Jayne Palmer BSc MNIMH
As a child, my mother used to tell me of the medical uses of some of the wild flowers we used to see when out on country walks. I remember being excited and amazed that these pretty flowers could actually heal you. She in turn got her knowledge from her grandfather who was head gardener at Arundel Castle during the war; his knowledge about plants and Sussex folklore was legendary.
I got my first herb book at the age of 8, but it wasn’t until much later, when I was working at a local wholefood shop, that I thought of taking my passion about herbs to a professional level; up until then I was content with the wonders of home remedies and how they helped my family and friends. Working at the wholefood shop, I found that I could only help people on a basic level from behind a counter. I wanted access to more herbs and to give people extended in-depth consultations to get to the root of their problem.
In 1998 I started at the School of Phytotherapy founded by Hein H Zeylstra, who, along with other members of the national institute of medical herbalists, brought herbal medicine out of the realms of folklore and placed it firmly amongst the sciences with extensive research and in-depth education. I didn’t realise at the time, but the degree I started was the first ever degree designed for Phytotherapy.
While training, I worked at Ottery Wholefoods where I was given a position as herbal advisor. I also gave talks on medicinal herbs to various groups and led herb walks which I still do today.
I set up my own practice once I qualified and also worked for NHS Direct as a health advisor. Six years ago I took a job at Honiton Surgery as health care assistant and a couple of years later I was promoted to Lead Health Care Assistant. Here, I work along side GPs, working my own clinics where I perform clinical tests and give health advice to a wide range of people. As a herbalist and primary care worker, I can give my patients the advantage of treatment and advice which I have gained from both professions.