Western Herbal Medicine

 
 
 

What is Western Herbal Medicine?

Western Herbal medicine is the practice of using the therapeutic properties of plant extracts to treat or prevent illness. Western Medical Herbalism is rooted in western medical tradition and herbalists are trained in the same diagnostic skills as orthodox doctors, however with Western Herbal Medicine the view of health is more holistic. 

This means that herbalists will consider your general state of health and wellbeing, including your emotional health, and any specific condition. The aim of the treatment is to improve your overall state of wellbeing while treating your individual needs.

What can Herbal Medicine treat?

Conditions commonly treated by medical herbalists include:

  • Gynaecological problems - menopause, PMT, endometriosis, PCOS
  • Gastrointestinal problems - IBS, peptic ulcer, indigestion
  • Joint disorders - rheumatoid arthritis, gout
  • Disorders of the nervous system - stress, depression, insomnia, migraines
  • Allergic conditions - asthma, hayfever
  • Circulatory problems - high blood pressure, angina, varicose veins
  • Children's problems – recurrent infections, sleeping difficulties, skin problems

What should I expect when I go for treatment?

The herbalist will take a detailed case history and may also perform some general examinations such as taking your blood pressure, listening to your lungs or examining a joint. Occasionally this requires you undressing to your underwear and you may prefer to bring shorts and a vest. 

The consultation may take anything between 40-60min.
Afterwards the herbalist will prescribe a herbal formula specifically made up for you. In some cases herbs may need to be ordered. You may also be given general lifestyle advice and nutritional plans.
The medicines used are whole plant extracts, and contain hundreds, perhaps thousands of plant constituents. They could be in the form of liquids, tablets or teas as well as topical creams.

How many treatments will I need?

Usually after the first appointment you will be prescribed a two weeks supply of herbal medicine. You will be asked back after two weeks to evaluate how you tolerated the prescription. If the herbs agree with you, you will then take away a few weeks or months supply of herbs and have another consultation after this period. 

As a guide, depending on the condition, you may notice an effect after 2-6 weeks although some conditions respond much faster than others. Generally, at the first visit the therapist can give you a better estimate of how long it will take for you to see an improvement.

Will my health insurance cover
Western Herbal Medicine?

Usually after the first appointment you will be prescribed a two weeks supply of herbal medicine. You will be asked back after two weeks to evaluate how you tolerated the prescription. If the herbs agree with you, you will then take away a few weeks or months supply of herbs and have another consultation after this period.