LET’S GET TO THE ‘’ROOT’’ OF DISEASE: PHYTOTHERAPY
Welcome to my world! I believe in a holistic approach to patient care, minimal chemical intervention by getting back to our roots (literally) when prescribing medicine and a multi disciplinary approach in my treatment regime: working together with my fellow colleagues in the allopathic field and allied health professions… After all – my passion and priority is my patients well being, quality of life and longevity. This is Integrative Medicine.
Conventional science as proposed by Newton may seek to convince us that each function of manner may exist on its own. That each system may operate individually extensively. That the person is equal to the sum of the parts only. Along comes German born scientist Albert Einstein and proposes an entire new way of thinking: To view the world holistically and to state that the world is driven by inclusivity and not mere objectivity.
Medical Herbalism / Phytotherapy consist of using plants, together with modern scientific research and thorough medical training. In South Africa a Phytotherapist / Medical Herbalist must have completed a five year post- graduate B.Sc.degree in Phytotherapy and hold professional registration with the AHPCSA.
This training is similar to medical students’ training and includes full courses in Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Internal Medicine, Differential Diagnosis, Clinical Methods, etc. Instead of pharmacology of drugs used in conventional medicine, herbs and their pharmacology are studied. Phytotherapists are skilled in compounding and dispensing medicines, specifically formulated to treat and/or prevent disease. Emphasis is placed on prevention and treatment of disease and includes nutrition and lifestyle management.
We aim to treat the person as a whole and get to the root of problems in order to eradicate symptoms and address the cause of disease. For herbal medicine to work optimally, it needs to be used holistically in a formulation made specifically for you. The remedies available in health shops or pharmacies are generalised formulations and are aimed at the treatment of symptoms and as such do not address the cause of disease.
Herbs used are of the highest quality. These herbs – due to the strength, potency, quality, purity, medicinal action/interaction and specific patient based – will not be found in your local store / pharmacy. This is not an “over the counter” product. We do prescribe herbs in the form of tinctures, teas, capsules, tablets, syrups, creams, poultices, liniments or oils, depending on the condition treated.
What to expect from a visit to a Medical Herbalist / Phytotherapist?
- *A consultation with a Phytotherapist starts with a full medical history. This session might be well over an hour. Extensive history.
- *The practitioner then performs all relevant physical examinations and may send the patient for any laboratory tests (incl blood tests / urine tests etc.) / X-Rays etc. that might be required.
- *The patients general state of health is assessed from a holistic perspective.
- *Based on these clinical findings the Phytotherapist makes a medical diagnosis.
- *Patients may be referred to Medical Specialists for further investigation if deemed necessary.
- *The practitioner will then formulate a treatment and management plan, including lifestyle adjustments, nutrition and a comprehensive herbal prescription, specific to that patient.
- *Sick notes might be issued so that the patient can fully recover from current condition being treated.
Which conditions are suitable for Phytotherapy?
Most conditions respond well to herbal medicine. This includes acute and chronic conditions from feeling ‘run down’ to Fever, Colds and Flu, Arthritis, Autoimmune Disease, Hormonal Imbalances (PMS, Menopause), Infertility, Impotence, Skin Disease (acne, psoriasis, eczema), Digestive disease, Urinary Tract Disease, Respiratory/lung diseases, Hypertention, Diabetis Mellitis, Cholesterol (Hyperlipidaemia), ADHD, Depression and Anxiety to name but a few.
As Practitioners of Holistic Medicine, Phytotherapy is also used to Prevent / Treat Disease, so one may visit a Phytotherapist for assistance with maintenance of health, prevention and treatment of disease. Our aim is to correct and optimise the body’s natural functioning.
Herbal medicine may be used in conjunction with conventional medicine if under the supervision of a Medical Herbalist / Phytotherapist.
Phytotherapists are specially trained to understand how herbs and drugs interact as well as understanding the underlying causes of disease. Patients on chronic medication require professional attention and will benefit from the formulations dispensed by a Phytotherapist. This ensures that you avoid side effects and drug interactions, and receive the best possible advice and treatment. It is, therefore, recommended that if you are considering trying / using herbal medication that you first consult a Phytotherapist.
Legislation has been passed to enable medical aids to cover Phytotherapy. However, it is advisable to check with your individual medical aid scheme before visiting your Practitioner. Rates might be above medical aid rates.
Health is a state of complete state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Invest today in your health. The greatest wealth is health.
Till next time