Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Will It Cost?
Pricing for consultations and medicines are shown in the Prices page. Generally I will prescribe two weeks’ worth of medicine after a first consultation which will bring the total for that consultation to in the order of between £81.00 and £91.00. Follow up appointments cost less and at these I will be prescribing either one or two months’ worth of medicine depending on the progress of your case. We will always discuss treatment strategies so you will know what your treatment will entail before I dispense it. It is interesting to see that often the cost of herbal treatment is comparable with what one would spend on fixing one’s car.
How Long Will it Take to Work?
This is difficult to answer as every case is different. When treating the root cause of an illness it can take longer to notice changes than when taking allopathic medicines which tend to suppress symptoms. With long term chronic conditions I generally don’t expect to see big changes within the first month of treatment, but sometimes people report very quick positive changes. The important point is when treating the root cause of an illness it should stay resolved after treatment is finished. The aim of herbal medicine is not to create dependency on long term use of medicines, even if they are natural. I sometimes use the approximate timescale of one month of treatment being needed for each year that a condition has been present. Another major factor in timescale is how committed a patient is to follow lifestyle and dietary recommendations. Generally the more able you are to take the recommendations on board the shorter the period of treatment required. You can be assured that we will discuss progress and likely timescales at each appointment so you know where you are at all times.
Do you Treat Children?
Yes I treat children and babies, as well as mothers to be. Young children do not usually need such a long first consultation so I am often able to offer a reduction depending on the complexity of the case.
I Don’t Have Time for a Two Hour Initial Consultation – Can’t You Offer me a Short One?
No, absolutely not! I believe passionately in understanding the unique circumstances of each patient and formulating a holistic treatment plan which will work for them. With a shorter, rushed consultation I wouldn’t feel able to achieve this. I never rely on pre-submitted questionnaires, as I feel that these can result in the loss of important information and connections between different health events in the past. The hourly rate for the initial session is significantly subsidised and I see it as my investment in you and your treatment. A two hour first session is a key part of this (the consultation part is 90 minutes and then there is an additional 30 minutes allowed for me to dispense). If absolutely necessary we can keep the appointment to 90 minutes and I can send the prescription out by post later.
Can I Bring My Parent/Husband/Wife/Sibling/Friend?
I understand completely that when faced with a serious and frightening illness it can feel daunting to attend a first appointment on your own. Most people find the first session relaxed, accessible and inspiring but you are welcome to bring someone along if it helps you to cope. Please be aware that we will only be able to discuss your health at the appointment, not your companion’s.
Can I Come and Help You Make/Grow/Gather Herbal Medicines?
I frequently get requests like this as herbal medicine is such a fascinating and ancient art. However well-meant these offers of help are I always decline. When I make or gather herbal medicines it is a quiet contemplative time during which I do spiritual practice. This is one of the key reasons why I choose to make my own medicines. If you are keen to learn more about foraging and herbal medicine making then why not join me on one of my regular courses? As a course participant you will leave the clinic with a wealth of practical herbal information and memorable hands on experiences that you can use to build an on-going relationship with herbal medicine.
Have you Ever Treated XYZ and if so What is Your Success Rate?
This is a fair enough question. You have a health condition and you want to know whether my approach is worth pursuing. I can tell you whether I have treated patients with a similar diagnosis and generally what the outcomes were. However you should be aware that every case is different and each patient will be treated in a unique way. Current regulations discourage medical herbalists from ‘making claims’ about their treatment outcomes for specific conditions without robust scientific trials. Herbal medicine treats individuals not named conditions and therefore it is difficult to design and fund trials which would take these hugely varying baselines into account. If you want to have a chat about my experience and approach with a condition that you are faced with it is probably best to give me a ring or come to one of my drop in sessions. One thing I can tell you is that I will always be honest and straight with you. You may also find some helpful insights in my ‘What People Say’ page.
Can I Undergo Herbal Treatment Alongside Medication from my GP?
Yes. Herbal Medicine can be a very good support alongside allopathic treatment. Much as we would all like to avoid taking pharmaceutical drugs, many conditions do require long term allopathic treatment. It would be rash and possibly dangerous to suddenly discontinue it. This doesn’t preclude you from supporting your overall health with herbs alongside your allopathic medication. When prescribing I formulate combinations of herbs to avoid potential adverse herb:drug interactions so please ensure that you tell me what you are taking and the dosages. In some cases we may be able to explore the possibilities for gradual reduction of certain allopathic medications if the underlying health imbalance improves. It is most positive if this can be achieved within a dialogue with your GP. I have many patients who choose an integrated approach. If you want to know more about this then please give me a ring or come to one of my drop in sessions.
My Complementary Therapist Has Told Me That I Need a Certain Herb. Can you Supply It?
As a registered medical herbalist I will always want to assess the need for a herbal medicine myself before prescribing. The best thing to do is to come to one of my drop in sessions or give me a ring and we can discuss the options.