Naturopathy is a multi-disciplinary approach to natural healthcare, encompassing a variety of disciplines. Naturopaths are well-equipped to advise you on physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. We aim to use the most natural and non-invasive method or medicine to assist the body to return to good health.
After a comprehensive assessment of your current health status, lifestyle and physical complaints, a Naturopath can prescribe a herbal formula, nutritional supplements, dietary advice and/or stress management. Rather than treating symptoms only, Naturopaths aim to improve underlying health and increase the body’s immune response, thus strengthening the body’s natural resistance to disease.
During a consultation a Naturopath aims to educate, empower and motivate the patient to adopt a healthy
attitude, lifestyle and diet. Prevention of disease is the most ideal outcome. Modern Naturopaths are educated in evidence-based medicine. They have been trained to employ safe and proven effective natural therapies in the most gentle, non-invasive and most efficient manner possible.
For more information regarding what to expect of your first Naturopathic assessment – see FAQ or click here.
Western Herbal Medicine
Where a GP has pharmaceutical drugs to work with (which are synthetic and chemically-based) a Naturopath uses herbal medicines to address specific symptoms.
Many laboratory developed and produced drugs are actually derived from plants, but herbal medicine differs from conventional medicine in using the whole plant (or parts thereof), rather than isolating individual active ingredients.
One of the key theories of western herbal medicine states that the parts of the whole plant are more effective than the isolated constituents used in synthetically made drugs – this is the concept of ‘synergy’. Synergy explains how a therapeutic effect of ingredients is greater when used together, rather than separately.
Evidence to support the use of herbal medicine is growing fast and for some particular herbs can be as great as pharmaceutical drugs, examples include St. John’s wort, echinacea, garlic, ginger, and many more. The use of herbal medicine has become increasingly popular, not in the least because of its medicinal benefits, but also due to low toxicity and minimal side-effects.
"Due to a lack of synthetic material and chemicals, there are low to no side-effects when taking herbal medicines instead of conventional drugs."
Your Naturopath has been trained in EBM (Evidence Based Medicine), with extensive knowledge of over 150 medicinal herbs, plants and trees from all over the world. A herbal formula may be prescribed at the end of a consultation, if deemed necessary.
Professionally educated assistants (often Naturopaths) in health food stores have taken away some of the need to consult with a Naturopath before deciding on what products or supplements may be needed for one’s symptoms or illnesses. However, interactions of natural medicines with conventional medications are often unknown and this increases the potential for a negative interaction. Interactions may decrease the effectiveness of conventional treatment and in some cases may increase side-effects.This stresses the need for a professional assessment of your symptoms and expert advice to come to an individualised approach towards personal healthcare.
Nowadays Naturopaths are also trained extensively in assessing a patient’s current drug use, identifying possible contra-indications to using herbal medicines, as well as recognising possible herb-drug interactions. So you can feel safe about the herbal formula your Naturopath may prescribe for you to take some for some time on a daily basis.