Before booking an appointment with me, please note that there are 2 rules for attending my clinic:
Turn up to appointments.
Take the herbal medicine that I prescribe.
If you can’t commit to these two basics then it is highly unlikely that your health will improve so please don’t book an appointment. Doing so would be completely futile. Life is short: let’s not waste time, money and effort.
If you can manage these then please read on! And feel free to contact me for an appointment.
Tel/text: 086 8899168
Info About Herbal Medicine Consultations
What is an Herbalist?
An herbalist is a person who uses plants as medicines. I trained to be a medical herbalist on a degree course run by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) in the UK. I qualified in 2003. NIMH is the oldest group of professional herbalists in the world (over 150 years old). In order to be a member of NIMH I must annually complete Continuing Professional Development and must work to the high standards that I was taught on my degree (you can see a list of some of the subjects that I studied at the bottom of this page).
Being a consulting herbalist is a bit like being a G.P. in that I see a wide range of medical conditions in my clinic. Over the years I have treated many couples with who have struggled with fertility problems and I offer specialist natural herbal fertility treatment. If you would like to attend me for this then please make sure that you book a Consultation for Fertility Treatment.
I also offer a general herbal medicine clinic where I see people with all sorts of conditions. In particular I treat a lot of people suffering from stress, IBS and digestive problems, cystitis, menopause, gynaecological conditions (fibroids, period pain, PCOD, endometriosis etc.) diabetes, depression, thyroid conditions, eczema, asthma etc. I have a lot of experience treating women throughout pregnancy and treating babies and children with herbs.
Do email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to know if I think that herbs can help your condition. The likelihood is that I will have treated something similar numerous times before. And you don’t need to worry about wasting time and money because if I don’t think that I will be able to help you with your particular problem then I will certainly tell you and refer you to another healthcare professional that should be able to offer a more appropriate treatment.
Why see an Herbalist?
There are several reasons. Often people come because they haven’t been able to get any relief from their condition from orthodox modern medicine. Another common reason is that people find the side-effects of pharmaceutical treatments to be unacceptable.
One of the things that I think makes herbal treatment so special is that herbs can be a wonderful emotional support, as well as a physical one. While herbs are physically nourishing and can be very effective at treating very physical ailments e.g. strained muscles, I personally have seen them time and time again help people with emotional problems and distress. The more the area of psychoneuroimmunology [the study of how our thoughts affect our bodies] is researched, the more it is confirmed that our feelings and our physical body are very much interlinked. I think that this is one of the reasons that the in-depth herbal consultation can be invaluable and is often a deeply healing and transformative experience for people because it allows them the time to reflect on and discuss the underlying causes of whatever ailment is troubling them and often very useful insights are made.
What is herbal medicine?
Herbal medicine is medicine made entirely from plants (it is not homeopathy). It is also called ‘phytotherapy’ i.e. plant therapy. Herbal medicine is the oldest and most widely-practised form of medicine in the world, with over 80% of the world’s population relying on plants for their health. Little over a century ago it was still common for doctors to prescribe herbal treatments, as they had done for thousands of years before.
When you come for an herbal consultation you are prescribed a course of herbal treatment. Herbs can be administered in several forms e.g. tinctures, infusions, syrups, creams, ointments, oils etc. The most common way to take medicine is in the form of an herbal tincture. Tinctures are liquid extracts of herbs. The herbs have been extracted in alcohol and water. This preserves the herbs and concentrates them so that you only have to take small volumes of them e.g. 1 tsp 3 times a day. You may already have bought herbal tinctures from the health food shop without knowing it: liquid Echinacea extracts are usually herbal tinctures. Tinctures are a very convenient way of taking herbs. The average cost is €15 per 100ml. The average dosage is usually 105ml per week but this varies according to each individual prescription.
Herbal medicine can also be effective when administered in the form of an infusion or decoction. These are basically strong herbal teas (they do not bear any resemblance to herbal tea bags: they are much stronger, taste much better and are far more effective!). Herbal infusions are excellent if people are prepared to make the effort to make them and drink them. They can also be added to hand-baths or foot-baths so that the herbs are absorbed through the skin. Herbal infusions are usually the cheapest form of herbal medicine, the average cost being €10 per 100g. Syrups are herbs that have been extracted in water and sugar or honey. They are particularly effective for coughs and sore throats. I also make my own range of herbal creams, ointments and infused oils for treating various ailments. They range in cost from €6.50-€16 per jar.
I only use what I consider to be the best quality herbal extracts. I do not use herbs that are not sustainably produced i.e. I do not use herbs that are endangered. As often as possible I buy organic and ethically wild-crafted herbs. I only have non-organically grown herbs if the organic herbs are unavailable (this sometimes happens at the end of the season before the next harvest). Ask me and I will tell you: all of my stock is traceable to source.
How safe is herbal medicine?
When prescribed by a qualified herbalist herbs are very, very safe! They are more similar to foods than they are to pharmaceutical drugs.
