Patients have similar questions about the role of the medical herbalist. Ciara has answers to commonly asked questions on this page. Please contact Ciara if you have further questions via the sites Contact page.
What is a medical herbalist?
A medical herbalist will sit down with you and have a thorough consultation during which we will ask questions about your current and past state of health. A record of your diet and lifestyle will be taken and physical examinations where appropriate will be carried out, for example; taking blood pressure, looking in your ears, listening to your heart and lungs, we can check urine for infection and do many other clinical evaluations which your regular doctor may do to assess your musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and nervous system.
Medical reports and/or blood test will be interpreted. Medical Herbalists are trained to identify any potential interactions between orthodox (drugs) and herbal medicines and to know when a condition is best referred to a doctor or another therapist.
Treatment plans are a collaboration between the patient and the therapist in achieving your agreed health goal this can require change, often these are dietary and/or lifestyle changes. If dietary changes are required you will be fully supported and a nutritional report will be prepared for you.
I can get advice in my health food shop/pharmacy for free and buy herbs there, why should I come to you?
Staff at all levels in chemists and health shops with the best of intentions may often rely on general information that is not always appropriate for the patient’s complex personal history. This can lead to side-effects from an unbalanced combination of herbs, or from negative interaction with any prescription medication being taken.
Shop-bought and non-professional herbal products are almost always of a weaker strength and dosage. These products frequently contain the incorrect herb, or the wrong part of the herb, or are manufactured with an inappropriate extraction method. Therefore, many people feel that herbs do not work for them, or they do not get the results they expect. I find regularly that the patient may be taking the right herb of good quality but they are not reaching a theraputic dosage which is needed to achieve results.
A qualified Medical Herbalist is licensed to obtain and dispense the highest strength and purest quality herbal medicines and supplements from the most reliable sources. Some of the very strongest herbs that are beneficial for acute health conditions are only available by prescription from a Medical Herbalist.