A little history:
Herbal medicines for the treatment of human diseases have been around for millennia. By the 19th century, professional herbalism had established itself in the UK by Samuel Thomson and a group of practitioners called the Eclectics whose knowledge was drawn heavily from Native Americans. In the USA, physiomedicalism evolved from Thomsonian medicine through to the early 20th century, and Australian herbalists based their practice on physiomedical / Thomsonian philosophy around the same time.
Throughout this history, the passage of knowledge in the use and efficacy of herbal medicines has been handed down from teacher to student. Much of the knowledge has been drawn from tradition and anecdotal evidence. Its use has been based on empirical knowledge rather than theoretical data.
Evidence based herbal medicine
However, over the past few decades, valuable research has been done on the chemistry of plants (phytochemistry), and published scientific literature continues to grow especially as the pharmaceutical industry continues to search for new drugs. Researchers have no doubt that plants contain chemical constituents that have an actual or potential effect on the human body; the evidence is in the literature. Modern Western herbal medicine is recognising the importance of recent scientific endeavours in the study of medicinal plants, and blending this science with tradition. This is leading to a “new” robust system of Western herbal medicine, best encompassed by the term ‘phytotherapy’ that combines the wisdom of ancient tradition with the cutting edge of current research.
As we enter a new millennium, the practice of herbal medicine is in its ascendancy and continues to evolve. The use of plants for medicines vastly exceeds the use of modern synthetic drugs. Indeed the percentage of the population that uses herbal preparations even without professional consultation is growing. Enjoy the healing benefits of herbs !
See practitioner page for info about our medical herbalists and naturopaths. Please contact practitioners for appointments.
Initial 60-90 mins $135
Followup 30 mins $70
Followup 45 mins $85
Followup 60 mins $100
NASA Body composition test $60
What is Body Composition Analysis?
Body Composition analysis can provide an accurate and objective assessment of many of the “markers of wellness” in our body. By analysing specific biological “markers” an accurate status of your health can be recorded and your health practitioner can target the areas of your health that need attention. The test measures your:
- Fat mass
- Muscle mass
- Biological age
- Cellular toxicity
- Cellular fluid levels
- Cellular vitality
Analysis is done using bioimpedance testing developed for the space program by NASA and validated in over 2000 scientific tests. Electrodes are placed on your hand and foot and a gentle current measures levels of resistance within your body. These figures are then interpreted through a sophisticated computer program that measures biomarkers of health and ageing. You receive a 2 page graphical colour report to keep showing your results and a full assessment by Linda Krick, an accredited Medical Herbalist. Testing is quick, safe, painless and non-invasive.
How it can help you
You can then make necessary changes to improve areas of weakness to ensure you maintain the best of health and well being as you age. If you follow a health program to gain muscle or to improve cellular health or lose weight, a regular Body Composition Analysis can be motivating and fulfilling, as you see figures change over time.
Preconception health is important for every couple. It takes 3-6 months to ensure the healthiest start for your baby. If you have not conceived within 6-12 months you could be part of the one in seven couples who experience fertility problems. The good news is that 25% of couples diagnosed with infertility actually have no medical explanation, which means you have good fertility health. Preconception care can more than double your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby, and if used alongside an IVF program can increase their chances by 41%.
Nutritional deficiencies can affect fertility status in both men and women. Many cases of unexplained infertility respond well to natural remedies and correcting nutritional imbalances.
The argument that additional vitamins and minerals are unnecessary when a “balanced diet” is eaten is losing validity in these modern times. As research shows we are likely to have higher than average needs for one or more of the forty or so essential nutrients for various reasons. Many therapeutic drugs deplete the body of vitamins; for example some antibiotics destroy folic acid, and aspirin lowers levels of vitamin C, vitamin K and iron. Those who smoke, drink alcohol, take the oral contraceptive pill, exercise vigorously or suffer acute or chronic illnesses have a higher requirement for nutrients than is provided in a “balanced diet”.
There is a connection between adequate nutrition and adequate functioning of the fertility cycle. Hormones that are necessary for normal processes are produced by the body and need certain nutrients for production and proper function. Therefore, natural fertility processes function normally through proper nutrition, an important part of enhancing fertility status.
A healthy pre-conception diet has also been shown to lead to children who have well-balanced emotions, freedom from mental retardation, freedom from allergic response, good posture, advanced development and well formed skulls.
Sperm defects or dysfunction 30%
Ovulation failure 25%
Tubal infective damage 20%
Unexplained infertility 25%
Other causes 13%
Total exceeds 100% as 15% of couples have more than one cause of sub-fertility
Toxins in body
Herbal medicine is one facet of natural fertility management. Whether or not you have been diagnosed with a fertility problem, (explained or unexplained) herbal medicine can often assist with one or all of the following:-
normalising hormone function in both partners
nourishing and toning the reproductive organs for the woman
reducing stress and relaxing the nervous system
balancing sexual desire
By taking herbs in a program that includes good nutrition and a stress free healthy lifestyle, there is an increased chance of conceiving and a reduced incidence of miscarriage. Both partners are usually treated at the same time in a pre-conception period to ensure the healthiest baby possible.
Often other health issues or aspects of well being improve during the pre-conception phase such as a reduction in irritability or mood swings or an improvement in energy and sense of well-being.
Herbal remedies are not intrusive and can work well for both male and female pre-conception health. In many cases Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) is not required, however for the small number of couples who do require it, the pre-conception health care period is a great way to prepare the body for an increased chance of successful ART program.
Herbal medicine is prescribed and tailored to individual needs and may be adjusted according to progress during the treatment program.
This Article is the property of Linda Krick – © Linda Krick 2009
Linda Krick and Colleen Grassnick provide Herbal medicine at the Lotus centre. Linda is an accredited Medical Herbalist with a Degree in Natural Therapies. She is also a qualified to perform Body Composition Analysis.
Get Ready for Winter now
These are great ways to enhance your immune system and build resilience as the flu season approaches.
- During winter it’s time to change our cooking habits to ones that optimise body heat and provide more meal as they are denser and more ‘warming’. Root vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnip and carrots are great additions to a meal as they are denser and more ‘warming’.
- Use cooking methods that require longer cooking times, such as baking and pressure cooking. This provides our body with the best adaptation to the winter weather. Stewed fruits and compotes are wonderful way to eat fruit in colder weather too.
- Are you currently following a health protocol? Are you taking your vitamins and supplements daily and as prescribed? Get back on track now if you have let that routine fall away. You may feel well but now is the time to build resilience.
- Avoid sugary foods, they promote candida growth in the gut which impairs good digestion and may cause bloating. Up to 90% of our immune system resides in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract so look after your digestive health.
- Eat plenty of foods that promote an alkaline body like vegetables, fruit, fresh salad greens and filtered water. An acidic body creates disease so keep coffee, alcohol, sugar and drugs to a minimum. Be sure to laugh a lot and be happy as these also create and alkaline system.
- Allow time for rest and relaxation in your schedule. We often forget about ourselves in our busy life until we become rundown.
- If you do get a cold or flu, and need to take antibiotics, be sure to take a probiotic (health promoting gut flora) daily for a week to two afterwards. This will restore a healthy balance of flora to the gut and protect your immune system.
- If your cold or flu symptoms becomes chronic (last longer than 2 weeks) don’t waste time, book a consultation with me (your friendly naturopath) and get your health back to balance quickly.Make these positive changes now and see the winter through in the best of health.