An Edinburgh Herbalist


This is an exciting time to be a herbalist in Edinburgh. Edinburgh has a long history of both conventional and alternative medicine, and the city is a focal point for herbal medicine in the UK.

Today there is a growing culture of herbal medicine in Edinburgh, and a groundswell of interest in what it means to be a herbalist, and the many strands of herbal medicine that stretch far beyond the professional, clinical setting.

For example, for those wanting a broad scientific and botanical grounding in herbal medicine, possibly as a stepping stone to becoming a clinical herbalist, there is the Herbology Diploma at the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens.

Then there are the growing number of community interest companies (CICs). Grass Roots Remedies is a CIC that holds a variety of herb walks and workshops and a yearly Wild Things course in herbal medicine for those looking to expand their knowledge in gardening, foraging, and the use of herbs to help themselves and their friends and families. Herbal Scotland is a CIC that specialises in providing professional herbal first aid to music festivals across Scotland, staffed by qualified herbalists and first aiders who use medicines made by themselves from plants that are native to Scotland. Then there is the Scottish Radical Herbal Network, a collective of herbalists and plant lovers of all kinds. This group has an Edinburgh-based offshoot that puts on a yearly festival of talks and workshops devoted to exploring and promoting herbal medicine and wider issues relating to health, social justice and the environment.

And of course there are Edinburgh-based medical herbalists such as myself, providing various kinds of private, community-based or voluntary medical care to the people of Edinburgh. As I say, it’s an exciting time to be a herbalist in Edinburgh.