A medical herbalist is a highly trained medical professional and a genuine, caring partner in health from the cradle to the third age, able to correctly prescribe and dispense natural herbal medicines.
Medical herbalists are trained in Western orthodox medical diagnosis and use plant based medicines to treat their patients. In the UK, medical herbalists have the right to make a primary diagnosis.
During the first appointment your current health complaint is examined, a detailed medical history is taken, and any appropriate diagnostic examinations are performed.
The consultation includes a full discussion on all aspects of health. It is helpful if you bring any information relating to your condition, including test results, and any information about natural remedies, pharmaceutical drugs or food supplements that you may be taking.
A tailor-made healthcare plan is drawn up, and this may include herbal medicines, nutritional supplements, and diet and lifestyle recommendations. Follow-up consultations check on progress and make any necessary adjustments to the healthcare plan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80% of the population of Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. Pharmaceuticals are prohibitively expensive for most of the world's population, half of whom live on less than $2 US. In comparison, herbal medicines can be grown from seed or gathered from nature for little or no cost.
Many of the pharmaceuticals currently available to physicians have a long history of use as herbal remedies, including opium, aspirin, digitalis, and quinine. According to the WHO, approximately 25% of modern drugs have been derived from plants.