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New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists

Q. What is herbal medicine?
A. Herbs and plants were our first medicines and food, and predate recorded history. Herbal medicine is the oldest and still the most widely used system of medicine in the world today. This medicine is made exclusively from plants and is used in all societies and cultures. Using plants as medicine provides significant advantages for treating many conditions. The therapeutic activity of a plant is due to its complex chemical nature with different parts of the plant providing certain therapeutic effects.

Q. Is herbal medicine backed by science?
A. Herbal medicine is increasingly being validated by scientific investigation. Modern science seeks to understand the active chemistry of medicinal herbs, and to confirm their safety and efficacy by clinical trials. Many modern pharmaceuticals have been modelled on or derived from chemicals found in plants. An example is the heart medication digoxin, derived from foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Q. What can herbal medicine treat?
A. Herbal Medicine can treat almost any condition, both acute and chronic, that patients might take to their doctor, e.g. skin and circulatory problems, digestive and gynaecological disorders etc.

Q. What is a medical herbalist?
A. A Medical Herbalistis a practitioner highly trained in the philosophies, principles and practice of western herbal medicine and medical science, who takes a holistic view towards health and illness and who will assess you as a person not a disease They prescribe and dispense plant medicines in a safe and effective manner, seeking to treat the underlying cause of the problem, while acknowledging the body’s innate ability to heal itself. They aim to prevent illness and restore health by providing dietary and lifestyle advice.

Q. What is the NZAMH?
A. The NZAMH is the professional body for Medical Herbalists in N.Z. It maintains a register of Medical Herbalists of skill and repute, fosters a uniformly high standard for the teaching of herbal medicine, ensures ongoing professional education for members and promotes herbal medicine to the public and other health professionals.

Q. What are the benefits of consulting a NZAMH accredited medical herbalist?
A. It is your guarantee that a practitioner is fully qualified to practice herbal medicine, abides by a professional code of ethics, and maintains continuing professional education. Accreditation by the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists is your guarantee that a practitioner is fully qualified to practice herbal medicine. They will have the letters MNZAMH after their name, and may use the title "Registered Medical Herbalist".

Q. What to expect when consulting a registered medical herbalist.
A. A comprehensive consultation which includes a detailed case history taking at least an hour for your first appointment. Individually prescribed herbal medication with clear dosage instructions. Learning through discussion how you play an active role in the healing process, and through this process, further your understanding of the importance of diet and lifestyle and how they influence health and well being.
Confidentiality and Professionalism, offered according to a strict code of ethics.

Q. How long does treatment take?
A. Treatment can depend completely on the individual and their condition, ranging from days to months.. Both chronic and acute problems may be amenable to treatment with herbal medicine.

Q. Is herbal medicine safe?
A. Herbal medicine is very safe and effective when taken as prescribed by a fully qualified Medical Herbalist. Self-medication of herbal remedies is not recommended. If you are taking any other medication or drugs it is important to tell your Medical Herbalist.

For professional and confidential healthcare in your area contact your local NZAMH accredited Medical Herbalist