Medical Herbalist FAQ

//Posted By Jodie Foreman

If you’re seeing a medical herbalist for the first time, you likely have a few questions.

Below are some answers to some of the most common questions asked to our herbalists.

What conditions do herbalists commonly treat?

Herbalists treat all of the conditions that you might take to your doctor but using plant medicine. These can include those of a physical, mental and emotional nature.

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis and joint problems
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive issues, such as IBS, heartburn, ulcers, indigestion, bloating, wind.
  • Fertility issues
  • Headaches and migraine
  • High blood pressure
  • Hormonal health (period pain, PMS and menopause)
  • Infections
  • Insomnia
  • Low energy
  • Pain management
  • Skin complaints
  • Sleep problems such as insomnia
  • Stress

Can you take herbal medicine alongside prescription drugs?

Yes, you can, however you should use medicinal herbs only as prescribed by a qualified medical herbalist. Medical herbalists are trained in Pharmacology and can assess potential interactions with prescribed medicines.

Is Herbal Medicine Safe?

Yes, when prescribed by a trained herbalist, herbal medicine is very safe. Herbs tend to act more gently on the body than pharmaceutical drugs.

Herbal Medicine is safe, when prescribed and taken under the supervision of a medical herbalist. The safety record of herbs prescribed by a trained herbalist is excellent.

Do medicinal herbs have any side-effects?

Herbs tend to have very few side-effects, as each prescription is tailor made to the individual.

How long does herbal treatment take to show results?

There is no one answer for this. Factors that can determine how long treatment takes include:

  • The condition
  • Severity of the condition
  • How long it has been present
  • Past medical history
  • Current health status
  • Prescribed drug history

After your initial consultation, a medical herbalist may be able to give you a rough guideline as to the length of treatment, however herbalists tend to treat every person holistically as an individual. So what may have worked quickly for one may take a little longer for another.

You may find that herbal medicine can sometimes take longer to achieve the desired results compared to common pharmaceutical drugs, however their gentle action can help to produce more permanent results through addressing the root cause of your symptoms and rebalancing the body.

Should I tell my GP and other health specialists I am taking herbal medicine?

It is important that all of the healthcare providers involved in your care are fully aware of the herbs and drugs you are taking, as well as any over the counter supplements and products. This is important to avoid any interactions between herbs, drugs, food or supplements.

Can I Get Herbal Medicine on the NHS?

Unfortunately this is rare however the future may be different. Some GP’s are beginning to work with medical herbalists in the UK and some private healthcare providers cover herbal medicine consultations.

How long are appointments?

At Foreman and Jones an initial consultation is generally 1 hour, and follow up consultations are 30 minutes.

How are medical herbalists verified?

There are a range of voluntary regulatory bodies for medical herbalists in the UK, including:

  • The National Institute of Medical Herbalists
  • The Association of Master Herbalists
  • The College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy

By seeing a medical herbalist who is a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (MNIMH) you can be assured that the medical herbalist has been trained to a high level (normally 4 years full time).

Find out more information here: https://foremanandjones.co.uk/articles/how-are-herbalists-verified-in-the-uk