Herbal medicine, or Phytotherapy, is the oldest and most widely used system in the world today, with over 80% of the world's population relying on herbs for health (World Health Organisation).
It is the use of plant remedies in the treatment of ill-health, which has been handed down from generation to generation over thousands of years, with the first herbal practices having been found in Stone Age sites. Now there is also a vast amount of scientific research being conducted in this field, further broadening our knowledge and understanding of this sophisticated medicine system, thus increasing its safety and efficacy.
Medical Herbalists are trained in the same diagnostic and clinical skills as orthodox doctors but take a more holistic approach to illness. They treat predominantly with herbs in a tincture, dried herb or topical form, together with lifestyle and nutritional healing.
Another major difference between allopathic medicine and herbal medicine is that they treat the person as a whole, identifying the underlying causes, and not simply removing a symptom. This means that the treatment includes teamwork with the patient. A few minor lifestyle, behavioural and dietary changes are encouraged to speed up the healing process that may help to eradicate the source causing the imbalance.
What can Herbal Medicine Treat:
Herbal medicine can treat almost any condition, acute or chronic, that you would go to your GP for. Common complaints seen by herbalists include:
In terminal illness, it can be very effective in providing secondary palliative care, to improve comfort and life quality
- Gynaecological disorders, such as PMT, menstrual problems, PCOS, menopausal problems, hormonal imbalances, water retention, endometriosis, Infertility
- Skin problems, such as eczema, psoriasis, acne
- Stress, depression, insomnia, migraine and headaches, low energy, exhaustion
- Influenza, tonsillitis, sinus congestion, bronchial complaints, low immune system
- Allergic responses, such as hay fever and asthma
- Digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, acid reflux
- Viral infections
- Heart and circulatory problems, such as high or low blood pressure, sluggishness, Raynaud's symptoms, heavy legs
- Arthritic and rheumatic pains
- Urinary conditions
A trained Herbalist will know when to refer a condition to a Conventional Medicine Practitioner or hospital, and if necessary, may work alongside them.
Are Herbs Safe:
The answer is an emphatic YES, if used under the advice and guidance of a qualified Medical Herbalist!
The first consultation will take roughly one to one and a half hours. A full case history will be taken in detail, any necessary clinical examinations will be done with your permission, such as a blood pressure check, and a tongue and pulse diagnosis may be used. Together we will unravel the causes of the disorder, and develop a treatment strategy. I will discuss your diet, lifestyle and behavioural patterns with you, and possibly agree on a few minor changes that may help us to return your body to full health and vitality.
Herbal medicine may then be prescribed, which will be in a tea, tincture, cream, ointment or tablet form. More often than not the prescription will be in tincture form, as we can then combine between 4-8 herbs easily into one liquid formulation, which will be taken several times a day.
The second appointment will be 2-3 weeks later, depending on the complaint, where we will assess your progress and how you have responded to the herbs. We can then decide on what, if any, changes need to be made.
|First Consultation (1 - 1.5 hours)||R320|
|Follow up consultations (30 - 60 mins)||R210|
|Herbal Medicines (Tinctures)||R85 (per week)|
|Dried Herbs, Creams & Capsules||On request|
|Times may differ for children, depending on suitability to the child.|
|Payment to be made at the end of each consultation. |
|Regrettably, cancellations must be made at least 24 hours in advance, otherwise the full consultation fee is payable. (Exceptional circumstances allowing) |
About the Herbalist
Lana Martin was born in South Africa, where her passion for natural medicine was first sparked. She has been working as a Sports Therapist since 1994 in South Africa, Germany and the UK, using personal training, remedial training, sports massage, nutritional advice and lifestyle guidance with her clients. She studied in South Africa, Germany and the UK.
Lana always turned to herbs when medicine was also needed, and therefore decided to further her career by completing the BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine at the University of Lincoln in the UK. The addition of this complex, sophisticated treatment system proved invaluable in treating many of her clients, many of whom were suffering from stress, depression, poor sleeping patterns, M.E. and eating disorders, as well as many others. "Since qualifying and working as an Herbalist it has never ceased to astound me how versatile and powerful this treatment system is for an innumerable amount of conditions, many of which have previously seemed untreatable for many years" Dr Martin says.
Dr Martin is a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, and is currently undergoing the process of registration with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa.
The National Institute of Medical Herbalists
The Institute was established in 1864, making it the oldest body of practicing herbalists in the world. All members undergo a lengthy training programme before they can register as qualified medical herbalists. Practitioners train for at least three years, undergo hours of supervised consultations and adhere to a strict code of conduct before they can gain MNIMH or FNIMH after their name. These letters are a guarantee that you are placing yourself in safe, trained and caring hands.