“My Journey as a Herbalist & Naturopath”
Why did you choose to study Herbal Medicine?
Studying Herbal Medicine was a decision I made in my early thirties. I knew deep down I would return to natural healing having come into contact with a variety of healing modalities and alternative medicine throughout my life.
I was never one to take allopathic medicine, preferring to listen to my body and know if pain was persisting or subsiding, I never wanted to mask symptoms with pharmaceutical drugs but wanted to understand the root cause and where possible address it with a natural approach … I decided to change careers at a time when a lot of people were retraining as Nutritionists; I had already done a course in nutrition when I left school and felt I really wanted to learn another healing practice all together. I moved out of London and took a job in Thailand working at a wellness sanctuary in Koh Samui and here I was able to remove myself from a typically Western way of thinking, living day to day immersed in nature. It wasn’t until I returned from Asia two years later that I started a diploma in Herbal Medicine at The College of Naturopathic Medicine in London.
What is your motivation as an Herbalist & Naturopath?
I hope to be able to see patients in London and outside of the city, building a more affordable practise in the countryside as well, however a huge part of my motivation involves education to empower people to look after their health from a preventative perspective so expect to see workshops, events and even a podcast coming soon!
My intention with Herbal Medicine is fundamentally to help educate and inspire people to live in harmony with nature and navigate their way back to optimum health through the healing power of plants alongside naturopathic lifestyle advice and I would like to help people to make small steps to improve their health and tread more lightly on this earth.
Who has been your inspiration along the way?
Nature is the best teacher, constantly evolving, adapting, growing and reminding us to honour the change in seasons, bloom when appropriate and hibernate or rest as needed but family have influenced me a huge amount as well. From a young age my parents would take me to an acupuncturist when I felt out of balance and our acupuncturists (a husband and wife team) played an important role in my development introducing me to the concept of “chi” and energy healing. Both my grandmothers have also had a lasting impact on my development – my dad’s mother cooked nutritious meals with an abundance of herbs and spices, introducing me to supplementation, while my Mum’s Mum was a brilliant listener and advice giver (she studied Social Sciences at LSE) and you really cannot underestimate the power of listening; as a practitioner to hold space in the appropriate way is an integral part of the healing process as is knowing when to ask the right questions.
Beyond family my herbal colleague - the other half of @sharingplantwisdom Marie Cotel (@city_alternative_therapies) inspires me every day with her work ethic and medical knowledge and when I worked at Kamalaya n Koh Samui I met some wonderful people who have certainly shaped my world.
What would an Herbal & Naturopathic consultation with you involve?
Presently you can see me on Wednesdays at CNM until October where we hold initial student consultations lasting one and a half hours and through your full medical history, your family medical history, the medications you might currently be taking and ask questions about every system in the body (digestion, urinary, nervous, reproductive etc.) we then do diagnostics; so we feel your pulse, check your nails, tongue, look at your iris and eyes. After the consultation we prescribe the appropriate herbs and lifestyle advice. We usually book a follow-up for 2-4 weeks later which is a shorter consultation.
If you cannot make it to London we hold digital clinics and I also have a practice in Berkshire in conjunction with my Herbal Colleague Marie Cotel who observes over Skype and makes up the prescription from her herbal dispensary before posting it out to you.
What advice would you give someone experiencing a healing crisis?
This is very much dependent on the individual’s circumstances and health profile, but in general I believe less is more, hydration is key, earthing and reconnecting with nature is paramount and try where possible to let the symptoms arise in other words don’t suppress them.
Becoming more aware of your body and trusting your body is an important part of healing and given the right support your body has the ability to self-heal. I also think it is incredibly important what you put in and on your body and an organic approach is the best way to harness the power of self-healing which is why I am delighted to be contributing and collaborating with www.organics.com who like me believe in a natural approach and leaving a smaller footprint on this Earth.