Herbal Medicine

Herbs to improve your gut health

I often get asked at events or parties about specific herbs for specific problems. I often go into discussing how I (and many other herbalists) don’t work like how your doctor works. We tend to prescribe a concoction of different herbs (anywhere from 5-20 in my case) for each client. Every month the prescription is tweaked and changed to keep improving the function of the mind and body. Once i have said my piece on how i actually work with plants i then go onto discuss certain herbs for whatever problem people unveil to me.

Gut health is a hot topic at the moment with plenty of media outlets reporting on the advances in understanding the microbiome. As well as lots of coverage into the debilitating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disorder. Below i have listed the different herbs used in herbal medicine for treating specific issues of the gut.

Hydrochloria (Low stomach acid) and indigestion

Herbs that help increase stomach acid, bile and digestive enzyme production are classed as bitters. Bitters work by stimulating bitter receptors in the mouth that then go on to stimulate the autonomic nervous system into helping prepare digestive organs. Producing a number of reactions associated with more efficient digestion of food. Best consumed as an alcoholic extract aka tincture.

Bitters include - Wormwood (Artemesia absinthum), Gentian Root (Gentiana lutea), Dandelion Root (Taraxacum oficinale), Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium)

Dandelion Flower (Taraxacum officinale). Herbalist's use the root as a bitter remedy to improve liver, gallbladder and digestive enzyme function.

Dandelion Flower (Taraxacum officinale). Herbalist's use the root as a bitter remedy to improve liver, gallbladder and digestive enzyme function.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Belching and gas

Herbs that help with bloating are classed as carminatives. Carminatives are rich in volatile oils that help contribute towards peristalsis. They sooth and settle the gut wall and the surrounding smooth muscle so that trapped gas can be moved.

Carminatives include - Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Mint (Mentha piperita), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Ginger (Zingiber oficinale), Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Constipation

Herbs that help contribute towards bowel movements are known as laxatives. Laxatives stimulate contractions of the muscles that line the colon or work by bulking the stool by drawing water into the colon.

Stimulating laxatives include - Burdock (Arctium lappa), Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)

Bulking laxatives - Marshmallow root (Althea officinalis), Psyllium seed (Plantago psyllium)

Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria). Seen here without the yellow flower. Use the leaf as a tea or tincture for loose stools.

Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria). Seen here without the yellow flower. Use the leaf as a tea or tincture for loose stools.

Diarrhea

Herbs that help with loose stools or diarrhea are known as astringents. They contain a high volume of a constituent known as a ‘tannin’. Tannins work by binding protein molecules together, lowering inflammation and creating a barrier against infection.

Astringents include - Oak Bark (Quercus spp), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria).

Other actions for the gut include herbs which help fungal, parasitic or bacterial infections as well as herbs that work on the human stress response. The function of the gut is autonomic and responds to herbs that work with hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA/Human stress response).

There are many other actions that herbs have which exert an effect on the gut. Most of the above have the largest evidence base for their reported medicinal effects.

Oak leaf (Quercus spp). Herbalist’s use a tincture of the bark for severe diarrhea.

Oak leaf (Quercus spp). Herbalist’s use a tincture of the bark for severe diarrhea.

Sometimes you may find that simple herbs on there own can offer relief. But complex, chronic health problems often involve working with somebody that understands how to offer herbal prescriptions that offer a formula which works on an array of issues. Problems with digestion often go together with mental health issues, autoimmune diseases and skin disorders. It can feel like a minefield trying to work all this out on your own. Find somebody you trust and try not to focus too much attention on one particular symptom or problem. Rather try to see how it might all be connected.

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Patient Testimonial: Low mood

“I contacted Jonny under the guise of suffering with very swollen lower legs but during my first consultation I found myself talking about how low my mood was. Jonny made me feel so comfortable that I talked and cried freely.  He nudged me to explore why topics brought out particular emotions and encouraged me to consider why these were triggers. Quickly we recognised how my fear and reluctance to make changes to myself challenged the role others expect of me. During my first few months of treatment I drew courage from the supportive (but challenging) space of Jonny’s consultations and made significant changes including changing my job. I no longer feel like a square peg in a round hole. The impact has been noticeable especially within the toxic relationships that I was able to recognise and change my reaction to. 

