Each of us experiences ill-health in individual ways and each of us has a unique medical history. This means that no two patients seeing a herbalist will be given the same herbal prescription - treatment is individually tailored to your needs.
For your first appointment you should allow at least one hour. This gives us time for an extensive discussion of a your current health.
When you come to see me for a first appointment I will need to know all about your current health concerns, your past medical history from birth to the present day and your family medical history, such as conditions that tend to run in your family. I will need to know about any prescribed or over-the-counter medications or supplements you might be taking. Then to get an overall picture of your current health I will ask a range of general health questions covering every body system such as digestive system and nervous system. I usually take pulse and blood pressure readings at a first consultation. As appropriate I may carry out other examinations such as listening to your chest, or testing a sample of urine.
All consultations are private and strictly confidential as you would expect from a healthcare professional. I will make up your herbal prescription in my dispensary for you to take away with you, and I will explain how the medicine should be taken. The medicinal plants in your prescription will be chosen to take account of any medications you are currently taking.
The herbal medicine is usually a mixture of about five or six herbal tinctures (extracts of herbs in a water-alcohol base), but you may also be given herbal tea, capsules, powders or tablets. Sometimes I prescribe an external treatment such as cream, gel, lotion, oil or ointment.
A follow -up visit is usually arranged for two weeks after your first appointment, to assess progress and if necessary make any changes to the medicine or treatment plan. The follow-up appointments usually take about 30 minutes and further appointments are arranged as necessary to suit your individual circumstances. Repeat prescriptions can be posted if an appointment is not required. Longer term treatments will require periodic follow-ups to monitor progress, and the herbal prescription may be re-evaluated and changed accordingly so that it remains appropriate and goes on helping you.
The length of the treatment will depend on the nature and duration of your condition. Generally the longer someone has been unwell the longer it takes to improve their health.