What’s so special about seeing a herbalist?

TIME I hear you cry! Poor GPs only have 7 minutes per person. A first consultation with a medical herbalist lasts 1-1.5 hours. However, it’s not just special because of the amount of time spent but what happens during that time…

Your herbalist will listen to ALL your health concerns. Your in-depth first consultation will look at all your present symptoms and health problems, review your medical history, and assess your overall health.

You will be asked in detail about what you eat, your lifestyle and anything that impacts on your health. You will be asked about any medication and nutritional supplements you are taking.

Your blood pressure will probably be checked, other examinations performed or laboratory tests requested.

Having listened to all your concerns and problems, your medical herbalist may take some time to double check drug interactions, consult medical textbooks to refresh knowledge of your condition(s), and dip into herbal medicine textbooks to ensure the herbs they are thinking of are right for you or see if there are other herbs that may be more appropriate.

Your medical herbalist will then make up a prescription of herbs specifically for you in a form that is right for you (e.g. tincture, tea, cream, capsules). They will also offer lifestyle and dietary advice to help you regain good health.

Follow up appointments allow for adjustments to your treatment and care. This ensures treatment is safe, effective and specifically tailored to you.

You see, it really is special 🙂

What is a tincture?

Tinctures are an alcoholic liquid made by steeping either fresh or dried herbs in a


A selection of my tinctures

mixture of alcohol and water for several weeks. This then extracts the active ingredient of the herb.

The strength of the alcohol is varied according to need – different strengths extract different constituents. For example, you may use 25% alcohol to extract polar constituents such as polysaccharides, tannins, anthocyanidins and berberine. At least 45% alcohol is needed to extract volatile oils and a very high alcohol content of 90-95% is needed to extract non-polar resinous constituents from plants such as Calendula and Myrrh.

The usual dose is one teaspoon (5ml) three times a day although children can respond very well to drop doses and I am a big fan of using large ‘heroic’ doses for some acute conditions such as a chest infection.

I buy my tinctures from reputable, sustainable, quality controlled British suppliers. Where possible my tinctures are also organic. One day I hope to make my own tinctures.

There are many other ways to take herbal medicine if you wish to avoid alcohol. Please do call me to find out the various options.