During my herbal medicine degree as well as learning about medicinal herbs and training in an herbal clinic, I learnt about orthodox medical diagnosis and basic pharmacology. This means that the way that I work is very safe. I know when some medical conditions may be dangerous. I know when it would be appropriate for someone to attend their GP or another suitably qualified practitioner. I understand the basics of modern drug therapy and have been trained to prescribe herbs that are safe to take alongside drug treatment. I know how to read standard blood tests and sometimes refer people to their G.P. for blood tests if/when this is necessary.
Herbal treatment is suitable for people of all ages, from new-born babies to the very elderly. Certain herbs are also excellent to take throughout pregnancy and when breast-feeding.
To understand just how safe herbs really are, it’s worth considering these statistics:
- After heart disease and cancer, prescription drugs are the third largest killer of people in the western world.
- Risk of death from taking a food supplement or an herbal remedy is less than 1 in 10 million*.
- Adverse reactions to drugs are 7,750 times more likely to kill a UK citizen than taking an herbal remedy*.
- Herbs have been used for thousands of years during which time a wealth of information about their uses and safety has been gathered.
*Source: 11/7/12 Study conducted by Alliance for Natural Health, funded by Neal’s Yard Remedies.
Are there any side-effects from herbal medicine?
Side-effects from herbs are very rare and very mild. For example, some people are sensitive to plants that are in the daisy family and can develop mouth ulcers if taking these herbs. Stopping these herbs immediately gets rid of the mouth ulcers.
Will I become dependent on my herbal medicines?
No! The herbs that I use nourish and balance the body. People do not become physiologically addicted to them nor does the body become dependent on them in order to function properly.
How does herbal treatment by an herbalist differ from buying herbal remedies from a health shop or the pharmacy?
It differs in several ways. Buying remedies from health shops and pharmacies is useful for straight-forward conditions like coughs and colds. However if you have a condition that is more complex or hasn’t been relieved by what you have bought from a shop then those are times to consider a deeper examination of your health. While many people who run health shops are indeed very knowledgeable and helpful they do not have the in-depth knowledge about herbs or any advanced training for treating more complex conditions. Similarly, you wouldn’t expect the local pharmacist to have the same level of knowledge as a G.P. Also, the range of herbs that are available for sale over-the-counter (i.e. in shops) is tiny compared to the wide-range of herbs that qualified herbalists can prescribe and herbalists prescribe herbs at much higher dosages than products sold in shops. I sometimes hear from people that they have ‘tried herbs and they didn’t work’ but they are usually referring to a product that they have bought from a shop, which they often haven’t taken at a high enough dosage or regularly enough, or it may not even have been the most effective herb to give in the first place depending on what is causing their symptoms. In these circumstances people usually find having a course of prescription herbs to be a very different experience and they are often surprised at how effective the right herbs can be. I do work very closely with health food shops because I do a lot of dietary work with people and refer them to health shops for the appropriate foods (in fact, during the war my grandmother had all her ration books in the health food shop in Glasgow but, that’s another story!).
What happens during an herbal consultation?
The first consultation takes two hours (this includes the time that it takes for me to make your individual prescription). During this time I take a detailed medical history. This includes asking several questions about the current ailment that is bothering you. I ask about your general medical history, any prescription drugs or natural treatments that you are taking, your family history (health and hereditary diseases), your diet, and each system of your body e.g. circulation, endocrine, musculoskeletal etc. If indicated by what we have discussed then I may carry out some clinical checks e.g. taking your pulse, checking your blood pressure, urinalysis etc. I will then make your own individually tailored herbal prescription based on the information that we have gained from the consultation. I use this method because I find that it is the most effective way of discovering the under-lying cause of the ailment and thus making the most effective treatment plan to counter it.
What to bring to your first herbal consultation:
If it is applicable then please bring along the following information:
- A note of any prescription drugs that you are taking.
- A copy of any recent blood tests that may have been done by your GP or Consultant.
How long does it take for herbs to work?
Please give herbal treatment time to work. Herbs are not drugs. They do not work instantly by merely suppressing symptoms. When we embark on an herbal treatment we are always trying to treat the underlying cause of your medical condition. This can take a bit of time but the whole point of it is to nourish your body and encourage it to function more healthily. In many cases this should mean that your body should be able to go back to functioning normally without any need for staying on an herbal prescription indefinitely.
How long it takes for herbs to work really varies depending on the condition, how long you’ve had it for and how much you’re prepared to do to improve it. Herbs can work very quickly and effectively for first aid and acute conditions like colds, coughs, sore throats etc. Chronic conditions usually take longer to treat and often the general indication that is given is that it takes one month’s treatment per year that you’ve had the condition e.g. if you’ve had the condition for 3 years then it may take 3 months to improve it. However, I’ve found that some chronic conditions can start to improve right away especially if there is a dietary factor that is causing it and it is removed immediately. Often people see an improvement within 4-6 weeks. Children usually respond to herbs very quickly, and their conditions are often relieved much more quickly than adults.
