Our knowledge of medicinal plants comes from our ancestors who found the most effective plants to heal their illnesses. The earliest written records of the use of herbal medicine date back to China in 2500BC. Herbal Medicine is the use of healing plants to support the management of your health. Plants are complex pharmaceutical entities, and this complexity is at the heart of the difference between plant medicine and conventional medicine. Conventional medicines are often simple single compounds whereas plant medicines contain sometimes hundreds of chemical compounds.
This complexity, found in nature, allows plant drugs the ability to work in more than one way, allowing adaptation and balance and thus supporting the body’s natural healing process.
Herbal medicine can be used to support the management of a wide range of health concerns. Most conditions that you might see your GP for can be supported with the use of herbs.
We stock a wide range of over the counter remedies, including licensed remedies, for joint problems, skin problems, colds and flu, low mood, menopause and bowel problems.
We always recommend that for longstanding and lingering health concerns you have a consultation with a Qualified Medical Herbalist who will make a prescription specifically for you.
Nowadays, Medical Herbalists make use of plants whose traditional uses are backed up by modern scientific research and clinical trials. A Qualified Medical Herbalist has a BSc or equivalent in Herbal Medicine, has studied orthodox medicine as well as plant medicine and is trained in the same diagnostic skills as a GP. However, Herbalists take a holistic approach to illness, treating the underlying cause of disease rather than just the symptoms. They are able to prescribe herbal remedies to be used alongside other medication and treatments, and many patients are referred to D. Atkinson Herbalist by their GP for treatment.
Herbal Medicine is suitable for people of any age, including children, who respond especially well to the gentle actions of herbs. Each patient is treated as an individual - we recognise that no two arthritis or eczema patients are the same.
CONSULTING A MEDICAL HERBALIST
Your first consultation with a Medical Herbalist will last up to forty five minutes, during which time the Medical Herbalist will build up a picture of you and your health by:
- Taking your full case history
- Asking about your family’s medical history
- Discussing your diet and lifestyle
- Finding out about any medication or supplements you use
This allows your herbalist to assess the underlying causes of your illness and formulate a mixture of herbs tailored to your individual needs. It may also be necessary to take your blood pressure or arrange for other tests to be done.
Your individual treatment plan will include herbal remedies and, where appropriate, dietary changes or nutritional supplements. Most herbal medicines are given in the form of a liquid tincture that is taken in 5ml doses of two or three times daily. You may also be prescribed a herbal tea, tablets, ointment, cream or lotion.
After the initial consultation, three or four shorter consultations are usually necessary to assess your progress, followed by check-ups every three to six months, depending on the nature of your condition. Because herbal medicines work in a gentle and subtle way, they can take longer to work than orthodox drugs, but their effects are long lasting and there should be no side effects.
The respected Victorian Herbalist and Botanist Duncan Napier established Napiers in 1860 at Bristo Place in Edinburgh, and our shop and clinic are still on the original site. Today, there are Napiers Clinic branches in Edinburgh and Glasgow. We work hard to continue the tradition of high quality herbal products and professional treatments in our clinics. We are dedicated to improving public access to natural medicine and encourage all our staff to undertake professional training in herbal medicine and other complementary therapies.
All Medical Herbalists at Napiers the Herbalists have completed a recognised four or five year training course and are members of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) or College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP).
Consultations with our Medical Herbalists are available Monday to Saturday by appointment.
To make an appointment please call:
Napiers Edinburgh 0131 225 5542
Napiers Glasgow 0141 339 5859
We run a number of specialist clinics including:
- Low Income Clinic - for people on very low incomes (state benefits, pensions, disability benefits, and students on grants). Proof of status required.
- Mother and Baby - for women during and after pregnancy, and children up to the age of 11.
- Other clinics are available specifically for support of women’s health issues including menopause as well as skin problems, arthritis, IBS and men’s health.
With all medical problems we advise that you consult with a qualified medical herbalist to create a specific prescription and treatment plan for your individual needs.