About Herbalism and Naturopathy
Herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years and are still being used by many people today. Some practitioners recorded their knowledge obtained from years of observation and experience and there is a vast library of information available to today's herbal practitioners.
The aim of naturopathy is to optimise health and well-being by enabling the body to heal itself through natural means, such as nutrition, herbs, flower essences and exercise. By addressing underlying functional imbalances, the naturopath assists the body to find its balance and heal itself.
Why use herbs?
Given the fast-paced developments of scientific pharmaceuticals you may question why anyone would use herbs when they can have a scientifically tested drug instead. I believe there is a middle ground. Today's drugs can be life-saving, but there is still a place for herbs to help you achieve optimal health and well-being. Herbs can be used alongside conventional medicines as well as on their own.
What does the study of herbal medicine involve?
Modern day herbalists study anatomy, physiology, pathology, botany and the chemical constituents of the plants and there are thousands of clinical trials on various plant components which improve our understanding of how the plants we use work. However, our approach to your health issues focuses on determining the cause of your symptoms rather than the symptoms themselves and we use the whole herb rather than individual components.
How does herbalism work?
Whilst recognising the benefits of information obtained from scientific research, we also acknowledge and utilise the wisdom of years of practice and experience. We use traditional and modern techniques to determine the underlying pattern of dysfunction giving rise to symptoms and/or disease. Traditional techniques include tongue and pulse diagnosis, general observation and iridology. These may seem old-fashioned, but they are effective in highlighting the path to illness and therefore the correct approach to a healthier, more balanced life. We also consider the results of blood tests if you have these, and may recommend other tests such as stool or urine analysis.
We do not use herbs in the same way as drugs - this herb for that illness. Two people with irritable bowel syndrome are unlikely to have exactly the same underlying imbalances. Their treatment will not therefore be the same, even though they suffer from the same condition.
Treatment will be managed in conjunction with any medical treatment and you should always inform your GP of any alternative remedies you are taking.