Western Herbal Medicine

What is herbal medicine?

Pestle and Mortar with herbs

Herbal medicine is perhaps the oldest form of medicine having been used since ancient times. Modern western herbal medicine incorporates this knowledge and uses it alongside information gained from modern scientific research.

Modern medical herbalists are trained in the same diagnostic skills as orthodox doctors but approach a person's health in a more holistic way. By seeking the underlying cause of disease rather than treating the symptom we aim to help the body help itself by stimulating the natural healing process.

Modern pharmaceutical drugs are largely based on plants. A single constituent of which is identified to be active and is then extracted and manufactured chemically on a large scale. Herbal medicines are made from whole plants that can contain many hundreds of these constituents. Herbalists believe that these medicines are more balanced and are made more powerful by the other constituents present.

What can herbal medicine treat?

Herbal medicine is a natural and gentle form of treatment which can be beneficial for many different conditions.

Common complaints which can be helped with herbal medicines are:

Reproductive system

PMT, amenorrhoea, endometriosis, painful periods, fibroids and menopausal symptoms.

Digestion

Peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), indigestion

Skin

Psoriasis, eczema, fungal infections and acne.

Heart and circulation

Low and high blood pressure, heart problems,angina, varicose veins and poor circulation.

Respiratory system

Asthma, hay fever, chronic bronchitis, cold and flu, rhinitis and sinusitis

Nervous system

Stress, headaches, migraines, insomnia, and mild to moderate depression.

Genito-urinary

Cystitis and other urinary infections, prostate problems

Muscles and Joints

Arthritis, sciatica and gout.

Fibromyalgia (FM)

Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome, is a long-term condition which causes widespread pain all over the body and extreme tiredness.
FM has a variety of symptoms including pain. But commonly it can be the other symptoms including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), headaches, cognitive symptoms or ‘Fibro Fog’ that can have the most impact on daily life, these including memory problems, confusion and insomnia. Our herbal medicine treatments can help with reducing and regulating these symptoms.

Irritable bowel syndrome

This is a fairly common condition that affects both men and women and usually starts in your 20’s and 30’s.The symptoms of IBS are usually worse after eating and tend to come and go in bouts. Most people have a flare-up of symptoms that lasts two to four days. After this time, the symptoms usually improve but do not disappear completely.

The most common symptoms of IBS are:
• abdominal pain and cramping – often relieved by emptying your bowels
• a change in your bowel habits – such as diarrhoea, constipation, or sometimes both
• bloating and swelling of your abdomen
excessive wind (flatulence)
• an urgent need to go to the toilet
• a feeling that you need to open your bowels even if you have just been to the toilet
• a feeling you have not fully emptied your bowels
• passing mucus from your bottom

The main causes are reactions to certain foods (intolerances) or emotional stess. We can help to identify the underlying cause of your IBS and hep to control the symptoms using tinctures or teas.

Menopause

The menopause can cause a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms. The first symptom is usually a change in the pattern of your monthly periods.
The start of the menopause is known as the perimenopausal stage. During this time, you may have light or heavy periods.
The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have a period every two-three weeks, or you may not have one for months at a time.

Other menopausal symptoms include:
• hot flushes and night sweats
• loss of libido (sexual desire)
• vaginal dryness and pain, itching or discomfort during sex
palpitations (changes in heart rate)
headaches
• mood changes, such as depression, anxiety or tiredness
• sleeping problems, such as insomnia
urinary tract infections

If you experience the menopause suddenly rather than gradually, your symptoms may be worse. Your symptoms will usually last for two-five years before disappearing, although in some cases they can last longer.
Women can experience a number or all of these symptoms in a varying in intensity.

Our herbal medicine treatments can help to manage these symptoms reducing their impact on your daily life.

High blood pressure (Hypertension)

Blood pressure measures how strongly blood presses against the walls of your arteries (large blood vessels) as it is pumped around your body by your heart. If this pressure is too high it puts a strain on your arteries and your heart, which makes it more likely that you will suffer a heart attack, a stroke or kidney disease.
Around 30% of people in England have high blood pressure.
There are many causes of high blood pressure including high cholesterol, stress and kidney disease.
Herbal medicine can help in many ways depending on the nature of your hypertension. Including improving cardiac function in a very space and gentle way, lowering cholesterol, and improving kidney function, managing stress levels.