Do please discuss your condition with me and I will do my best to give you a realistic indication of how long I think it may take your condition to improve.
Top Tips about herbal treatment:
Please come if:
- You are willing to look at your lifestyle and see what you can change in order to improve your health and over-all well-being (I live in the real world and offer very practical tips when it comes to this, not unobtainable ideals).
- You are willing to make dietary changes if indicated.
- You are willing to take the herbs
- You are prepared to allow the herbs time to work.
- You want to. If you are really drawn to give herbs a try for whatever your ailment is or if something is really bothering you, then come along and we’ll try it out. I do come across rare conditions that I haven’t treated before and am often quite humbled by the way that herbs can help when given a chance.
- If you want to try to get better!
Please don’t come if:
- You are looking for a quick, cheap fix. If you want to try a random product then go to a health food shop and pick something from there.
- You are not willing to take the herbal treatment consistently (it doesn’t ever work if it is just left lying in the bottle and isn’t consumed!)
- You are not willing to take the herbal treatment for the course of time that I recommend. Chronic problems usually do not disappear in short periods of time so it is important to allow the treatment time to work.
- You are not willing to make changes to improve your lifestyle and/or health.
- You are not willing to change your diet.
- You don’t turn up to appointments. I operate the same cancellation policy as several departments in the HSE i.e. if you don’t turn up to your appointment without ringing and cancelling it then I won’t offer you another one.
- You are not willing to take responsibility for your life and really just want someone else to fix the problem for you.
- You relish being unwell and don’t actually want to get better.
I take confidentiality very seriously indeed. Not only does this mean that I will not repeat anything that is said to me during a consultation (unless I am given specific permission to do so) it also means that if I see a client in another social situation then I will not even acknowledge that I’ve ever met them, unless they acknowledge me first. So if you see me in the street and I’m quiet, then I’m not being rude, I’m maintaining client confidentiality!
Consultations Fees & Medicine Costs
Fees cover the time that you are in the consultation with me, as well as the time that I spend outside of the consultation dealing with phone calls, messages and emails relating to your case.
First consultation (up to 2 hours) €120
Follow-up consultations (up to 1 hour) €60
Babies & Children
All consultations (up to 1 hour) €60
How often will you need to come in for a consultation?
Not often! Usually a max of once per month, but usually when people are settled on their herbal medicine I can repeat their herbal medicines for longer if I am happy that it is safe to do so. It’s different to seeing another practitioner such as an acupuncturist where you are expected to go for treatments regularly. When you come to see me, the herbal medicine is the treatment. The purpose of the consultations is for me to review your condition and symptoms to monitor your progress and adjust the medicine if needs be. Please also remember that the aim of treating you with herbal medicine is to get you well so that your body nourishes itself back to health and you don’t need the herbal medicine long-term. People don’t come to see me and stay on a herbal medicine for the rest of their lives!
- Herbal Tinctures (average cost): 50ml €10, 100ml €15, 200ml €30, 300ml €45, 400ml €60, 500ml €75
- Syrups (average cost): €10 per 100ml
- Dried Herbs (average cost): €10 per 100g
- Herbal creams & ointments: 60 ml jars range in price from €612-€16. Bulk sizes are also available (e.g. 250ml, 500ml, 1 litre etc.). These are cheaper and are made up to order.
Are the cost of the herbal medicines and consultations covered by health insurance/medical cards?
Unfortunately not (how I wish they were!). The medical card system is part of the HSE and the HSE currently does not employ any herbalists. I continue to ask health insurers to cover herbal medicine but not so far. Fingers crossed this will change soon. I do what I can to keep herbal medicine consultations & medicines as affordable for people as I can make them. I don’t make profit on the herbal medicines: the money I charge for herbal medicines is 100% re-invested back in to buying/making more stock for my clinic.
Consultation fees and medicine costs are taken at the consultation. Credit/debit card facilities are available. There is also the option of booking and paying in advance on-line (by credit or debit card). If you book by phone then your credit/debit card number will be taken at time of booking. Should you fail to turn up for your consultation then the standard cancellation fee (€50) will be charged to your card.
- A minimum of 24 hours’ notice must be given if you need to cancel an appointment. This is so that Vivienne has the opportunity to offer the appointment to someone else who is waiting. If less notice than this is given then the failed appointment fee applies.
- If you fail to turn up to an appointment then a failed appointment fee of €50 applies.
- If you fail to turn up to an appointment and you fail to get in touch about this or respond to any messages then Vivienne will no longer see you as a client or repeat any prescriptions for you.
This policy applies to everyone.
I offer you the luxury of time, care and attention. This is why I have this appointment policy.
Please respect my time, commitment and hard work.
How to book a consultation with Vivienne Campbell
To book a general herbal medicine consultation (€120): click here to schedule an 1st consultation (up to 2 hours)
To book a follow-up herbal medicine consultation (€60): click here to schedule a follow-up consultation (up to 1 hour)
Or contact Vivienne:
Tel/Text 086 8899168