Medical Herbalist

FAQs

1. Does the herbalist speak Welsh?

Yes. I am fully conversant in the Welsh language and all consultations will be through the medium of either Welsh or English, or even a bit of both, according to the language choice of the patient and what they are most comfortable with. Notes printed for the patient can also be in either language, as the patient decides.

2. What is the duration of a consultation and what happens during the session?

A first consultation lasts from 1 1/2 to 2 hours because I need to ensure that I have all your medical background details such as previous illnesses, medication taken, any symptoms you may have, what you typically eat and drink in a day, your work and lifestyle, the environment in which you live and general family health.

After getting to know you and understanding you as a whole person during this consultation with all the above details put into context I will be able to see what your underlying problem is – this would not always be the symptoms which you display, as I treat the whole person and not their symptoms. I will also consider any visible physical symptoms such as skin problems or hair before deciding what if any treatment would be beneficial for you.

During the consultation your typical daily dietary intake will be discussed fully and any possible modifications necessary for the benefit of your health will be put to you as to whether you would be able to follow any recommendations. If there are many changes to be made I will suggest you do as much as you can to start with, the one change which is kept to diligently is better than trying to change maybe five things and failing to do any of them after a few weeks as we were too ambitious in what we wanted to achieve.

After saying that there are some patients who come for a consultation and will be strict with themselves and achieve all the changes recommended after the first consultation. We are all different and individual beings, therefore all treatments are tailored to the individual.

Sometimes some physical examination is required, depending on the individual circumstances. But generally the consultation would be mainly in the form of a discussion. I would also need to have information about any medication you may be taking either prescribed by your doctor or any supplements you choose to take yourself or have been advised to take by another therapist you may have been consulting.

The consultation and treatment I recommend will take into consideration the whole person being physical, emotional and spiritual as they are all closely linked and cannot be treated efficiently if looked at alone. You are a whole being. To understand this simply, answer this question: If you are stressed and very anxious do you feel your heart beating faster or louder in your chest? You probably answered yes, then this is an emotional situation having an effect on our physical body, and if we are hurt or injured physically in any way do we feel anxious or stressed?

At the end of the first consultation I will tell you if I think you need any medicine which is usually in the form of a blended herbal tincture (there could be as many as 10 herb tinctures in one bottle of medicine). I may suggest you would benefit from taking other herbal supplements, and in some cases – depending on the individual and their needs I may suggest they would benefit from another complementary treatment such as acupuncture, an osteopath or Alexander Technique.

Any herbal medicine prescribed will be mixed specifically for you as an individual and to the strength which I feel that you can tolerate, as some will have a very weak constitution (due to many reasons and possibly to chronic health problems), which means that the medicine must not be too strong – especially at the beginning of your treatment otherwise you may have a ‘healing crisis’ and find any symptoms getting worse. This is the reason that a herbal treatment prescribed by a qualified trained medical herbalist is usually a gradual, gentle process, allowing your body to slowly grow stronger with the herbal treatment which in turn will assist your body to heal itself. Herbal medicine is not a magic portion but a positive gradual healing of your physical body, mind and spirit. Again I will stress that I always treat the whole person and not any particular symptoms.

Due to the nature of the consulting room/dispensing room, I will not prepare the medicine whilst you are still with me, but will prepare it later and will consult you as to how you wish to receive the medicine which will be ready for you either later that day or at least within the following 3 days. This would be either by post, collection or delivery. In certain circumstances I will need to order an item to include in your medicine, if this happens then your medicine may take up to a week to prepare and dispense.

With the first bottle of medicine or at least after the first consultation (if no medicine is needed) I will prepare printed guideline notes tailored to you individually which will contain any recommendations and points discussed at your consultation to remind you. It may also contain any other points regarding taking your medicine and other suggestions I think you would find useful which I may have thought about after your consultation.

3. How long will a bottle of medicine last?

Quite often a patient will have a chronic state of illness, and in this situation I would suggest that we would need to review in a month’s time, I would then ensure that you had a large bottle which would normally last a month. If I felt that your situation might change within 2 – 3 weeks (maybe due to an acute illness) then I might decide to give you a smaller bottle which would normally last about 2 weeks, after this we would need to assess and review your treatment.

4. What happens in follow up consultations?

Follow up consultations will last up to an hour. Within these we will discuss any changes you have noticed within yourself since we last had a consultation, maybe you will have been taking medicine, or have changed something in your lifestyle or eating habits, as agreed in the previous consultation to assist with the improvement of your health. We will go through each important aspect of the physical body to see if anything has changed since the last consultation. You may find your emotions or mood have changed since starting the treatment, this could be either more upbeat or maybe the changes have brought some feelings or thoughts to the fore which had previously been hidden or forgotten. These may be discussed further during the consultation. Before the end of the consultation we will have establish whether your medicine needs to stay the same or changed slightly, and if any other things need to be addressed.

5. How much will a consultation cost?

Currently at 2016 prices the initial longer consultation will be £50 and follow up consultations are £35.

Bottles of medicine are priced at:

£28 for 500ml

£16 for 250ml

£11 for 100ml

If medicine is posted to you then the cost of postage and packing is added to your charges according to the current postage costs.

6. What other form of prescription might I be given?

You may be advised to take specific supplements available over the counter or if you need a topical treatment I may prescribe one of my various ointments prepared with all herbal and natural ingredients in a beeswax and olive oil base.

I may also prescribe some Bach Remedies either individual ones or in a mixed form for any emotional treatment suggested.

7. How often will I need to see the herbalist for a consultation?

This will depend on your individual circumstances, but generally we would need to have a consultation once a month. Sometimes a telephone consultation will be done if things have been stable for a while and I feel that a face to face consultation is not totally necessary. The amount of follow up consultations you need again would depend on your individual situation and health. Some will find they are much better after one or two consultations with medicine, others may need several months treatment to improve their health. Any treatment is a co-operation between you the patient and the herbalist for the benefit of your health. You are asked to do as much as you can to help your treatment – maybe by adjusting your eating habits, lifestyle or something else as well as taking any prescribed medicine as advised by the herbalist.

8. What is contained in a bottle of medicine?

All tinctures are herbal – various parts of a plant can be used – these have been extracted using alcohol. No animal extracts are used whatsoever. I buy in individual tinctures from reputable companies which have stringent quality checks on their products. I then blend several of these tinctures into a prescription tailored to your individual needs. If you have alcohol tolerance problems then I will provided an alternative form of medicine for you.

9. What if I have to cancel an appointment?

I require at least 24 hours notice if you have to cancel for any reason whatsoever. If you do not give this notice then up to 100% of the consultation fee could be due from you.