Medical or holistic?

I’ve added this page since I’ve noticed there are two quite distinct ways to practice herbal medicine:

Medical Herbalism – disease orientated

This is effectively where you use a herb in place of or to complement a drug or other treatment. It is largely a disease orientated and symptomatic approach. It also fits the model of much self medication (e.g. from health food shops) such as ‘I have a cold – I’ll take echinacea’. It may well be valuable and useful but it does not necessarily ask or adress the deep ‘why?’ of illness.

The medical approach works wonderfully where there is a relatively simple, specific and one-off cause of an illness. It is not so powerful in multi-factorial, chronic conditions.

Medical herbalists are trained to take a holistic view to health, and a good medical herbalist will combine the medical with the holistic elements outlined below. Thus medical herbalism can be holistic (and holistic herbalism can have a big ‘medical’ impact).

Holistic herbalism – person orientated

Holistic herbalism is entirely about supporting you, whatever the ‘disease’. The intention is to help you be yourself more fully, express the truth of your soul more fully and generally to grow in consciousness and understanding of your self.

Herbs are used to support and encourage this process, and not necessarily to ‘treat’ a disease. This intention for growth comes before any intention for a particular outcome from the point of view of a disease – indeed, becoming fixed on an outcome can mean you miss the real opportunities for inner growth!

An example of this may be that for three months after treatment, nothing changes regarding a particular symptom, but a whole host of psycho-spiritual-physical factors improve significantly. This then puts your body in a far stronger place to maintain its health, and improvements in symptoms can follow as your own vitality becomes more established. It can also be that as this spectrum of other factors improve, your whole perpective about your life / illness changes, opening up new avenues for healing.

My practice

I mostly practice holistic herbalism because I believe it offers a deeper journey of healing. However. I’m happy doing either or both approaches depending on your needs. Some people suit a more medical approach, whilst others are keen to engage on a journey of self healing. I hope I can support you in whatever way works for you.