What is an Herbal Consultation?
Explore herbs to enhance your health
An herbal consultation is a one-on-one meeting with a certified herbalist who will:
- review your health history and habits including any previous treatments you may have undertaken
- use a variety of traditional energetic tools from Classic Western Herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurveda to detect any imbalances that may be present (this may include a face, tongue and pulse assessment)
- create an individualized herbal protocol for your unique needs that includes diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations
As natural healthcare practitioners part of our scope is to help you build your wellness circle of support. This may include referrals to other healthcare modalities (such as physicians or cranio-sacral, chiropractic, and bio-meridian assessment practitioners etc.) and practices (such as meditation, qi-gong, yoga, etc.). Our practices also have a strong educational component built into them as we believe it’s important for clients to understand their herbal assessment, recommendations and even a little bit about the plants their preparations include. This learning rekindles and enlivens our connection with nature and our earth mother. We even teach our clients to make their own herbal preparations if they are interested as this makes herbalism more financially sustainable and clients less dependent on their herbalist.
We are practicing traditional energetic herbalism and recommending non-standardized herbs as they have been traditionally indicated for thousands of years. It’s not that modern research and scientific validation of herbs isn’t important or doesn’t inform how we practice. Rather it’s that herbs do not fit cleanly in a “this herb” for “that illness” model (i.e. the western medical paradigm) as they have very broad and complex actions. Herbalism strives to balance the “whole” person- body, mind, and spirit with a “whole” plant. It is not a reductionist modality that breaks a person down into a mere collection of biological and physical symptoms. Please do not take this to mean that our current medical model is unnecessary as it is vitally important that clients understand herbs are NOT a substitute for regular medical care and their herbalist does not intend to diagnose, prescribe, cure, or prevent any disease.
There are many potential herbs for each imbalance and not every person expresses each imbalance the same way. For example, not all women experience the same symptoms during menopause and not all who exhibit anxiety experience the same symptoms. Herbs can work on many different levels at the same time. Our goal is to match the energetic properties of the herb to the energetic qualities of the imbalance (i.e., hot/cold, damp/dry, stagnant/moving, etc.) so that the body can move back into balance and homeostasis.
Everyone gets excited when problems are solved quickly but generally the time line for herbal healing focuses on long term benefit and healing from the inside-out. A general rule of thumb is that for every year an imbalance has existed it will take a month of natural therapies to move forward. However, most clients report they begin to feel differently after 1-3 weeks and it’s not uncommon to notice even small changes in diet and activity plus herbs actually induces big changes over the course of 2-3 months. The goal is to help your body regain its own balance, and that takes time. Consistency in taking your herbs and following our recommendations is key and we work best with those who are willing to step outside their comfort zone to try new approaches. The healing journey is not a straight path and holding ourselves to unrealistic expectations of perfection only prolongs suffering. You are not alone! We are here to guide, inform, and encourage, because we too are on the same healing path.
We usually recommend 1-2 follow-up visits approximately 4 weeks apart to monitor how you are responding to the herbs. These visits last about 30 minutes and involve a brief overview of how things are going and a re-assessment of the tongue and pulses to evaluate your response to treatment.
Initial Intake Consultation
The Initial Consultation takes about 90 minutes. Written recommendations will be completed either at that time or emailed to you shortly after the visit. These recommendations will cover all that was discussed during your consult and explain the specifics of your diet, lifestyle, supplement, and herbal plan. Prior to the consultation, please download and complete the Health Questionnaire form and bring it with you to the visit. Please also bring all of the supplements/herbs/medicines you are currently taking and copies of any applicable lab work.
Thank you for taking the time to invest in your health. We look forward to working with you!
This session can only be booked if you have completed an initial consult. It takes about 30-45 minutes and includes a brief overview of how things are going, responses to treatment and re-assessment of both tongue and pulses. Updated recommendations will be completed either at the time of the visit or emailed to you shortly after the visit with new and continued actions to take.
“I met Jan in the fall of 2014 when I came into the Elderberry looking for herbs to make a salve for myself. I was in tears as I shared my story of shots, pain meds, and the nonstop spasms in my arm and numbness of my fingers. Jan listen intently and provided me with encouragement, a hug and sound medical and herbal knowledge as well as treatment.
…Jan is competent, caring, knowledgeable in western medicine and herbal treatments. She continues to provide superior care and I love her soft spoken sweet natured spirit!.”JB
“When I walked into the Elderberry three years ago, I didn’t realize I was making one of the best decisions for myself, my health and well-being. Working with Jan and Heather has been an experience I truly treasure. I am thankful that I decided to put my trust in their knowledge and expertise and embark on the journey to better health and healing with herbs. For me, it has been a process of trials and adjustments and that has not (been) easy at times because I can fall into the “I want it fixed right now” mentality. However, as a result of their gentle guidance and perseverance, I have been lucky enough to experience the healing power of herbs.”CL
“The consultation was personal, in-depth and illuminating. I left the apothecary that day with my personalized herbal tea and tonic. Much to my pleasant surprise, I began to experience relief of symptoms within about three weeks, much sooner than expected. Over the past two years, I have returned to Jan consistently for consults on various concerns. With her tenure in Western nursing and knowledge of Eastern medicine and herbals, Jan manages to get me back on the path of balance and good health every time.”KD