What to Expect as a Patient of a Medical Herbalist
- Herbs have a gentle although often dramatic effect. This gentleness is easier on the body than drugs but may take weeks or even months for the desired goal to be achieved or even noticed. Often, however, the effects of herbs will be felt in days.
- Because herbs act on the body along with lifestyle choices, it is often necessary to make changes in other areas during treatment in order to achieve an optimal effect.
- Every person has a unique chemical composition. What worked for another patient, a relative or friend with a similar condition cannot be guaranteed to work in a similar manner for you. What worked for you last year may not work for you now.
- Treatment by a medical herbalist may be an on-going process. All pertinent information may not be available during the first consultation. Symptoms will change as the body progresses through the stages of healing, changing the body’s requirements. Patient progress should be monitored and medication fine-tuned or altered as needed.
- Because of possible interactions between herbal preparations and prescribed or recreational drugs, it is essential that the medical herbalist be fully aware of all drugs and nutritional supplements taken by the patient.
- Ideally, the medical herbalist will work in concert with your primary health care provider to avoid drug/herb interactions, to relieve side effects of prescribed drugs, to maintain health and/or prevent the onset of serious disease conditions.
- Often there are several options of treatment. It is usually best to begin cautiously with one or two recommendations to determine patient response. If several things are tried at once, it will be difficult to determine which is producing a specific effect – Herb A, Herb B or their combination.
- Medical herbalists are not legally allowed to diagnose but rather will assess the patient’s condition based on available information and a physical examination. Similarly, a medical herbalist does not prescribe but makes recommendations for treatment after discussion with the patient to determine what the patient can comply with. At all times the patient is fully involved in the choice of treatment.