Traditionally used by all societies and cultures, herbs and plants were our first medicines and food and predate recorded history. Herbal medicine or ‘phytotherapy’ is the oldest and still the most widely used system of medicine in the world today.
The practice of herbal medicine in New Zealand is regulated under The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. Herbal medicine is drug free and uses plant extracts to tone and nourish certain parts if the body, curing or preventing disease.
Herbal medicine is safe when prescribed by a fully qualified Medical Herbalist. A registered medical herbalist is trained to know which herbs can be safely used for particular health conditions and also knows how herbs may interact with other medications you may be taking. This is why self-prescribing of herbal medicines is not recommended. Just as you would go to a doctor for the right drug prescription for your condition, it is equally important to consult with a medical herbalist to get the right prescription, at the right dose, for your herbal remedies to be both safe and effective.
Herbal medicine can treat almost any condition, both acute and chronic, that patients might see their doctor for. It is extremely effective for treating disorders of the nervous system, digestive system, immune system and also hormonal complaints. A qualified medical herbalist knows when a condition is best seen by another health professional and will refer you when appropriate.