In short I have been able to reflect on my issues in a supportive environment and make changes that I felt in control of but never thought that I would have the courage to make. 

Thank you” 

Amy

Amy came to see me following a referral. We went through areas of her life that were causing distress and approached them with courage and determination. Big changes in her job, relationships and family dynamics on top of her herbal prescription brought about a much needed improvement in mental wellbeing and a clarity of how to make further changes to her health and wellness. It has been a joy to watch these changes bring out the passion in her life again.

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Glastonbury Music Festival 2019

I have been invited to work as a medical herbalist at the herbal medicine stall and consultation space at Glastonbury Music Festival 2019.

I will be selling plenty of herbs alongside some of the top herbalists in the country as well as offering acute herbal medicine consultations. The owners of The Nether Edge Herbarium in Sheffield will also be there with me.

Please note that I will not be able to offer any normal herbal service from Sheffield, Manchester or online from Tuesday 25th of June until Tuesday 2nd of July. Please order your herbs or book in for a consultation before or after this time.

And if you are going to Glastonbury then please come and say Hi…….talk to me about herbs and plants!!!

Photo by  Joe Green  on  Unsplash

Photo by Joe Green on Unsplash


Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Patient Testimonial: Depression, Suspected Oestrogen Dominance and Post-Traumatic Injury Rehabilitation

“My journey with Jonny started a long time before I took the first medicine. A very good friend of mine told me months before, how great her results with the herbs were. That the herbs changed her whole life and that she never wants to be without them again. But being a very skeptical person in general, I first didn’t believe her. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe HER but more that I couldn’t imagine how herbs should change your life this way. For us lawyers things must be logical, explainable and most important rational. But that’s what herbs are not - for sure. 

By the time I was listening to my friends success story with the herbs and her experiences, I found myself in the worst situation of my life. I had just survived a severe motorcycle accident and was struggling with pretty much everything in my life. I was in a huge deep depression - not meeting anybody, not talking to anybody, and worst of all I was physically and mentally in a very bad condition. After I hit rock bottom I finally decided to contact Jonny because I thought it couldn’t get any worse anyway. The first magical thing of many that happened just within our first meeting was - that I trust that this person 100%. And believe me, trust is an issue with me. :) 

Our first consultation was maybe one hour and I talked like we knew each other for years. Jonny has an understanding and a very good sense for people - their needs and their problems. He really feels your situation even though it’s maybe a female thing. He knew right away what I was suffering and tried to feel into my situation. The fact that our consultation was in English - I’m not a native speaker and we talked over Skype - was no problem at all. I felt more understood and secure then with some other doctor I was seeing face-to-face. 

What happened afterwords was really a miracle. Sometimes I still can’t believe what really happened and how the herbs changed my life. I came to see Jonny with physical issues - and he changed my life with all my mental issues. With my mental issues all of my physical issues disappeared. Not only the symptoms but my whole life changed in a way I can’t really describe. Being a very impulsive, loud, strong, and pushing person - demanding a lot from myself and from all people in my life I became the most calm and relaxed person I could imagine. I learned to deal with myself, with everything in my life and with everyone in my life. I learned to set boundaries, to respect myself, to respect my body and to respect my life. Moreover and maybe most important I learned that all my physical issues are connected to my mental state of mind. 

I don’t want to put it wrong. My life isn’t perfect now. There are still problems hitting me, my life, all the people in my life, my family and all the connected circumstances. But the thing I learned with the herbs is to deal with them, without breaking every single time. During the time with the herbs I changed my job, I moved to two different apartments and had several relationships end but walked through it very calm and controlled. My life still has ups and downs, but I learned to handle it and I learned to solve it. 

