The Mansfield Herbalist FAQs

Can I take herbal medicine if I’m already taking prescribed medication from my doctor or consultant?

Most herbal medicines can be taken safely with conventional medications. There are some conventional medications that are known to interact with herbs and as a medical herbalist I am aware of these interactions. This is one of the reasons why it is sensible to have a consultation with a qualified herbalist rather than taking over the counter herbal products. Please bring a list of your medications with you when you attend your appointment.

What happens in a consultation?

When you attend your first consultation, please allow 1.5 hours. We will be talking for about an hour, and then it takes about 30 minutes to formulate and dispense your individual medicine. During the meeting we shall discuss the issue that is causing you concern, but I shall also ask about your current general health and your past medical history. I will need to know about any medications or supplements you are taking already, and any allergies or intolerances. It is quite an in depth consultation initially. If necessary I will carry out a clinical examination such as listening to your heart or lungs. I will take your pulse and blood pressure during most consultations.

The second and subsequent appointments are usually 30 minutes long, with a further 15-20 minutes to prepare the herbal medicines.

Will you need to contact my GP or consultant?

I will not usually contact your health care professionals without your permission. This would only happen if I had a very serious concern about your health. During the consultation, if I feel you need to return to your GP, I shall advise you to do so.

It can be helpful to keep in touch with orthodox medical practitioners, and with your consent I may write to them as a matter of courtesy.

How long will I need to take herbal medicine?

This depends on your situation and the reason why you decided to consult a herbalist. The majority of people take herbal medicine for a period of a few months and then gradually decrease the dose. Some people decide to continue taking herbal medicine for longer, and sometimes there are significant changes in a short space of time, and herbs are discontinued sooner. Please ask about this at your first appointment.

I have been told herbal medicine does not work. Will it work for me?

You may have been told herbal medicine does not work. This is particularly common when women have tried over the counter remedies for menopausal issues such as hot flushes. Of course we cannot guarantee that herbal medicine will solve your health issue any more than a doctor can make guarantees. As a trained and qualified Western Medical Herbalist, I work with people in a holistic manner.  This means that I take into account a person’s physical and emotional health, their diet and lifestyle, and then prescribe an individual herbal medicine based on the discussion. I have been a qualified herbalist for over 10 years, and I have many satisfied patients who feel herbal medicine has worked for them.

Does all herbal medicine contain alcohol?

No, herbal medicine does not need to contain alcohol. I often use herbal tinctures because plant medicinal constituents are readily extracted in alcohol. In the past, herbs were administered in wines or even beers. The amount of alcohol in one dose of herbal medicine is approximately ¼ of a teaspoon. However, there other ways to takes herbs such as herbal infusions (often called herbal tea), capsules, powders or syrups. Please ask me about your specific requirements.

Is herbal medicine suitable for children?

Yes, herbal medicine is suitable for most children and babies, depending on the individual situation. I will never prescribe a medicine without seeing the child for a full consultation.

Can I take herbal medicine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are some herbal medicines you should not take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, many people take herbal medicines throughout their pregnancies with supervision from a qualified herbalist. Please get in touch to discuss this further.

Is there any evidence to support the efficacy of herbal medicines?

This is a great question. There are many published studies discussing the uses and effects of herbal medicines. Just like conventional medicine research, some studies are good quality and some are not. Some of the most frequently studied herbs are St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and Echinacea.

Herbal medicine research does not  attract the same  financial support as pharmaceutical research and there is less of it. So there are definitely not the same number of peer reviewed studies for herbs as there are for conventional medicines. However, evidence based medicine does not just take peer reviewed studies into account. There are 3 strands to evidence based medicine (EBM) . One of these is relevant clinical research, but the other strands are patients’ values and preferences , and clinical judgment. The patient experience is important , as are the values and choices.

You might also hear people say herbal medicine is ‘placebo’. Well maybe it is  sometimes, and maybe so are conventional medicines ! However, what we do know is that herbs contain chemical constituents that have physical effects on the body. For example, think about the medicines that have been derived from plants such as aspirin, morphine, ephedrine and quinine. There are many more.

Please keep an eye on this website because I will be blogging about this soon.

What are your qualifications?

I am a dual qualified registered nurse. This means I am trained, and registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to nurse people with physical and mental illness.

My qualifications are Registered General Nurse (RGN) and Registered Mental Nurse (RMN)

I have a BSc(Hons) (Bachelor of Science) degree  in Herbal Medicine from the University of Lincoln. The degree involved studying plant botany and plant medicine alongside orthodox pathophysiology, clinical diagnostic examinations, nutrition and differential diagnosis.

I have a Post Graduate Certificate in Primary Care Mental Health from Sheffield Hallam University, and a Teaching Certificate from Lincoln College.

I am hoping to begin studying for a Masters’ degree in the near future.

Are you a registered herbalist?

I am a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH). Please follow this link to the NIMH website. https://www.nimh.org.uk/

Currently there is no registration for herbalists in the United Kingdom. In 2011 the UK government announced that herbalists would become a  registered profession. However, on 26th March 2015 the government published a new document recommending that herbalists did NOT require registration, largely due to the very low risk posed to the public from herbal medicines. You can read the document here : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-on-regulating-herbal-medicines-and-practitioners

Therefore I am not a registered herbalist, and there is no such thing in the United Kingdom.

The NIMH is the UK’s oldest professional organisation for herbalists. They will be able to help if you have any questions regarding standards of care or training.

What experience do you have?

I have been a nurse for 35 years. I have worked in haematology, gastroenterology, general medicine, neurology, urgent care and occupational health.  As a mental health nurse my experience includes working with adults, older adults, children and young people and women in the perinatal period.

As a herbalist I have been in private practice for 10 years in Mansfield and I have been a lecturer on the Herbal Medicine degree since 2011. The degree is now called Clinical Herbalism and it is taught at Lincoln College. You can find the details here : https://www.lincolncollege.ac.uk/courses/bsc-hons-clinical-herbalism/

At Lincoln College we have a subsidised herbal medicine clinic and I supervise this clinic once a week during term time.

Ask a Question

Address

The Lotus Therapy Centre at The Limes, 54 Nottingham Rd, Mansfield, Notts,  NG18 1BN

Telephone

07746 370515

Email

Eleanor@mansfieldherbalist.co.uk