What is Herbal Medicine?

Which health problems can benefit from herbal medicine?

Medical herbalists see people of all ages and walks of life with all kinds of problems - acne, eczema, anxiety, hot flushes (or flashes) ... the list goes on. The common factor in many people seen by a medical herbalist is that they have a chronic health problem that is not getting better by itself. While some practitioners specialise in certain areas, many medical herbalists have vast experience in a variety of conditions.

If you are unsure if a medical herbalist is right for you and your condition when you are making an appointment enquiry ask if they have had a positive experience in treating the issue you are seeking help with.

How much does it cost?

The NZAMH does not fix the rates of consultation or herbal medicine charges for its members. A practitioner's costs may be listed on their page in the Find a Medical Herbalist section, or you can ask them directly when enquiring by phone or email.

How long will treatment take?

As health conditions and their severity vary, your practitioner will be able to answer this question once they have a clear understanding of your condition and a treatment plan that will work for you. 

What does treatment involve?

The exact nature of treatment varies between practitioners, but you are likely to be given herbal medicines in a liquid and/or tablet form to take on a daily basis for at least a few weeks or longer if needed. Every case is different, and as medical herbalists are holistic practitioners they follow the ancient principles of working with the cause of the illness wherever possible so, as well as herbs, there may be other areas that get attention within your appointment.

Are there any risks or side effects?

Herbal medicines have a tremendous history of use going back thousands of years. In that time, practitioners have taken great care to learn what works and how to use it safely. This knowledge has been passed down and a medical herbalist today has gone through extensive training in how to use herbs both safely and effectively.

Plants contain many powerful substances and will often have strong reactions within the person taking them. If you have any concerns about your treatment or questions about what you are experiencing, we encourage you to contact your medical herbalist. Our members take the safety and care of their patients seriously.

If you have had a negative experience with one of our members and do not feel you have been dealt with fairly, under the rules of our association as well as the Health and Disability Act 2000, contact the NZAMH directly to make a complaint. 

Does it matter if I am taking prescription drugs?

It is important that you write down the exact names and dosages of any prescription drugs you are taking when you visit your medical herbalist. Many prescription drugs do interact with herbal medicines, and your practitioner is trained to know what is or isn’t safe to use in these instances.