What is Herbal Medicine?
It’s medicine made from plants: It is also called botanical medicine or phytotherapy.
Some plants you will recognise as weeds, like the common Daisy [Bellis perennis] Dandelion [Taraxacum officinale] and Cleavers [Galium aparine]. Some are more exotic, like Liquorice [Glycyrrhiza glabra] and Peony [Paeonia lactiflora]. We can use a plant’s leaves, roots, bark, seeds or flowers to make medicine – it depends on what actions we want the medicine to have.
Herbal medicine has a very long tradition of use outside of conventional medicine. It is becoming more mainstream as more research comes through showing the value of herbal medicine in creating and maintaining wellbeing
I am a member of both the National Institute of medical herbalists [NIMH] and the College of Practising Phytotherapists [CPP]
From the National Institute of Medical Herbalists
In 1864 the National Association of Medical Herbalists was established in Britain. In 1945 the association was renamed the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. Today, NIMH-registered western medical herbalists combine historical knowledge with the latest scientific research.
Good herbal history reads include
New Green Pharmacy, The Story of Western Herbal Medicine by Barbara Griggs
Culpeper’s Medicine, A practice of Western Holistic Medicine by Graeme Tobyn, MNIMH
The Herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper and the fight for medical freedom by Benjamin Woolley
From the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy
The College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy(CPP) is a professional membership organisation of phytotherapists that sets the highest standards of practice in herbal medicine. Phytotherapists (‘phyto’ means ‘plant’ in Greek) are dedicated herbal practitioners with specialist university training. They combine orthodox medical knowledge and skills with scientific understanding of plant medicines.
Concern for a solid and credible scientific basis in medical herbalism and for professional standards in practice led Hein Zeylstra, a prominent herbalist and the founder of the School of Phytotherapy, to establish a professional body in 1991. Today, the CPP continues to set the standard worldwide as the body for ensuring the highest quality research, education and practice. All members are required to participate in a professional training scheme updating them with the latest scientific developments. The CPP exists to protect the public interest and it continually monitors its members as to their fitness to practise. It has members in 11 countries including Australia, South Africa, Canada and the USA.