How I got into Herbal Medicine

Lifts your spirits when you are feeling down

Lifts your spirits when you are feeling down

I have always been interested in nature – be it plants or animals.  Mother Earth truely fascinates me.  I have a deep respect for nature and this has only grown as I started on my path to becoming a Western Medicinal Herbalist. As a child I was often catching colds, if ever there was a bug going around I would more than likely get it, I would be fascinated with the creatures I would find in the garden – rescuing insects that were drowning in the baby bath that was left outside and filled up with water.

My best friend was a member of the WWF and I would love to discover about the different animals around the world – we would then cycle down to the beach and spend the day among the sand dunes noticing fox sets, finding crabs and collecting the different shells that were washed up in the beach.  I even remember picking the rose petals from my nanna’s garden and trying to make perfume with them but they never turned out quite like I wanted them too!

It was when my daughter was a new born that I first discovered the healing benefits of plants.  She was diagnosed with ezcema and I was prescribed steroid cream from the doctors.  I didn’t want to use it as I knew that my little angels skin was already thin and steriod creams can thin the skin even more – it was then that serendipity occured.  I was given an aloe vera plant from my fathers side of the family.  I would break off a leaf and apply it to the ezcema and was amazed that it cleared up.  My daughter has never had any more ezcema and I have cultivated aloe vera ever since.

An aloe in flower - deemed to be rare but an annual occurance in my house

An aloe in flower – deemed to be rare but an annual occurance in my house

It was the beginning of my journey with regards to natural health care – I was already on the journey of earth based spirituality – this discovery (or rediscovery since humans have utilised herbs for health for thousands and thousands of years) only strengthened my spiritual connection with the earth.  I studied aromatherapy at the local college and used the oils to support my families health.  When I worked in a secondary school I would make oils up to support the teachers, I would even bring in aloe vera leaves to give to students who had ezcema – which they appreciated.  I started growing medicinal herbs in my garden and studied horticulture to improve my knowledge, but there were only a few weeks on the course that were about herbs and it focused on the cultivation of plants.

I would sit with friends and dream about becoming a herbalist, for years I have used the herbs that I grew to support my families health and wellbeing.  It was then that serendipity occured again, a University within commuting distance offered a course in Herbal Medicine which was accredited by the National Institute of Medicinal Herbalists.   A friend who supported my dreams offered to look after my daugther if I attended the course, for three years she had my little angel after school till my train brought be back home to pick her up.

I spent every waking moment learning about the therapeutic benefits of herbs and didn’t give up even when tradegy struck.  I lost my beloved step-dad and there was two personal incidents which knocked me for six.  Despite this I was determined to continue, for I knew that my passion and my lifestyle would become my career!  I have succeeded in finishing my degree and am fully insured and starting a business in herbal medicine in the Grimsby and Cleethorpes area of North East Lincolnshire in England.

Although I have been using herbs for healing for over a decade now I am committed to a lifetime of learning.  There is always something interesting to learn about health and wellbeing, whether it is about the herbs themselves, improving my diagnostic techniques, deepening my knowledge about health conditions or even about the medicines which doctors prescribe.  It was worth all the hard work.  I am happy with my path in life and feel blessed.  It is with the support of friends and family that I have got where I am today. To those who supported me emotionally and mentally THANK YOU.