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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal Medicine is the system of medicine, which uses plants in their whole and natural state to treat illness. The remedies come in various forms and include teas, tinctures, tablets, powders, juices, waters, oils, creams and poultices, which are taken either internally or applied to the body externally as appropriate.
How does Herbal Medicine work?
Herbal Medicine addresses the underlying physiological imbalances in the body which are causing the symptoms.
When there is disease (dis-ease) present in the body, herbs can help by supporting the bodily systems which are struggling. For example, a skin rash may be due to an over burdened liver.
A remedy which helps the liver to be more efficient, such as Milk thistle may be prescribed, thereby addressing the underlying cause of the skin rash.
In this way, the skin rash will then clear of it's own accord.
Once the herbs have done their job of bringing the body back to a state of balance, the herbs can be discontinued.
What can Herbal Medicine Successfully treat?
It takes 4 years to train as a Medical Herbalist. There are 5 universities where you can study Herbal Medicine - leading to a BSc in Herbal Medicine.
As well as studying anatomy, physiology, botany, pathology, microbiology, histology, materia medica, diagnostic techniques, and pharmacognosy, the training also involves 500 clinical hours, during which time students have the chance to see patients under supervised conditions.
2 science A Levels are required in order to take the degree.
In what form will I take the herbs?
The most common way for herbs to be prescribed is in tincture form. These come as alcoholic extracts in a brown liquid form.
As many as 14 herbs may be prescribed in one mixture, though on the whole you will have less than this - usually somewhere between 4 and 8.
The standard dose for tinctures is 5mls 3 x daily.
You may also be prescribed a tea and sometimes capsules and/ or powders.
What happens in follow-up consultations?
Follow-ups take one hour.
The first follow-up consultation is usually after two weeks, thereafter you will usually be seen monthly, becoming more less often as your health improves.
Some people may benefit from long term herbal treatment in which case, you may be put on to repeat prescriptions. This means that you can order repeats as and when you need them without having to make an appointment each time.
If you are on repeat prescriptions, it will be necessary to assess you from time to time e.g every six months.
Herbal prescriptions are adjusted and tweaked as progress is made and reduced as appropriate.
Your treatment will be continually monitored and you will often be referred to your G.P for specific tests.
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