Herbal medicine, also known as Phytotherapy, combines traditional wisdom with modern scientific understanding of plants, disease and diagnosis. It is the oldest known type of medicine and is the primary form of healthcare used by 80% of the
Plant medicines are safe and effective and side-effects are rare. They can be used in nearly all health conditions and at any
age to promote health, and to restore vitality and balance by stimulating and supporting our body's own ability to heal.
They can also be used alongside many medicines and drugs prescribed by your doctor.
Herbs can be used to treat individuals suffering from a wide range of common complaints against which orthodox medicine
is often ineffective. For example: skin problems, joint pain, headaches, digestive problems, general fatigue and weight issues,
to name but a few.
Every plant used by a herbalist is known for its actions on and affinities with one or more of the body systems and organs.
Herbs are selected and combined into a formula which is suited to each person's individual requirements.
They may be taken as teas, alcohol-based tinctures, or made into capsules. External preparations like herbal creams and
ointments can also be useful for topical application to specific areas.
Plants are made up of complex constituents that work together in a balancing and complementary manner. By comparison, pharmaceutical drugs may contain specific phytochemical extracts from plants which are known to have a particular effect on
the body. But used in isolation these extracted constituents may not have such wholesome effects. When the whole plant is
used there is a synergistic effect - i.e. greater benefits are obtained than from using just one isolated part.
Modern herbalism integrates traditional systems of healing from around the world, notably Ayurvedic medicine from India,
Traditional Chinese medicine, the Humoral medicine of the ancient Greek physicians and the healing traditions of North
America. The uniting belief at the core of these ancient systems is that there exists a Vital Force, also known as Qi or Prana,
which connects everything in the universe. It is composed of energy and matter and manifests as different elements. When
the natural flow of this vital force is disturbed, signs of imbalance and ill-health can arise. This view is shared with other
therapies widely practised today such as homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic and massage therapies.