Our Medical Herbalist Marion Colledge reveals all about this powerful form of treatment...
What is Western Herbal Medicine?
Herbal Medicine works with the body’s natural defence systems in a gentle and well-tolerated way to provide long term relief from both physical and mental disorders. It uses plant extracts, usually in the form of tinctures and teas, as medication in conjunction with lifestyle advice and an individual treatment plan.
Herbs have been used for thousands of years as food and medicine and still act as mainstream medicine for much of the world’s population. Now many in the more developed world are looking again at ways in which plant medicine can offer them a naturally healthy life, often alongside orthodox medicine.
Who can benefit from it?
Herbal Medicine is suitable for everyone, including very young children and the elderly. Any existing medication will be taken into account when herbs are prescribed to avoid any unwanted interactions.
Herbal Medicine is appropriate for most of the conditions for which you would visit your GP. These include digestive and circulation problems, skin complaints, sleep, stress and emotional issues, hormonal imbalances, musculo-skeletal aches and pains, respiratory conditions and many more.
What's so great about it?
Herbal Medicine is a gentle and natural way to treat existing health problems and to maintain good health and well-being. Many orthodox drugs have a long list of side effects and it’s not surprising that more and more often people look to the benefits of herbal medicine. The treatment is tailored specifically to each patient and we treat the root of a problem and not just the symptoms, looking at the patient in a holistic way.
Have you had any experience benefiting from it?
Having grown up in Germany where natural medicine is much more widely used and often prescribed by the GP as the first line of treatment, I found that in the UK this was still a very niche way of healthcare when I moved here 15 years ago. Therefore I decided to take the leap and study Herbal Medicine to make it my profession and to be able to help more people take care of themselves in a more natural and holistic way. Me and my family, including my two children, always use herbal medicine where appropriate and we have managed to keep the use of antibiotics and over-the-counter medication to a minimum.
In my practice I often combine Herbal Medicine with the body work treatments I offer, particularly for emotional or mental disorders such as stress, anxiety or sleeping problems.
I do not specialise in any particular area of Herbal Medicine although a large number of my patients have treatment for hormonal imbalances, including PMS, PCOS, fertility problems, menopausal complaints. Speaking from my own experience and with more and more research being done, herbs can be very effective in this field.
How do you tailor your prescriptions to adjust to the individuals needs?
After an initial and detailed consultation, and examination where appropriate, I make a diagnosis based on the findings and, where necessary, refer the patient on for further tests. Then a management and treatment plan is discussed with the patient and herbs prescribed as necessary. The prescription may be a tincture or tea, also sometimes creams, lotions or capsules, and is made up by the herbalist specifically for each patient. Follow up consultations are of shorter duration and in regular intervals. Adjustments may be made to the medication and treatment plan during this time to ensure it is at its most effective.
WESTERN HERBAL MEDICINE APPOINTMENTS ARE AVAILABLE ON MONDAY AND THURSDAY MORNINGS WITH MARION.
The initial consultation takes approximately 60 minutes in our clinic in South East London and includes a detailed medical history as well as the patient’s lifestyle and general well-being. A physical examination may be carried out if necessary. A treatment plan and herbal prescription will then be formulated and the patient can pick up the prescription at a pre-arranged time. Follow up visits take place 2-6 weeks after the initial consultation and going forward, depending on the condition.
Initial Consultation £50
Follow up Consultation £35
Children £30 / £20