Kate Daniels Bsc. Hons, Ba, ITEC Dip, MCPP
What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal Medicine is the use of plant based remedies as holistic medicine to heal, strengthen, and rebalance the body's systems. It is the oldest form of medicine, used by every early civilisation, and is still the main source of medicine in many countries today. Only fifty years ago if you were to look through pharmacopeia entries you would find that the majority of medicines were plant based. Many of today's cancer fighting drugs have derived from plants, such as Taxol from the Pacific Yew (Taxus brevifolia) and Leukaemia fighting vincristine from the Madagascan, Rosy Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus).
As science progressed and more was known about plant chemistry the use of whole herbs diminished in the clinical field and emphasis was placed on single active ingredients extracted and synthesised. This formed the basis of modern pharmaceutical drugs. The word 'drug' actually comes from the German word 'dried herb'. The herbalist believes that it is much safer, with fewer side effects, and more effective, to use the whole plant in their treatments rather than single or synthesised extracts. Just like our body systems work synergistically with one another,so do the constituents within the plant. They balance and complement one another and can help increase medicinal effectiveness. For example, when meadowsweet, the original precursor of aspirin, is used as an anti-inflammatory, it does not have the stomach irritating effects that are associated aspirin.
Treatment with Herbal Medicine.
Today's herbal medicine draws on the knowledge and experience of the past together with the information and modern scientific research on plant constituents, observed case histories and clinical trials. The medical herbalist views the body as an integrated set of systems working together as a whole to maintain health. The body constantly adjusts to keep these systems in balance of homeostasis, i.e. it maintains blood pressure, blood sugar levels, hormones, temperature, internal fluids within narrow limits. When we are ill or have an accident, the body is able to repair itself and heal, but sometimes a little help is required, and the herbalist will look to the cause of the vulnerability, the weakness of the body system, and will aim to bring back balance with the use of herbs.
A wide variety of conditions can be helped with herbs. Some commonly seen by a medical herbalist include chronic conditions, such as osteoarthritis and irritable bowel syndrome, and acute conditions such as coughs, influenza, and respiratory tract infections. Support may also be given to people suffering with stress related problems, depression, insomnia and anxiety, migraine, acne, eczema, muscular aches and pains as well as premenstrual syndrome and the menopause. For some conditions, a doctor's referral may be needed before commencing herbal treatment.
The herbalist will also discuss diet and lifestyle changes with the patient to maintain future health and wellbeing.
A visit to a medical herbalist is similar to a conventional doctor but the consultation will be a lot longer, covering the whole aspect of the body's health, physical, mental, and emotional, plus diet and lifestyle, through a thorough case history, lasting nearly an hour for a new patient. In addition, notes are made of family history, allergies, current medication, past illnesses, vaccinations, medical tests and hospitalisations. An examination may also be performed. The fully considered case history helps the practitioner reach a diagnosis. It will look at the possible causative factors which have rendered the body more likely to suffer disease or develop chronic symptoms, and what could have provoked that. For example, poor nutrition, stress and anxiety could, coupled with overwork, cause a lowered resistance to disease. Balance is then aimed at through a carefully considered combination of herbs in the form of tinctures, tablets and teas or creams. The herbal preparation is made up to the individual needs of each patient. No two prescriptions are the same. There could be up to six different herbs in one medicine each working on different areas to promote health and well-being.
Kate Daniels is a fully qualified Medical Herbalist having completed a NIMH accredited degree course and clinical training at Middlesex University. The course provided study in anatomy, physiology, pathology, botany, diagnostic procedures, physical examination, materia medica, nutrition, diet, orthodox medicines and procedures, business practice and management, health and safety, and medical legislation. Over 500 hours of clinical training was also completed. In 2013, she was awarded the Ellis Snitcher prize for Integrative Medicine.
In addition to the degree, Kate also holds qualifications in holistic massage and Reiki. She is a keen horticulturalist and artist. Her interest in herbal medicine flourished from a love of plants and the passion to promote wellness using a more natural and holistic approach, but backed up by scientific and clinical evidence.
First Appointment £55.00
Follow up appointment £35.00
Medicine from £9.00 per week.
Tel: 01296 534534