A science degree in herbal medicine and years of practice has shown me that herbs offer a way to regain health and vitality. Unlike modern pharmaceuticals, which use synthetic chemicals to alter directly the delicate structure of the body, herbal medicine extracts the whole plant without interfering or changing its constituents. This retains the natural balance; avoiding adverse reactions or side-effects.
What does a Herbalist do exactly?
A Medical Herbalist takes down a full case history, listening to all the physical, mental and emotional symptoms in order to evaluate the overall picture and understand the root cause of your disease or condition.
Practitioners of herbal medicine are not only trained in the same non-invasive diagnostic skills as ordinary doctors; but also use the benefits of a holistic viewpoint, traditional knowledge and additional forms of diagnosis such as Tongue, Pulse and Iris diagnosis to elicit the root of the health problem.
Treatment is aimed at restoring true health; not at suppressing the symptoms.
Because herbal medicine is concerned with restoring health, by treating the cause, rather than focusing on symptoms, it can be used for any kind of health problems.
Professional medical herbalists are trained to deal with any disease condition which a person would normally visit their GP; from simple coughs, colds, or stomach upsets, to long-term problems such as rheumatism, skin disorders, insomnia, asthma, hay fever, menstrual difficulties including conditions diagnosed as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and so forth.
For example, twenty patients presenting with arthritis may each receive a different formulation of herbs, tailored to their personal constitution and circumstances.
There is no limit to the ways in which a herbal practitioner can help a patient back to health.
All it takes is a serious commitment to getting well. The Herbal Clinic in Swansea will guide you to that effect.
Many people suffer from different allergies and intolerance’s which are restricting their lives. We believe that these ‘allergies of modern life’ are the result of mal-absorption and that by addressing the cause and restoring the digestive functions, the immune system can repair and the patient is able to lead a normal life again.
Taking a painkiller or anti-inflammatory drug for migraine or rheumatoid arthritis can be likened to removing a warning light on a car dashboard; the aggravation of the flashing light is relieved but the underlying cause persists, wreaking havoc under the bonnet.
We understand disease at a level beyond the superficial symptoms and strive to find a permanent resolution.
Maintaining our tradition
The British Herbal Medicine Association (BHMA) was founded in 1964 to advance the science and practice of herbal medicine in the United Kingdom.
The European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA) was founded in 1993 when it became clear that with the development of the European Union, the legislative framework under which herbal medicine was practised in the UK and Europe was likely to undergo radical change. The EHTPA is an umbrella body which represents professional associations of herbal / traditional medicine practitioners offering variously western herbal medicine, Chinese herbal medicine, Ayurveda and traditional Tibetan medicine.
All water used within the Herbal Clinic has been distilled, using a high performance 3kw glass distillation system.
- Ordinary tap water is heated to 100° C, killing bacteria, cysts and viruses that may be present.
- As the water temperature rises, low boiling light gases are discharged.
- Steam rises leaving behind dissolved solids, salts, and all other contaminants.
- The steam is condensed, collected and stored.
The residue, following distillation of tap water is putrefying, decomposing detritus; something resembling a stagnant pool of mud. This is what we would normally ingest.
Drinking distilled water is not a new idea; there have been many who recognised its value in the prevention of disease and restoration of health. C.W. de Lacy Evans, M.D., in his book ‘How to Prolong Life’ says, ‘Used as a drink, distilled water is absorbed directly into the blood, the solvent properties of which it increases to such an extent that it will keep in solution salts already existing in the blood, prevent their undue deposit in various organs and structures, favour their elimination by the various excreta and tend to remove these earthy compounds which have already accumulated in the body.’
The debris found in tap water is largely due to recycling (these contain all types of pharmaceutical drugs: steroids, hormones, anti-cancer medicines, excreted via our bodies or disposed of in the toilet) and to chemical additives, such as chlorine, used to ‘control faecal pollution’ through disinfection, but linked to heart disease, arteriosclerosis, anaemia and diabetes. Other substances include aluminium, associated with Alzheimer’s disease; pesticides (phosphorus and nitrates) from agricultural fertilisers; residues of detergents which release more nitrites; arsenic, cadmium, manganese; all removed for our ‘health protection’ by the use of another chemical.
While certain doses of toxic chemicals are apparently acceptable, it is worth taking into account the fact that our bodies are made up of 78% water and with the daily intake of fluids in various forms (tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, beer), it is only a matter of time before the body clogs up.
Although spring water is free from added poisons, it contains inorganic minerals (calcium, chloride, sodium, copper, fluoride, iron, magnesium, potassium, sulphate), which the body can neither use nor eliminate. Calcium and magnesium are the cause of hard water and scale in kettles. These substances pass through the intestinal walls into the lymphatic system and into the blood, causing hardening of arteries by attaching themselves to cholesterol, forming thick plaques and calcareous deposits that gradually ossify the body.
Pure water is, in fact, uncontaminated rainwater. It has been called ‘dead water’ due to its lack of constituents, but it is this very purity that allows it to be taken in without damage to tissues. In addition, its ‘emptiness’ means that it is capable of absorbing poisons, like blotting paper soaking up ink or salt sucking up stains. Both tap and spring water are already so loaded with matter, they have no capacity to take up anymore impurities.