So, to come to an end - if you ask me what the herbs changed? They changed everything! I can’t really tell you what but what I know for sure is that I’m not the same person I was before. Jonny is a master of his job and he knows the herbs very well, he knows his job and he became my herbalist but moreover my therapist over the past year. I thank God I got to know him because somehow he and his herbs saved my life.”

Tihana Dragic

Tihana has progressed rapidly with herbs. Discovering how her body and mind are intricately connected. This patient was a little skeptical about herbs and how I work but we quickly created a safe container with which profound changes have filtered through to her life. Her mood, monthly cycle and post-motorbike accident symptoms (there was a list of unexplained, chronic sensations and symptoms) have all improved with the past year of treatment. I have great respect for the courage Tihana has shown in engaging with herbs and therapy in dealing with her medical problems.

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Foraging for Spring medicine and food

With Spring looking like it has arrived early this year in the UK, maybe it’s time for you to start foraging for wild foods and/or medicine?

Britain is packed full of early Spring plants that can be eaten raw or with minimal preparation to maximise your intake of nutritious plant vitamins, minerals and phytoconstituents. You don’t usually have to look far to find them, even in the city. Although finding plants to forage that are clean, unpolluted and safe to eat usually involves escaping the city a little.

Why should you eat wild plants?

Well wild plants seed themselves through the process of nature, using very little if any human intervention. Wild plants are said to contain much higher amounts of vitamins, minerals and medicinal compounds than conventionally grown food (usually sprayed with chemicals).

I believe that regular consumption of wild plants is good for the heart as searching for them helps you connect more with nature and gets you out of the house. It is also fun!

So what is out there?

Right now there are a few things to look out for, but with each week into March, spring food and medicine will rapidly emerge. For now, have a look out for:

Crataegus laevigata (Hawthorn)

Hawthorn Leaves

The leaf buds are currently opening and make a wonderful juicy, leafy snack. Pick and eat on the spot or bring home for use as a salad. We have a window of about 4-5 weeks whilst all the buds open to reveal the light green leaves before they start to go darker and become more bitter and inedible.

Difficult to mistake with anything poisonous. Look out for the familiar 5 finger leaf shape.

Used in herbal medicine to lower blood pressure, help with anxiety and improve mood. I find the leaf particularly helpful for hot flushes in peri-menopausal women.

Gallium aparine (Cleavers)

Galium aparine (Cleavers)

Cleavers have started to appear already in my local park and are easily identified by their thin, long stalk with the 6 leaves spreading out every few centimetres. The tiny white flowers come out over summer and the seeds in late summer, early autumn.

This plant is super juicy and can be eaten raw or put through a blender or juicer. It is a popular remedy for lymphatic drainage. I have used it successfully in helping patient’s with Hepatitis who have painful raised Lymph nodes. A simple tea of this Spring plant, consumed for a few days, cleared Lymph nodes after many years of pain and soreness under the ears.

You might remember this plant as a child due to it being thrown at people and watching its hooks sink into clothing. Many British school-children have played with this plant.

Urtica dioica (Nettles)

Urtica dioica (Nettles)

Nettles are highly prized for their medicinal qualities. Especially for seasonal allergies, arthritis and anaemia. But did you know they can be eaten raw? If you approach the leaf from underneath and move your fingers up and in, closing the leaf above with a pincer grip then you can usually close the top of the leaf and fold it up without getting stung. Then place the parcel into the back of your mouth and chew.

Or otherwise add to a smoothie or put through a blender. My hayfever improved significantly when i started adding nettles to my diet.

Taraxacum oficinale (Dandelion)

Taraxacum oficinale (Dandelion Leaf)

The beloved Dandelion. Hated as a weed. Loved as a foraged food and medicine. The Spring leaves make a tasty snack when used like Lettuce.

Remember that it won’t stay tasty forever. As the year progresses, the leaves become darker and bitter.

The root can be eaten too, but this is often roasted. Roasted Dandelion root makes the perfect coffee alternative. Delicious!

