Christopher Etheridge PhD MCPP
MRSC, BSc (Hons) Phyto, BSc (Hons) Chem, CChem, DoIC, ARCS
Why should you have a personal consultation with a Medical Herbalist?
Why not just buy herbal products over the counter?
Professionally qualified medical herbalists vs over-the-counter advice
Contrary to popular belief, shop pharmacists and assistants are not required to be professionally trained in either diagnosis or herbal medicine. Staff at all levels in chemists, health shops and even specialist herbal suppliers and dispensaries often give inaccurate or incomplete advice. They also often rely on general information that is not always appropriate for the patient’s complex personal history. This can lead to side-effects from an unbalanced combination of herbs, or from negative interaction with any prescription medication being taken.
Professionally qualified vs unqualified herbalists
“Herbalist” is not a legally protected term at present. Unqualified and non-degree-qualified individuals can represent themselves as professional practitioners and offer inadequate advice and products, with little public knowledge of the distinction to protect patients from them.
Professional vs non-professional herbal products
Shop-bought and non-professional herbal products are almost always of a weaker strength and dosage. These products frequently contain the incorrect herb, or the wrong part of the herb, or are manufactured with an inappropriate extraction method. This is why many people feel that herbs do not work for them, or they do not get the results they expect, after they have been sold inferior products.
Only a fully qualified Medical Herbalist is licensed to obtain and dispense the highest strength and purest quality herbal medicines and supplements from the most reliable sources. Some of the very strongest herbs that are beneficial for acute health conditions are only available by prescription from a Medical Herbalist.
Legal requirements and safety
Each herbal prescription legally requires an initial face-to-face consultation with a trained Phytotherapist.
All professionally prescribed herbal medicines will be significantly more effective than any non-practitioner versions. They will be safely chosen for your unique circumstances, in conjunction with any other doctor’s prescriptions that you may be taking.
Your Phytotherapist can also ensure that you are using the medicine correctly, monitor your progress, and adjust your prescription in response to your individual development.