Herbs, glorious herbs…

I had herb talks/events arranged on the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and my usual Wednesday clinic so my first week off was pretty much taken up with preparations for these as well as by the events themselves.

On Tuesday afternoon I was talking in Alnwick to the Parkinson’s Support Group and it was a good job that I’d already given a couple of Parkinson’s talks already so that it was all written ready as I had a headache and was very cold – both of which seemed to get worse as the morning went on. I managed to print off all the handouts I’d need and make up some jars of cream to take as they are always in demand, but didn’t feel like eating before I went. At 12.30pm I met up with the specialist support nurse who had invited me to go, as she was driving us there. On the way, we collected one of her clients from a (very nice) nursing home and passed the rest of the journey chatting with her. (What an amazing lady she was too! Very dignified, interested and interesting.) When we arrived at the rugby club where the meeting was held, we found the heating was broken so we all sat in coats and nursed mugs of tea for warmth. (I hate cow’s milk in tea and though the warmth was nice, it did nothing for my growing nausea!) I gave my talk and as usual I had a kind audience (of about 16 or so) who seemed interested and asked relevant questions and then we chatted a bit and cleared up before setting off on the return journey. By now I felt very sick and my headache was much worse and I came to the conclusion that I had a migraine and would be heading straight for my bed when I got home. Somehow I managed to keep up the chatter on the way (though fighting the nausea was a case of mind over matter.)

When I got home, I had some herbs and went to bed with 2 hot water bottles as I was frozen, but I soon realised I had some sort of bug as I had a raging temperature. Great! Luckily, I did sleep the worst of it off and by drinking herbs all the next day too, managed to keep it at bay for the rest of the week, just feeling a bit tired and off colour.

On Wednesday I wasn’t up to going to Tesco for the weekly shop so made do with Iceland instead. I hadn’t shopped there before (it’s new to our town) but it wasn’t bad for an occasional shop, though I couldn’t do it there every week. Still, a quick whizz round in half and hour then just paying whilst the staff packed the bags for home delivery in the evening, wasn’t bad at all, and certainly better for me than struggling with Tesco that day. Later, I did my drop-in clinic and attended the Wednesday lunchtime education meeting at the hospital as usual, and even managed to make in roads into writing the talk for Thursday evening.

On Thursday I finished my talk and gathered together the “props” I wanted to take, and also managed to begin campaigning for Statutory Regulation of Medical Herbalists. In short, in 2011 new regulations come into play, which will restrict over the counter sales of many herbal remedies. Back in 2000 the House of Lords looked into whether Herbalists merited Statutory Regulation and decided they did. So for the last several years, our Professional Bodies have been working hard to get together and bring us up the required standards of self regulation – and every Herbalist has had to pay an extra annual fee towards this. NOW the government is back-tracking and has decided to do a public consultation on the matter. (Did YOU know you were being asked for your opinion? Thought not!) I can only assume this is to do with cost because why on earth would anyone feel it was a bad idea to have us have to prove ourselves transparent and up to professional standards? The worst of it is that if Statutory Regulation does NOT go ahead, then all those herbal remedies that will disappear from use for the public, will also disappear from our dispensaries – meaning the public will have their choice taken away! (Not to mention making it difficult for us to help our patients of course!) You can see how this became somewhat time consuming and absorbing can’t you? I wrote to my MP, gave my own responses to the consultation, printed information for my patients and wrote a page about it on my website.

On Thursday evening, I gave my talk to the Rotary Club of Hadrian’s Wall and again, they were a nice audience and seemed interested in the subject of Herbal Medicine. They said that the thing that most surprised them was the 5 years training I’d had and that they’d thought it was just a quick course at a local college with a certificate at the end. I wish there was a way to convey to the public that this is not the case. Oh wait! There IS! Statutory Regulation of Medical Herbalists 😉

On Friday I had a long day in my clinic seeing patients and getting together everything I’d need for Saturday’s Fighting All Cancers Together event in Newcastle. I then had to stagger home with all my literature and other bits for my stand – who needs a gym workout? On Saturday morning, I followed Sarah in as she had been before, and we picked up our friend H on the way as she was going to help. We were a bit later than planned as we got slightly lost, but eventually arrived and hurried to set up our stands. The morning went by quite quickly and H was a real help, and gave me the opportunity to visit the other stands and do some networking as well as gathering some information that might help my own patients too. She even went on a coffee run as I’d have had to go thirsty without her! At the end of the event, the raffle was drawn with lots of lovely people winning some really nice prizes. We cleared up and put our stuff in the cars before returning for a buffet lunch. The food itself was superb, but the organisation was dreadful – we’d just been bundled up to a quiet end of the restaurant area and left standing or sitting as best we could manage. I then gave H a lift home as Sarah was going elsewhere and felt that over all it had been a very worthwhile exercise and one that I would repeat. I’d definitely take along a helper of my own next time though, rather than relying on borrowing Sarah’s half the time. (Send your CV and a photo to…. 😉 )

A couple of photos:

Anji and glamorous assistant H
Anji and Herbal Clinic stand

By the end of the week I really as quite tired – but I’d LOVED spending a whole week on my business and thinking of little except herbs. If only I could do that more often.


  1. Lovely photos of my beautiful daughter. Must be in the genes!:) x

  2. Thank you, my beautiful Mum 🙂


  1. […] the government is backtracking and considering ignoring that recommendation. This resulted in us all having to take valuable time to campaign for this much needed regulation – towards which we have all been paying an annual charge on top of our usual professional membership […]

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