Herbal medicine is gaining influence, as people are becoming dissatisfied with pharmaceutical medicine and its harmful side effects. As a herbalist practicing in a busy clinic in Dublin, I see more and more people, turning to herbal medicine to gain control of their health. Health is your wealth, as my father would say often. However too often we wait until we get sick before we realize the value of our health. Good health is not just the absence of disease, and illness, its also about vitality, optimism and happiness.

I specialize in happy herbs! Yes, happy herbs, the ones used to treat addiction, depression and anxiety. As a practicing herbalist, I have so many herbs to choose from to treat the nervous system. My first choice is hawthorn. Hawthorn is a wonderful herb for the cardiovascular system and for a happy heart. With anxiety comes high blood pressure and this is a warning sign that you’re putting too much pressure on your body. One of the best herbs for blood pressure is cayenne pepper. But be careful its hot!

The heart is not just a pump. It’s a central nervous system, coordinating love as well as pumping our vital force to every cell in the body. When I treat depression, I treat the heart, then the nervous system!

Herbal medicine is holistic medicine, so I treat the whole person, and not its individual parts. When a person is depressed, the whole person is depressed, that includes their digestive system, their respiratory system, their liver is depressed, and every other organ and cell of the body is affected.

People can be depressed because they have just lost their job, or some one close to them has died, or they are losing their hair. Depression brings with it, constipation, psoriasis and anxiety. Women can experience depression, as a result of going through the menopause. There are great herbs to treat menopause symptoms, black Cohosh comes to mind to name just one natural plant medicine.

Depression can lead people to eat the wrong types of food and this in turn has a knock on effect on the persons vitality and energy levels, causing sleep problems, insomnia and fatigue. Yes you can go to the local health food store or health shop and buy vitamins or herbal supplements. I encourage people to take control of their health and education themselves about the benefits of herbal medicine and natural healing. However I recommend people to start with a consultation with a herbalist, who will take your medical history, look at your diet and lifestyle habits and recommend a holistic recovery plan tailored to your specific condition and needs. As part of that holistic plan, you will be prescribed herbs, selected just for you.

So the next time, you feel like going to your general practitioner or doctor, consider calling your local herbalist, and I promise you will not be in and out in five minutes. I will be with you for an hour, before sending you off, with a health plan just for you, and herbs prescribed just for you!