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Home herbalism and when to see a herbalist

  • Rebecca Lazarou
    Rebecca Lazarou

    I completed my degree in Biomedical Science-Human Biology, always with the intention to study herbal medicines after. I wanted to bridge the gap between plant medicines and science. I then went on to study a masters at UCL School of Pharmacy, in Medicinal Natural Products and Phytochemistry where I learnt deeply about phytomedicines, quality control, laboratory techniques and medicinal plant science.
    Since then I have been an associate editor for the science publication Journal of Herbal Medicine. I research medicinal plants at Kew Gardens, and have been a G7 youth ambassador for healthcare. You can read more about my research here. I have launched my own botanical medicine company Laz The Plant Scientist offering herbal medicines, education and experiential events.

    I am passionate about herbal medicines as I believe medicines should prioritise prevention as well as having a holistic focus. I love that herbal medicines work to rebalance us and optimise our quality of life, and I have witnessed them having a transformative effect time and time again. I also believe that living in symbiosis with and nurturing a relationship with nature is one of the most healing things we can do.

  • 12:57 reading time (ish)
  • Home Herbalism

We share the potential of home herbalism to support health, as well as its limitations. We also talk about the differences between treating yourself at home and the benefits of seeing a herbalist.

Bring back home herbalism

Not too long ago some general herbal knowledge was a part of every household, as intrinsic as the skill of knowing how to cook or how to grow food. In fact, in many cultures, this knowledge is still a part of the home.

Home herbalism and when to see a herbalist

However, a rapid change in culture this past 100 years has meant that these skills which were woven into the fabric of home life, have been largely forgotten. Paracetamol replaces cramp bark for menstrual pain, antibiotics instead of elderberry for a cold.  The emerging medical paradigm has led to a rise in ’magic bullet’ medicine dominated by pharmaceutical treatments. Whilst often useful, medical advances have partly come at the expense of a more preventative approach where the common knowledge of home remedies and simple self-care skills was once so widespread. 

Given the pressures on all medical systems and the exponential increase in positive research into the benefits of herbal solutions, perhaps it is time to bring back more home herbalism. And it is equally important that we develop a greater understanding of when and how to direct people to herbalists for medical guidance.

Rebecca Lazarou

I completed my degree in Biomedical Science-Human Biology, always with the intention to study herbal medicines after. I wanted to bridge the gap between plant medicines and science. I then went on to... Read more

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