What is Herbal medicine?

People have always used plants as medicines, coming to know which local plants were effective for their common complaints.

Plants are still the main source of medicine for 70% of the world's population.

Today, research has confirmed the traditional use of many medical plants. Many organic compounds (secondary metabolites) found in plants have pharmacological action in the human body. Orthodox medicines are generally petrochemical copies of the active constituents of these compounds. Herbalists, however, use extracts of the whole plant making a gentler medicine without unwanted side effects.

Herbs are usually prescribed in the form of tinctures or liquid extracts, taken diluted in water. Caroline may also dispense dried herbs to make an infusion, or preparations to apply to the skin.

Modern medical herbalism

Medical herbalists are qualified to use extracts from medicinal plants to treat patients' complaints.

As a Medical herbalist Caroline is trained in medical science as well as in the use of plants as medicine the Western tradition. She diagnoses illness in the same way as a doctor, but takes a more holistic approach to treatment. The underlying cause of the problem is treated where possible, rather than the symptoms alone.

People bring to a medical herbalist much the same problems as they would to a doctor. Herbalists commonly see patients with problems concerning:

  • Skin such as: eczema, psoriasis & acne
  • Digestion: indigestion, colitis &IBS
  • Reproductive system: painful periods, PMS, polycystic ovaries, infertility, menopausal problems
  • Urinary system: cystitis, prostatitis, BPH
  • Joints and muscles: arthritis, strains
  • Allergies: hay fever, asthma, rhinitis, catarrh
  • Circulation: angina, raised blood pressure, varicose veins and ulcers
  • Nerves: headache and migraine, anxiety, depression, panic attacks
  • Respiration: flue, bronchitis, sore throat
  • ...repeated infections and low energy

    The consultation

    The first consultation lasts about an hour, during which time Caroline will listen to you and ask questions, while building up a complete picture of your health and lifestyle. There may be a physical examination. You will be able to ask questions at any time about herbal medicine and your treatment. Generally, an individual prescription will be dispensed. Often Caroline will give you advice about nutrition and lifestyle.

    Follow up

    Most patients will visit again, after two or three weeks, to report on progress so that the prescription can be adjusted if necessary, follow-ups may be repeated as often as required. Some patients arrange repeat prescriptions by telephone.


    Western herbal medicine has an excellent safety record and is suitable for everyone, even babies and children. Qualified medical herbalists understand possible interactions with other medicines. Caroline knows when a patient should be referred to their own doctor or another health professional.


    A first appointment (lasting at least 50 minutes) costs £45 and follow-up sessions (at least 25 minutes) £30. First appointments for people over the age of 60 are £40.
    Medicine where prescribed, costs £7for 100ml, which is an average weekly amount. Some health insurers will cover the cost of treatment by a medical herbalist.

     Caroline Sheldrick MNIMH with patient

    For more information call:
    01453 884 092

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