About the site:
This site was made because I think well referenced traditional and scientific information about medicinal herbs should be freely available to everyone via the Internet. It is a non-profit resource for anyone who is interested in herbalism.
I think herbalism has been overly ignored by the medical establishment which is driven by companies that seek profit instead of health. However, I also think many mainstream drugs are effective, safe enough, and well tested. Regardless of their strengths, these drugs often do not provide patients with any relief or anywhere near satisfactory relief, more options are needed. I think we should be looking more into herbal medicines for this reason. I also think herbs are more like foods, given to us by nature and on the whole, likely to be better for us than chemical drugs in the long run.
With this site I am encouraging greater awareness about the value of medicinal plants from a scientist’s and herbalist’s perspective. I think medicinal plants time will eventually come again and this will be partially driven by science, but also an increased sense of ecological and planetary awareness. We now can see several medicinal plants are effective from scientific research, including, St. John’s wort, ginkgo, and bacopa, all of which have high quality studies that strongly indicate their effectiveness.
Research on the site is kept up-to-date and I have included a evidence rating system to discriminate better quality studies from lower quality or preliminary studies. The traditional knowledge is based on text books mainly by Maria Groves, David Winston, Thomas Bartram, David Hoffman, and Matthew Wood who I regard as some of the modern leaders of the field in the late 20th and early 21th centuries.
I initially trained in Biochemistry in Sheffield in the U.K. then in Regenerative Medicine completing a Bsc and Msc. Then afterwards I left to Cambridge to complete a PhD in Bioinformatics. Over the last years I led a large-scale clinical trial data analysis in arthritis research at University College London. Now I have moved to another London university to research into personalized treatments for patients with autoimmune diseases.
Suffering with a chronic health condition myself that was very poorly treated by conventional medicine resulted in my study of herbal medicine along with experimentation with various herbs in formula and alone. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I am in many ways a self-taught herbalist, and although I may be criticized for this, I certainly feel this way has it’s advantages. I felt my way through herbalism from text books, experimenting as I went and getting a sense of how all these herbs behave experientially. I see learning herbalism as much as an intuitive and spiritual process as intellectual.
I practice as a herbalist with Western and also a few Ayurvedic and Chinese herbal medicines. I currently live just outside London, in Harpenden.