Glechoma hederacea L. — Ground Ivy Glechoma hederacea is a medicinal herb otherwise known as ground ivy. It is a lovely sight in the spring as it is one of the first plants to flower. This evergreen, aromatic, creeping, perennial herb grows throughout the British Isles. It also grows in other parts of Europe, Asia, […]
My 5 most popular herbal medicine posts:
The benefits of herbal medicine vs conventional medicine
You might wonder, now that we have modern conventional medicine, do we still need the alternative treatment option of herbal medicine? And the answer would be most definitely YES. In this post I will outline why I believe alternative medicine still has a lot to offer people who wish to improve their health. What is […]
What is a medicinal plant?
A medicinal plant is a plant that contains substances that have a therapeutic value. These medicinal compounds or therapeutic constituents are bioactive compounds that can improve health or general wellbeing. People around the world use such plants for health and healing and have for thousands of years. We know this because we have ancient texts […]
How herbal medicines work from a modern perspective
As a herbalist, part of my work involves the need to keep up with current research. Actually, as a bit of a science geek, it is a part I really enjoy. And especially I have to admit that it is very satisfying when published research supports years of traditional herbal use. Particularly when previous unfavourable […]
Herbal medicine vs homeopathy – what’s the difference?
Herbal medicine and homeopathy have similarities but they are not the same. They differ in both the remedy itself and also in how we choose the remedy. Let me explain… Herbal medicine Herbal remedies can be either the medicinal plant material itself or an extract produced from it. In some cases, the remedy might be […]
Herbal medicine in cancer care
Sky News is reporting today on the use of herbal remedies by breast cancer patients. The article includes comments made by a breast cancer surgeon suggesting that using herbal remedies may do more harm than good and delay the recovery of cancer patients. The article goes on to say that complementary therapies such as herbal […]
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by bacteria
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic arthritic condition of the joints. Like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis causes joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Yet, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are very different conditions. While osteoarthritis is thought of as a disease of wear and tear, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that instead of protecting the body, […]
Simple strategies for preventing a common cold
Are you one of the lucky ones that never seems to catch a cold? If not then you might want to read on. This article is for those people who want to know about some evidence based strategies for preventing a common cold. Of course there are plenty of remedies for reducing the symptoms and […]
Does ginger protect against stomach ulcers?
Though there are several natural treatments that may provide effective natural stomach ulcer protection, this post is looking at just one – ginger. This well-known pungent, culinary spice, has remarkable health-promoting properties. For instance, I’ve previously written about ginger as one of a number of home remedies, for easing painful periods and preventing menstrual migraines. But, ginger […]
Peppermint and recurrent cold sore infections
Cold sores are a common skin and mucous membrane condition caused by the herpes simplex virus 1. This virus is easily passed between people on contact. In fact, many people may be infected without realising. After the initial viral invasion, whether it shows on the skin or not, the virus remains in the body. It […]
Experts confirm herbal medicines may protect against drug-resistant infection
My mother often speaks of the father that she adored. A man that I never met. He died long before I was born of tuberculosis (TB). Only a short time before the release of the antibiotics that his family believed could have cured his disease. The discovery of antibiotics heralded a new era. One in […]
Herbal remedies to reduce menopausal hot flashes
Hot flashes are one of the most common problems of menopause. That periodic, sudden rush of heat and resultant drenching sweat can be most troublesome. Though many ladies turn to hormone therapy to help them through this time, there are concerns about how safe these medications are in the longer term. Which is why complementary […]
Things to ask your herbalist
Who can be a herbalist? In the UK currently, there is no statutory regulation of herbalists. Anyone can call themselves a herbalist. In other words, some ‘herbalists’ have no qualifications, training or experience. Mmmmm that doesn’t sound too good! How would you know if the therapist could help you? For instance, it is all too […]
Topical herbal and natural treatments for psoriasis
Psoriasis is the chronic skin condition that causes red and crusty patches of skin with silvery scales. These often occur on the elbows or knees but can appear anywhere on the body. This recent systematic review in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology discusses natural treatments for psoriasis. Here, I summarise the findings for some of […]
Herbal remedies for menopause symptoms
Some women sail through their menopause and barely have any symptoms. Their monthly period diminishes and stops and that’s it. For the majority of women though, this is not the case and symptoms can be numerous and severe. Leading many to look at their options. These options might include hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical hormones, or […]
Fast and effective herbal remedy for mouth ulcers
