Roots To Health - Herbal Medicine

Jayne Palmer BSc. MNIMH - Herbalist

This relationship between Herbalist and Herbs takes time to develop and is forever evolving. The knowledge and experience that comes with years of practical hands on engagement with the herbs and the people who benefit from them is absolutely invaluable. Here you’ll find a bit about my own history and the answer to one of the questions I am asked most often.

About Jayne and Herbal Medicine

As a child, my mother used to tell me of the medical uses of some of the wild flowers we would 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 from behind the counter, 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 in another wholefood shop 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. In 2007 I took a job at Honiton Surgery as health care assistant and then as Lead Health Care Assistant. Here, I worked along side GPs and nurses, working my own clinics for blood pressure, INR, advice for carers, weight management, and practiced phlebotomy, conducted clinical tests including ECGs and gave NHS guided health advice to a wide range of people. This gave me excellent experience which I took into my Herbal practice.

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 over the last 25 years.

Testimonial - Sue
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This lady can't do enough for you! So much knowledge and care.
Testimonial - Laura
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Jayne is always so so helpful and clearly genuinely cares about the health of those who visit. Thank you,

How Herbal Medicine Works – the question I get most often

Like people, herbs are organic complex arrangements of many parts, chemical constituents and minerals. It is these which give each herb a particular taste and action. These chemicals are produced to protect the plant against disease and infestation and have also proven to be effective in humans.

For many years, distinct active chemical constituents have been extracted from herbs and copied by pharmacists to be used in orthodox medicine. For example, plants such as Foxglove (digoxin); Poppy (morphine); Peruvian Bark (quinine); Willow (aspirin) to name but a few.

Herbalists prefer to use the whole plant, or parts of the whole plant such as seeds, leaf, flower, bark or root, as this has a more subtle action and produces fewer side effects. The whole plant works in harmony with the body which is more receptive to the whole and its many compounds; it absorbs and uses them much as it does food. It is the way the body metabolises these compounds that interests herbalists.

Herbalism or Phytotherapy is a science in its own right. The actions of herbs on the body are many and varied and combined properly will work as appropriate medication for a large range of diseases. Certain plants have a particular affinity for certain organs and systems. They provide healing properties which positively influence chemical changes that can alleviate stress, build up resistance to infection, promote vitality and improve mental and physical performance.

We are all unique and we will each respond to herbs differently, much as we prefer different foods and react to life in different ways. As a herbalist, I am trained in the same diagnostic skills as orthodox doctors. I would use herbs chosen specifically for an individual, as a natural holistic treatment. The underlying cause of a problem will be sought and treated rather than the symptom alone, thus restoring balance and activating the body’s own healing powers. We are also trained to know when to refer patients to their own local GP or other holistic treatments such as osteopaths, chiropractor, councillors, nutritionists or other practitioners.

Roots To Health - Herbal Medicine

Just a quick note to say that I’m away from the clinic for a few days. Please feel free to place your orders (I’ll post asap when I return) or raise queries as normal and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.