Used in herbal medicine as a diuretic for fluid retention and disorders of the kidney.

Plantago lanceolata (Ribwort Plantain)

Plantago lanceolata (Ribwort Plantain)

This is a very abundant plant (Not to be confused with the Carribean fruit). Often viewed as a weed when found in your back garden. The leaves can be eaten in salads.

Used in herbal medicine as a wound healing herb for cuts, bites, stings or itchy skin. I use this plant a lot in cases of inflammatory bowel disorders like Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. It also often used in respiratory disorders with an excessive, dry cough.

Remember

Always look for plants away from the road and remember that animal faeces or urine could possibly be on your foraged plants. Wash in clean water if you are concerned. Always forage on private land with the owners permission and use a guidebook if you are worried about picking the wrong plants.

All of the mentioned foods/medicines above are found abundantly throughout the UK and are in excess supply. You will not harm an ecosystem by consuming these plants (provided you don’t pick all the leaves or remove all the plants in an area).

I will be announcing herb walks for Spring soon. So watch out for the planned events!

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

BBC Radio Sheffield Panel discussion on Skin Health

I took part in a discussion today on skin health. Speaking about a herbalist’s approach to skin health and tips on what you might be able to do to figure out what is worth exploring or investigating in connection to your skin problem.

The program includes a local beauty therapist who speaks of her treatment of skin problems and a Sheffield psychologist that specialises in researching the connection between mental health and skin.

Have a listen at:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06yv2ns

Skip to 1 Hour, 8 minutes to hear the 20 minute discussion.

If you have a skin problem that has not responded to conventional treatment so far then please get in touch to see how herbal medicine can help you.

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Patient Testimonial: Lyme Disease

"I'm really happy I met Jonny when I was really in dire straights with my health situation. I was suffering from Lyme disease mixed in with lots of other nebulous health problems. He prescribed me a set of herbs, but to me the most crucial first step towards recovery was the face-to-face consultation we had. He knew all the right questions to ask, including my signs and symptoms as well as investigating my personal history and emotional landscape. The advice he gave me during the consultation was somewhat challenging to put into practice, but it was the pivotal first step. I kept taking the herbs, both the tincture and the powder for about 3 months in total.

It's has been tricky for me to untangle the symptoms of Lyme disease from other issues, and likewise it's difficult to tell which treatments have been ultimately effective - I have also had two courses of heavy antibiotics. Just the effects of those seemed to have taken 3 months to resolve.

But the mindset that Jonny helped me to get into has definitely helped me to endure the worst of it, and to keep on moving towards recovery. Now I can hardly recognise myself from 6 months ago - I feel like a human being again, which sometimes feels like a miracle! I still have some way to go to feeling 100% all the time, but it's slowly getting there. The main lesson for me has been to stay patient - some things just take their time"

Dmitry Ignatyev

I met this patient during a herb-walk in Manchester and learned about how debilitating his condition had become. Dmitry had a positive NHS diagnosis for Lyme disease and was becoming frustrated with conventional treatment as well as a myriad of symptoms. We consulted face-to-face in Manchester and followed up via skype and phone consultations. Lyme disease can be a very confusing and progressive disease so the herbal treatment had to involve tinctures, powders, capsules and supplements as well as guidance around relaxation techniques and use of a sauna to bring heat back into the body. Dmitry decided to use pharmaceutical antibiotics (again) alongside herbal treatment and has since made a speedy recovery towards feeling well again.


Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Patient Testimonial: Ulcerative colitis, food intolerances and dysfunctional immune system

“Jonny worked with me in 2016 to help me with healing my gut after recovering from 15 years of Ulcerative Colitis which left me sensitive to many foods and with a low functioning immune system. I had started on the journey of healing from Ulcerative Colitis (which leaves you with ulcers in the rectum, chronic diarrhea and frequently passing mucus) many years before and had not had a severe episode for almost 10 years by the time I met Jonny.

