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Herbalists offer their support to the NHS during the pandemic

The chief executive of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists has said its members will offer any support necessary during the coronavirus pandemic.

James Wiltshire said Institute members were highly qualified healthcare practitioners who have studied orthodox medicine as well as plant medicine and are trained in the same diagnostic skills as a GP.

In response to the call from Health Secretary Matt Hancock for 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS Mr Wiltshire said ‘We have hundreds of members who have offered to assist our colleagues in the NHS however they can, be it offering support to non-coronavirus patients, helping NHS staff cope with the pressures they are facing, or anything else that helps, we will play our part. Thousands of patients every year recognise the benefit that herbal medicine gives them, and with early studies from China indicating that integrating herbal and pharmaceutical treatment has had a positive impact on coronavirus patients we hope that the government will use our skills in the fight against this pandemic.’

He has joined a number of other integrative healthcare bodies in writing to Mr Hancock urging the government to bring forward measures to support self-employed workers in the UK, given that the majority of the Institute’s members are sole traders and are experiencing high levels of financial anxiety. He has also asked the Health Secretary to open discussions around the status of integrative medicine to ensure herbalists are able to offer optimal support to patients and the NHS during the outbreak.







Notes to editors

For further information on herbalism or the Institute please contact us:

About the Institute

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists is the UK's largest professional body for western herbal practitioners in the UK, and has operated a voluntary register for professional medical herbalists since 1864. Institute members are all qualified to degree level or above in herbal medicine, and to apply for membership practitioners must undertake extensive training(minimum three years full-time or part-time equivalent) including anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, nutrition and over 500 hours of clinical training.

Herbal medicine

Herbal medicines are plant-based medicines made from differing combinations of plant parts e.g. leaves, flowers or roots. Each part can have different medicinal uses and the many types of chemical constituents require different extraction methods. Both fresh and dried plant matter are used, depending on the herb.

Herbal Medicine is suitable for people of any age, including children, who respond especially well to the gentle actions of herbs. Each patient is treated as an individual – a Medical Herbalist recognises that no two patients are the same.

Why choose a National Institute of Medical Herbalists member?

Look for the letters MNIMH or FNIMH after the name of your herbalist to ensure:

  • extensive training – minimum three years degree level – with relevant western medicine including anatomy and physiology
  • adherence to our codes of safe practice and professional conduct
  • compliance with current health and safety legislation
  • full insurance cover for medical malpractice and public/products liability
  • mandatory continuing professional development to keep knowledge and skills up to date

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