Maggie Pope
is a Medical Herbalist

Practising in
Bridgwater, Somerset

Get in Touch Maggie Pope

 

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The Medicine

The practice of ‘herbal medicine’ isn’t just the herbs, it includes a whole philosophy about how you approach illness. A herbalist isn’t the same thing as a doctor who gives herbs instead of synthetic drugs: a herbalist uses herbs to progress a holistic ‘healing strategy’ [Max Drake].

 

So yes, we use plants. We use their leaves, roots, bark, stems, seeds and fruit. We grow them, pick them wild, store them, and/or buy them – but we know what we are looking for and how we will use it. A patient comes to us with a disease or complaint, and when we give them herbs we are giving them for the whole person not just for the disease or complaint they came in with.

A doctor has a patient with asthma; easy – NICE have given GPs guidelines [tramlines] about what drugs to give in this situation, and the GP will progress his way down the list, starting with the gentler drugs and moving slowly up to the big guns.

A patient comes to the herbalist with asthma, and of course we have jolly good plants that have a therapeutic action on the respiratory tract, but we will also add in our mix herbs that take into account the constitution and vitality of the patient. We have hundreds of plants to choose from, a veritable ‘embarrassment of riches’.

So the prescription, it’s unique. Just for you.

How long will I need to take medicine?

Plant medicines strengthen or stimulate the body’s own normal functions and thus the therapeutic effect continues once the medicine has been withdrawn. They are composed of many constituents which work together so they are not as powerful as orthodox drugs which contain one active ingredient. They may take longer to produce a therapeutic effect, but are unlikely to produce any undesirable side effects.

How is the medicine given?

Medical herbalists are trained in the preparation and dispensing of herbal medicines in their own dispensary. This is usually in the form of a tincture, which is a liquid extract from a plant containing a proportion of alcohol. If you are unable to tolerate alcohol a preparation can be made using glycerine. The herbalist will mix together the different plant extracts that are indicated in the treatment of your condition and the dosage instructions will be clearly labelled on the bottle. Medicines may also be in the form of teas, tablets, capsules or powders; creams or lotions may be prescribed for topical use.

Blog

Cold and Flu Season

November 20, 2014

Colds and Flu Season… The common cold is a virus droplet infection of the air passages of the upper respiratory tract. There are many hundreds of different viruses that cause a cold to develop, which is why there is no specific ‘vaccine’. You can catch it by breathing in the virus in droplets coughed or […]

Picking Medicine That Grows

November 22, 2013

The whole point of choosing the name Growing Medicine for my clinic and business was to illustrate both the fact that the medicine I use comes from things that are growing in contrast to things that are synthetically made in bulk  in a factory, and that I am actually growing some of my own stuff. Since I […]

Visit to a Herb Farm

October 24, 2013

  This is Jacqui Apostolides after a very successful Open Day at Broad Oak Farm in Essex. As they say from their website: Broad Oak Herbs is a totally unique company. We currently farm just over an acre that forms part of a 6 acre organic smallholding in the beautiful Essex countryside, our herb farm […]