But I still had sensitivities to many foods and was getting sick with colds almost every six weeks whilst often suffering from many small health issues which built up and left me feeling as though I was always needing to heal from something. Using his herbs and caring support for 6 months, I started to become more in touch with my bodies needs again and started to make changes to my diet which really helped with my healing process. Nowadays my sensitivities are very predictable and do not cause me so much problems and my gut health feels restored as my immune system is much stronger and I barely ever get colds anymore.

Jonny was also working with me and some other patients to help us psychologically through the use of herbs. During a particular session with Jonny we used a certain herb which really helped me to go deeply within myself and remove huge blockages in my mind which had previously stopped me from letting things happen in flow rather than trying to control the outcome. The experience was very intense and a moment of absolute clarity which I will never forget. Jonny always treated me with the utmost care and respect and I felt safe and able to say and do whatever I needed in his presence. This experience of working with Jonny has stayed with me as a pivotal moment in my life which evoked positive change in my mind and body and I will always be grateful for the chance I had to work with him and look forward to doing so again in the future.”

Emma Buggy

This patient consulted with me when I was still at University and trying to learn how to harness the full potential of herbs. We consulted via skype and the medicine was posted monthly. Emma was always open to discussing her life and had already done a lot of healing in regards to her autoimmune disease. Herbal medicine was another ‘piece of the puzzle’ for healing her sickness. Emma has since gone on to become involved with learning, practicing and teaching ‘non-violent communication’ workshops and holding group spaces. It has been rewarding to watch Emma change her life to suit her needs accordingly and to see how her illness has improved further since we last consulted. Wishing you all the best with your future mission to spread the message of non-violent communication through the world.

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

My interview with BBC Radio Sheffield

For all who missed it, I was on the local BBC radio afternoon show with Rony Robinson last week. I was certainly nervous but I feel like I gave my truth and I hope you enjoy it.

The BBC have informed me the interview will be available for free listening for 30 days. After which, it will disappear into the archives. So please have a listen if you want to hear me talk about my life, how I discovered herbal medicine and how it helped my mental health problems better than anything before.

Skip to 1 hour 35. I am on for about 20 minutes (with a Pink Floyd track in the middle). Please share the link with anyone you know who is suffering with mental health issues and see if this can bring them some hope or clarity that there is another potential way to solve the crisis of serious mental disorders.

The link is available here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/

If you have any questions about the interview, in regards to any topics or information we spoke of then feel free to contact me via the email listed below. I have numerous patients with mental health problems that see me for help using herbal medicine and nutritional support.

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Monthly newsletter

Merry Christmas to you all……

Before the start of the new year the time has come to start an email list so that I can start sending out information on the clinic such as opening times and events, as well as information on blog posts and herbal information.

2019 is fast approaching and even more changes will be coming to the clinic, the website and future workshops that I have planned. Currently the clinic is growing but there is still plenty of room for more patients (and therapists who want to rent the space from me). I need to increase the options and channels of communication I use to access a greater audience and any potential patients who feel that herbal medicine could help them. I need your help to do this so please continue to refer your friends and family members to me as well as signing up to the newsletter.

All of your support, ‘likes’, comments and shares through social media are greatly appreciated and will always help push my message and vision further afield. Any feedback you have for my work, website and ways of reaching a greater audience will be well received. As always, I continue to strive to live out my mission of helping all who need it using holistic methods and herbal treatment.

The signup form will now ‘popup’ on the home screen and is completely FREE! You can opt out at any time and your information is not shared with anyone else. I have also added a subscribe option on the contact screen.

Wishing you all the best for a healthy remaining and meaningful 2018. Use the link below to sign up today and stay in touch……

Jonny’s Apothecary Prescription Record Form and Business Card

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary


The clinic room is developing

The room here at The Sheffield Health & Wellbeing Clinic has been developing continuously since it was opened in April. More therapists have come on board and we now have a 2nd herbalist starting their new career here after completing the degree course in Lincoln.