Mouth ulcers are a common condition that occurs as painful mouth sores on the lips, cheeks, tongue or gums. They usually go away without treatment within a couple of weeks. Yet, if you’re suffering from these painful mouth sores then that can seem an awfully long time. A 2014 study found that a simple herbal […]
5 natural remedies for perennial allergic rhinitis
Rhinitis is irritation or inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes. A condition often triggered by allergies. It is a worldwide problem that may affect up to 20% of the population. Some people have allergic rhinitis only in certain seasons of the year. Usually spring or summer. They are usually reacting to plant pollens. This allergy is called […]
Nigella sativa and osteoarthritis of the knee
Osteoarthritis is a painful degenerative disorder of the joints. It often affects the knees since these joints are weight-bearing and prone to wear and tear. As an acupuncturist and herbalist, people ask me about arthritic pain, especially osteoarthritis of the knee. I know that the pain of arthritic knees or other joint pain can be […]
How to fight depression with herbal remedies
Why might you choose to use herbal remedies for depression? After all, don’t we have antidepressants for that? In fact, modern medicine has an over-simplistic approach to depression. Treating depression symptoms by altering levels of chemicals in the brain. While depression is a mental health condition with many underlying causes. And, treating depressive symptoms with […]
The evidence for the effectiveness of herbal medicines
A recent survey shows that over a third of people in the UK use herbal medicine. This might be surprising in a country where people have access to free healthcare. Even so, these natural medicines remain popular. Whether they are supplied by herbalists or over-the-counter. The popularity of herbal remedies is at least partly because […]
Valerian and the benefits of synergy
Valerian is a medicinal herb with a long tradition of use for calming the nerves and aiding sleep. Both the ancient Greeks and Chinese documented its use long ago. Remaining popular for this purpose until more potent pharmaceutical medicines became available. Yet, it is still found as an ingredient in over the counter herbal preparations for insomnia. It […]
The most important herb in my kitchen – Aloe vera
I like to cook and I use lots of herbs in my family’s meals. Culinary herbs offer so much flavour and are a valuable source of micronutrients. Yet although I grow plenty of herbs outside in the garden, there is only one herb growing in my kitchen. In fact, the most important herb in my […]
5 herbal remedies for urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common, especially in women. In fact, 50 times more women than men have UTIs. And about half of UK women will have at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime. Here I discuss five traditional herbal remedies for urethritis and UTIs. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection The […]
Is St Johns Wort a potential migraine treatment?
Migraine is a common and debilitating condition. Many different prescription drugs and over the counter medications are available. Yet, migraineurs are often not satisfied with their efficacy. Which is understandable since they are sometimes not effective. At the same time, these drugs may have undesirable side effects. So are there other options for migraine treatment? […]
Natural remedies to reduce high blood pressure
It is well known that high blood pressure or hypertension is an important risk factor for heart disease. It increases the risk of other conditions too. Such as stroke, vascular dementia and chronic kidney disease. If you know that your blood pressure is high you can do something about it. Having your blood pressure checked […]
Could turmeric reduce allergic rhinitis symptoms?
Hayfever, known medically as allergic rhinitis, is a very common allergic condition that causes misery for millions of people. But, recent research found that a common spice might provide some allergy relief. Read on to find out how to use turmeric for allergic rhinitis. What is hayfever? Hayfever, is an allergic reaction that affects the […]
Functional herbal therapy – because prevention is better than cure
For thousands of years, humans have used plants for medicine. A tradition passed down through families and folklore. Though herbal remedies are still the sole source of medication in part of the world. Some might believe that in a first world country we don’t need such simple remedies anymore. But the truth is that herbal remedies […]
Effective natural remedies for glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which there is damage to the optic nerve and a gradual loss of vision. It affects millions of people worldwide. Without treatment, it is a leading cause of blindness. Yet even with treatment many people still go blind. So, many people ask if there are natural remedies for glaucoma […]
Pomegranate – the super fruit with amazing health benefits
My favourite herbal medicines are those that are both food and medicine. And pomegranate is just that. So, during this week of Christmas, I want to talk about this most Christmassy of fruits. Pomegranate is an exotic fruit. Well known for its gorgeous deep red seeds and delicious flavour. But did you know it has incredible health benefits too?
How to boost your immune system with shiitake mushrooms
Did you know that eating shiitake mushrooms is a delicious way to boost your immune system? These medicinal mushrooms are part of the traditional cuisine of China, Japan and Korea. And, their use for boosting immunity recorded for over two thousand years.
Do herbal medicine remedies actually work?
Many people ask this question. And it saddens me because not so long ago everyone KNEW that herbal medicine remedies work. Using herbal preparations, day in and day out for everyday ailments. People knew herbs were mild, gentle and low-cost remedies for easing pain and discomfort. That is until the discovery of antibiotics. Though I […]