The Modern Day Herbalist
I am a naturopath and I am a modern day herbalist. I use Tonics and Remedies to heal and restore health. Herbal Medicine today is an integration of thousands of years of empirical evidence for the use of herbal medicine across many cultures AND science.
What is a Herbalist!
We all look different, but if you look closer you will see similarities. Perhaps a bit earthy, tending to being all things natural, and our personalities will shine through. We love to investigate and to take the time to get to know our patients. You might visit us in a health food store or an established clinic, and we are usually surrounded by bottles of liquids or jars of herbs, like an Olde World apothecary. We are all unique in how we practice herbal medicine, as every individual perceives the world differently. We are trained and qualified in the practice of herbalism, even at the university level. We are required to be a member of an Industry National Body that looks after our interests, monitors and regulates our education, training and qualifications so that we are offered membership by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA). This membership allows us to acquire professional indemnity insurance and private health fund rebates for our patients. As you can see, we are all legitimate in our profession.
What is the practice of Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine has been used and continues to be used across cultures, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurveda (India), Indigenous Australians, the Americas. What you see here in Australia is based on Western Herbal Medicine, with the principles of practice and the plants used evolved primarily from European traditions, such as Roman, Greek, and English.
Traditionally, a plant was used to heal an ill - stomach pains, an infection, delirium, and disorders of the mind with such traditional descriptions of melancholy or insanity. The plant was given as a tea, poultice, or tincture. Modern Day herbalism has evolved from these principles to incorporate science. A plant and its chemicals are studied, the active constituent identified and the most effective mode of prescription for therapeutic effect determined. The raw material, whether it be the leaf, the flowers or berries, bark, root or even resin, is then made into a liquid tincture which is alcohol based to ensure that you receive the active ingredients to heal your ills. Technology of modern day herbalism allows us to have not only access to herbal medicines that are shown to have therapeutic active constituents bioavailable, but that also demonstrate proven beneficial physiological effects by clinical trial.
There are hundreds of herbal medicines, almost as many as there are plants, and a modern day herbalist in clinic will be using products that they know and trust. These are powerful medicines not to be self-prescribed and a modern day herbalist will use trusted suppliers so that the source of the raw material and the presence of active constituents is guaranteed and that there are no adulterations. Therefore we know what is in the bottle so that we achieve the results that we desire for our patients.
The relationship between a herbalist and their patient is unique. In a consult with a patient we allow the time to get to know the person that you are, your tendencies, your energies, your peculiarities, all that makes you YOU. We believe, as did Hippocrates, that your body has the innate ability to heal itself if given the right environment and if nurtured and nourished. This is where our modern world gets in the way. Driving factors that can shift your health off balance include - stress, gut dysbiosis, nutrient deficient diets, exposure to environmental toxins, and pathogens (viruses and bacteria). Any combination of these triggers can affect any part of your physiology - digestion, immune, mental health, endocrine (hormonal) systems. It is then our job to develop your unique tonic to give your body a subtle nudge towards healing and balance, and with your self-empowering efforts with diet and lifestyle, great health is achieved.
Its exciting to be a modern day herbalist. I love the tradition that it beholds, and the benefit to the patient. As a patient you are treated holistically addressing the causes and the symptoms, and treated as the individual that you are with your very own unique traditionally and scientifically validated herbal medicine. I wouldn't have it any other way!