It is a fallacy that we need the minerals in water. All essential nutrients are obtained from foods. The only minerals that the body can utilise are organic and these are found in abundance in fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those grown locally. The daily consumption of organic foods will ensure a sufficient intake of all essential minerals.
Distilled water is the ultimate blood purifier. It acts as an internal cleanser by diluting and washing out, through the elimination channels, toxins such as uric acids, responsible for rheumatic conditions.
Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, claimed that it prolonged his life. ‘Some years ago I was afflicted with sciatica..… The attack came just as I was investigating certain subjects relating to the deposit of salts. One was the deposit of salts in the human system. A well known scientist has written a book in which he said that old age came from such deposits, and that the ills of advanced years were due to the lack of their elimination. This man thought that when such deposits went to the joints, man had rheumatism. When they went to the kidneys, he had kidney trouble and stones in the urinary organs and when they lodged in the arteries, they produced what is called hardening of the arteries. In the same way, when such deposits coated the nerves, they produced sciatica…. I knew that distilled water was pure. I thought that if I drank plenty of it, I could get rid of some of the salts that were covering my sciatic nerves… it worked like a charm.’
With the increasing availability of domestic distillers, it is now possible to distil one’s own water. Not much larger than a kettle, the distiller sits comfortably on the tabletop and delivers three to four litres of pure water in around six to eight hours. It can be switched on at night, ensuring a supply of water on rising, when the internal body is in its greatest need of cleansing.
Home use / counter top versions available:
This Health Programme has been developed by the Herbal Clinic, Swansea, as a guide towards the attainment of an ideal lifestyle and good health. Revised and updated since 1977, it reflects an accumulation of various ancient traditions, intending to develop and sustain an individual’s optimum constitution.
For too long we have referred every symptom of our careless way of life to the doctor, expecting a miracle cure without taking any responsibility for our own actions. ‘The doctor will fix it’ doesn’t hold. Even practitioners of natural forms of medicine, cannot help a patient without the patient helping him or herself by taking full responsibility for the necessary lifestyle changes. It is time to realise that there are no ‘chemical or miracle cures’, only temporary suppression of irksome symptoms that will eventually lead to chronic, often incurable, dis-ease.
We are constantly reminded that we live longer. A more correct term would be ‘survive’ on massive amounts of medication, assistance of the different services and artificial aids. Embroiled in the stresses created by ill health, it is often a matter of ‘somehow getting through the day’. Whilst few have their own sight, hearing or even teeth, how many wake up each morning with a sense of joy, energised by a good night’s sleep and take up the day efficiently with enthusiasm and laughter?
We live in a culture of blame, of shedding our responsibilities. This programme has been written with the aim of accepting ownership for our own health. If we don’t, nobody else will and the consequence is pain, depression, low spirits, no energy, i.e. poor quality of life. It is like dragging one’s feet through life, existing instead of living, hoping that it will get better tomorrow, that a ‘cure’ will be found; while carrying on with the very actions that have caused the symptoms in the first place.
In days before rapid forms of transport, our needs were met by consuming locally prepared food. Fruits, vegetables and meats were obtained from the neighbourhood and only when seasonal. The all-year accessibility of almost any food has resulted in confusing our bodies. Sadly, most of us no longer know what is in season. We can buy strawberries at Christmas and oranges all the year round, giving little thought to the way the body may digest these.
Nature is subtle and knows best. There is no need for great scientific data to understand that citrus fruit, which grows in tropical or subtropical climates, is a refrigerant (cooling the body) and unsuitable to the cold temperatures of rainy Britain. In addition, these fruits are picked well before they are ripe and due to the considerable time that elapses before they are consumed, they have little nutritional value.
Not only changing the content of what we eat and drink is a prerequisite for better health, but also how and when. Frequent colds or digestive problems suggest the need to review our lifestyle and make necessary alterations.
Most of the advice in this programme is no more than common sense; however, due to our busy lives and reliance on fast or junk foods, we are ingesting an increasing amount of inorganic materials into our already overloaded systems. We have lost the ability to recognise what our bodies require to obtain the nutrition needed to function correctly.
Following the first consultation, this programme is tailored to suit the needs of our patients and subsequently revisited where necessary.
Following consultation, a physical check-up, for signs of disease is conducted. Together with the medical history, the examination aids in determining the correct diagnosis.
A broad spectrum of tests involving the 4 basic criteria, listed below, are used, where necessary to ascertain specifics of diagnosis. This covers all biological systems.
These techniques combine both modern and traditional methods. They do not involve harm to the body, such as an x-ray or biopsy.
Physical examination is also explained in the text of ‘Clinical Examination‘, second edition by Epstein, Perkin, de Bone and Cookson
Reagent strips are used for urinalysis. They test for:
- Specific Gravity
- Blood / Haematuria (haemolysed and non-haemolysed)
Additional tests include:
A urine sample, first sample of the morning, is required on first visit to the Herbal Clinic, additional tests are carried out, where necessary.
An explanation of results can be seen here
Additional to urine pH testing, a saliva test is taken, where necessary. This information is correlated and helps to gather a more detailed diagnostic picture.
Saliva & urine pH evaluation, by Dr. Donald Fennel, can be seen at http://www.councilonnutrition.com/pH-EVALUATION.pdf
Socratic helps to further explain the relationship with our pH buffering systems.