Western herbalism involves using plants and herbs (usually those that grow in Western countries) to maintain health and keep the body in balance.
The aim of treatment is to support the body during illness and to stimulate the body’s own healing energy which may have been weakened by factors such as stress, lack of exercise, poor nutrition and external environmental factors such as pollen.
The main difference between herbal medicine and orthodox medicine is that, whereas in pharmaceutical drugs one or more active ingredients are isolated, we herbalists believe that using the whole herb is more beneficial. Many of the other ingredients a plant contains have a buffering effect which helps to prevent unwelcome side effects. In addition, the chemical complexity of herbs means that they can often achieve more than a drug with just one active ingredient.
Herbal remedies come in many different forms. They can be taken internally as herbal teas, tablets or capsules or in tinctures (made by soaking herbs in alcohol). Alternatively, they can be applied externally as compresses or poultices, in creams and ointments or in herbal baths.
The remedies prescribed will be tailored to you, not to your symptoms, by mixing up different kinds of herbal tinctures to suit.
I’m always seeking new recipes for my own skin creams by adding all magical ingredients, e.g. herbal tinctures, essential oils, flower essences.