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Should I self treat at home or consult a Herbalist?

Written by Ruth Weaver

Herbal self-care is a life skill we believe everyone should have. However sometimes seeing a medically trained herbalist is the best healthcare option – here we explain when and why.

Understanding herbal medicine

Herbal Medicine has been around since the beginning of time, with animals and humans having interacted with plants for food and medicine from the earliest point of recorded history and beyond.

Herbal medicines are products made from botanicals, or plants, that are used to treat diseases or to support health, these can be called herbal or botanical products, or herbal/ phytomedicines. 

Herbal Medicine is often confused with Homeopathy, however whilst homeopaths and herbalists may use some of the same types of plants, these two practices and their prescriptions are very different.

Herbal Medicines are whole plant preparations. ’Whole plant’ meaning that the unrefined, raw plant matter is used to create the medicinal preparation, as opposed to the extraction of an isolated compound or chemical to create a drug (as with pharmaceuticals). Or as opposed to the highly diluted homeopathic medicines, which hold more of a ‘memory’ or ‘energetic’ quality than one of substance and chemistry.

In Herbal Medicine, plant parts such as leaves, flowers, seeds, roots, fruits and barks are used (not all at the same time, although a herbalist may sometimes use a blend of different plants or plant parts in a prescription). Herbal Medicines may also be seaweeds, algae or fungi.

Herbal Medicine is a profession in its own right. In the West, there are many professional training schools that combine biomedical and holistic sciences with practitioner development that is focused around clinical training. Enabling qualified herbal practitioners to go on and set up a practice where they are able to treat patients using a combined approach.

The Apothecary Forager, Ruthie Weaver is a Medical Herbalist living, teaching and practising in the beautiful county of Cornwall, her place of birth and upbringing. Ruth studied at the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine, Glasgow and The University of Lincoln where she completed her Herbal Medicine BSc. (Hons). Since then (2012) Ruths Practice in West Cornwall continues to grow, working with clients with acute and chronic illness and of mind body and spirit.

The roots of Ruth's practice are in Traditional Western Herbal Medicine, maintaining both a deeply holistic, intuitive and energetic approach to treatment. Ruth has sought diversity in her inspirations having worked with and learnt from many leading herbalists from around the UK. Ruth has also spent a number of years working with a collective of Herbalist first aiders at events around the UK providing orthodox and herbal first aid.

In the work of writing on medicinal plants, through monographs and articles, Ruth works to a balanced view of traditional, scientific, energetic and practical insights

Sharing the herbal wisdom is where Ruth's passion lies, she believes everyone should be empowered with the knowledge and skills to treat simple conditions at home with the powerful medicines growing so abundantly around us. Ruth also offers walks, talks, workshops and courses both in Cornwall and beyond.

Ruth Weaver

The Apothecary Forager, Ruthie Weaver is a Medical Herbalist living, teaching and practising in the beautiful county of Cornwall, her place of birth and upbringing. Ruth studied at the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine, Glasgow and The University of Lincoln where she completed her Herbal Medicine BSc. (Hons). Since then (2012) Ruths Practice in West Cornwall continues to grow, working with clients with acute and chronic illness and of mind body and spirit.

The roots of Ruth's practice are in Traditional Western Herbal Medicine, maintaining both a deeply holistic, intuitive and energetic approach to treatment. Ruth has sought diversity in her inspirations having worked with and learnt from many leading herbalists from around the UK. Ruth has also spent a number of years working with a collective of Herbalist first aiders at events around the UK providing orthodox and herbal first aid.

In the work of writing on medicinal plants, through monographs and articles, Ruth works to a balanced view of traditional, scientific, energetic and practical insights

Sharing the herbal wisdom is where Ruth's passion lies, she believes everyone should be empowered with the knowledge and skills to treat simple conditions at home with the powerful medicines growing so abundantly around us. Ruth also offers walks, talks, workshops and courses both in Cornwall and beyond.

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