What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is the oldest form of medicine in the world. It is also known as phytotherapy. Herbs can be used to treat most conditions (functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, osteoarthritis, depression, migraine, some acute infections). Herbs are also effective in supporting individual resilience in the face of adverse health circumstances of various origins. Most well-known synthetic drugs in use today originated from medicinal plants. The commonest drug, aspirin, was originally a chemically-treated extract from willow bark. Unlike orthodox drugs, that normally contain a single active ingredient, plant medicines have several active ingredients that work in synergy and may have several simultaneous actions on the body.
Western herbal medicine predominantly uses medicinal European wild and cultivated plants. Active plant ingredients are extracted in the form of tinctures, teas, powders, oils, creams and waters. Herbal medicine uses a holistic approach to treatment that focuses on addressing the patient’s illness as well as the symptoms of their disease.
Meet our dedicated Medical Herbalist
Read more about what and how we treat on our blog
What to expect from a treatment
Julija works with each patient as a unique individual. The first consultation normally takes up to an hour to allow enough time to take a full medical history (including questions about lifestyle and diet), to take blood pressure and pulse readings and to conduct a physical examination if required. It is advisable to bring any medication you are currently taking and any medical test results you have with you to the consultation.
After the consultation Julija proposes and agrees a treatment and management plan with the client. She then issues an individually tailored herbal prescription. These prescriptions are formulated as alcohol-based tinctures, capsules, teas or creams. Julija then prepares the medicine in her dispensary, labels the contents and posts the medicines and user instructions to the client. As a rule, Julija would like to see her clients for an initial follow-up consultation after 2 weeks to see how they are responding. Further follow-up appointments are advised every 4-8 weeks depending on the case. Prescriptions may be adjusted in response to the client’s progress.
How long will herbal treatment take?
There is no definitive answer to the length of a herbal treatment, which depends on many variables including the condition, its severity and the client’s overall health status. Herbal medicines normally take longer to manifest their effect on physiological processes in the body compared to orthodox drugs. However, you should start noticing the results within the first 2 weeks of taking the medicines or within 4 weeks if your treatment relates to female reproductive cycle complaints. An average herbal treatment plan is about 3 months or longer depending on the case.
We have selected the exercises we most frequently advise our patients to do and turned them into short video clips.
What to expect when you visit Bridge to Health
Read an overview of what to expect when visiting an osteopath here, and about other patients’ success on our testimonials page.