism?

Many of the pharmaceutical drugs we use in this day and age are derived from herbs. However, these drugs are based on what are considered to be the plant's 'active' ingredients (e.g. certain chemicals that have been isolated from the original plant), whereas herbalism utilises the whole plant, or at the very least the seed, root or flower.

It is believed that these so-called 'inactive' ingredients play a significant role in determining the herbs overall therapeutic effect. It is also felt that although some herbs do have side effects, those caused by herbal preparations are far less severe than the reactions experienced when taking pharmaceutical drugs.

Herbalism, like all forms of complementary medicine, treats the person as a whole, believing that the body has its own "vital force" (an ability to heal itself). Herbs help support this system, enabling it to restore balance (homeostasis) in the body.

Main uses

All physical and some mental/emotional disorders.

Click here to find out what to expect when you visit a herbalist.

Click here for information on how to find a herbalist.


Wash dishes to relieve stress

A very recent study at Oregon State University demonstrated that diets that are high in either fat, sugar or both seem to cause dramatic changes to the bacteria that live in our gut. This complex mixture of about 100 trillion microbes that live in our digestive system is called our ‘microbiome’. Researchers are now beginning to acknowledge a phenomenon that complementary medical practitioners have long understood – that there is a deep connection between the health of our gut and microbiome and our cognitive abilities. The shocking news is that these changes have a deleterious impact upon our intelligence leading to a loss of “cognitive flexibility,” or the power to adapt and adjust to changing situations. In the study this effect was most serious in those on the high-sugar diet, which also showed an impairment of early learning for both long-term and short-term memory. The negative impact that elevated blood sugar makes upon our cognitive function is so marked that some researchers now consider Alzheimer’s Disease to be “Type 3 diabetes”.

acupuncture significantly more effective in dermatologic conditions

Generalised anxiety disorders twice as likely in those with inflammatory bowel disease and six times as likely in those with both IBD and a history of childhood sexual abuse

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