Herbalists take a holistic approach to illness and hormonal imbalance by treating the underlying cause of the disease as well as the symptoms. Medical herbalists make use of plants whose traditional uses are backed up by modern scientific research and clinical trials.
Herbal medicines are plant-based made from differing combinations of plant parts e.g., leaves, flowers, or roots. Each part can have different medicinal uses and the many types of chemical constituents require different extraction methods. Both fresh and dried plant matter are used, depending on the herb.
Types of herbal medicine:
• Teas/Infusions: dried or fresh herbs steeped in boiling water • Decoctions: usually harder plant material, boiled on the stove for longer than infusions • Syrups: herbs in a sugar solution. Ideal for coughs and sore throats or for getting herbs into a child. • Poultices: moistened herbs kept in place by a cloth for localised healing • Creams/Lotions/Infused oils: liquid preparations for external use • Tinctures: alcohol-based solutions of herbs. • Snuffs: for treating sinus problems and sometimes headaches. • Suppositories/Pessaries: for direct application of herbs to intimate orifices.
During your first consultation Lorraine will build up a picture of you and your health by:
• Taking your full case history • Asking about your family’s medical history • Discussing your diet and lifestyle • Finding out about any medication or supplements you use
This allows her to assess the underlying causes of your illness and formulate a mixture of herbs tailored to your individual needs. It may also be necessary to take your blood pressure or arrange for other tests to be done. Your individual treatment plan will include herbal remedies and, where appropriate, dietary changes or nutritional supplements. Most herbal medicines are given in the form of a liquid tincture that is taken in 5ml doses of two or three times daily. You may also be prescribed a herbal tea, tablets, ointment, cream or lotion.
After the initial consultation, three or four shorter consultations are usually necessary to assess your progress, followed by check-ups every three to six months, depending on the nature of your condition. Because herbal medicines work in a gentle and subtle way, they can take longer to work than orthodox drugs, but their effects are long lasting and there should be no side effects. Lorraine is well trained in herb and pharmaceutical interactions so can safely prescribe herbal remedies to be used alongside other treatments.
Herbal Medicine is suitable for people of any age, including children, who respond especially well to the gentle actions of herbs. It is important to ensure herbal medicines are being sourced from reputable manufacturers, who maintain consistent quality standards. Traceability (right back to the original batch of herbs) and certificates of authenticity are key ways in which quality is maintained. Sustainability is also of crucial importance.