Phil Rasmussen

M.Pharm., M.P.S., Dip. Herb. Med.; M.N.I.M.H.(UK), F.N.Z.A.M.H.

 Phil is one of New Zealand’s most experienced phytotherapists with a clinic in Auckland where he has practiced for 22 years. He is also the founder and Technical Director of Phytomed Medicinal Herbs Ltd, a New Zealand-based manufacturer and exporter of herbal medicines for both practitioners and consumers.

Before pursuing herbal medicine Phil worked for more than 10 years as a pharmacist, and undertook research on antidepressant drugs and serotonin. He has lectured at naturopathic and herbal colleges, presented at conferences in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK, and written extensively on herbal subjects for both practitioner and consumer publications, for many years.

Phil has always had a strong belief in the value of preferentially using the plants that grow prolifically around us, including both native and “weedy” species, and is also a great advocate for local medicinal plant cultivation.

Privet, Honeysuckle, Horehound, and More Useful Weeds

Catalysed by climate change and increased global travel and trade, so-called ‘noxious’ plants are continuing to spread into new non-indigenous habitats. In New Zealand where most things grow extremely well, such weeds are a serious concern, competing successfully with native species, and being controlled by methods that rely largely on chemical herbicides & biological control.

Through wildcrafting and processing many of these invasive medicinal plants into medicines, medical herbalists can help MPI and local councils with their biosecurity programmes, minimise their damaging environmental impacts, save some money, reduce our carbon footprint, and provide some powerful healing tools for our patients.

Phil will present and discuss research and case studies suggesting clinical usefulness of a number of medicinal herbs generally regarded as weeds in New Zealand and Australia. Species will include Chinese Privet (Ligustrum lucidum), Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), White horehound (Marrubium vulgare), and others.