Patient numbers are growing steadily but there is plenty of room for improvement. Due to the nature of the business it is clear that most people find me as a herbalist through either meeting me or seeing a family member or friend go through treatment. This means that standard avenues of advertising tend to not work as well as planned. A healthy instagram account along with facebook followers is great for awareness but it doesn’t necessarily mean i get patients. A recent successful herb walk at the Hulme Community garden project in Manchester was a reminder that i need to get out more to showcase what i and herbal medicine can do. A new patient signed up the following week which felt like a gentle nudge i need to get out more.

I have also moved my large and ever-growing plant collection here to the clinic. The total now stands at 53 the last time i checked. This is slowly turning into a bit of an obsession but i really believe it makes a huge difference to the energy, quality and experience of sitting here with me and talking. Being surrounded by nature reminds us that it is nature that is healing us. The time and energy that goes into caring for them so we can enjoy their presence together is hopefully a reminder of the care and tenderness that goes into deciding what prescription a patient should be given.

Please have a look at the gallery below. Thanks again to all the people who put their faith and money into a project that i was unsure would be as successful at it has. Look at what you helped blossom!

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Patient Testimonial: Post Abortion Stress Syndrome and Associated Effects

"I really didn’t know how to start this testimonial for Jonny’s work. I am not a person who usually has a problem finding words nor to express my feelings. But working with Jonny is an unbelievable experience. So I think I want to introduce myself first. I am a 32 year old girl from Germany, who has struggled in life because of several issues. The biggest event has been the trauma associated with the inability to handle the abortion of my child which literally changed my life.

It feels like it has been the eye opener for my ego to finally connect to my body and soul. I didn’t know why but I quit my job, left everything behind for walking on the “Camino de Santiago” in Spain. My spirit was lost after the abortion and I wanted to find it again. Before I met Jonny I met a beautiful soul sister on the walk. She is wonderful in every way and a woman with so much truth and love. Last year in October I visited her in Sheffield and because of me still struggling in life, she recommended Jonny and his herbs. Trusting her deeply I had my first consultation during that visit. I thought the journey on the “Camino de Santiago” healed me from my
traumas but then I met the herbalist. It feels like the journey was a preparation and clean-up for what would come next in my life. It told me to forgive myself for what I did and to forgive the people who hurt me. And then I continued my journey with a new chapter: guided by Jonny and the herbs. It became a crazy route to my inner self, my real me as a woman.

Working with herbs isn’t easy and it is challenging as every therapy, I know that because I had one before. But the huge and main difference is this “being seen”. I not only had traumas and a numbness in my womb after the abortion, rather I had blemished skin, digestion problems, thrombosis (2 times), tinnitus and self-doubt as you have no idea. Jonny has been the first “doc” who really talked to me, listened to me, saw me and believed in what I said. I felt taken seriously and his conclusion was right. So I started the journey and took my herbs and oh yeah, the inner pain finally came out.

I am so thankful for this journey, because I am standing today in front of my mirror and I see the woman. My true self. And guess what, I love what I see. My body and soul feels itself peacefully, they are once again talking to each other, finally. Jonny, thank you for being such a wonderful person, who lives his vocation with passion and heart. Don’t you ever think to quit because the world needs you. Thank you for taking care and for seeing “the human” behind “the being”. My journey with the herbs is almost there, and I am looking forward to what is yet to come.

Dear reader, I literally walked through fog, pain and confusion. At last, I am seeing the beauty of life and the happiness of being a human again. Thankfulness has a whole new meaning for me, because I feel blessed to wake up, and to feel the breath in my lungs.

Life is a bitter sweet symphony and I love to taste both with gratitude."

Nadine Dull

 

This patient was experiencing a deep inner numbness in her womb that had appeared after her abortion. Her mood, digestion and menstrual cycle were all altered and needed help to balance. Within one year the numbness has now disappeared, her menstrual cycle is now regular with minimal pain and her emotions now feel in control. Nadine has helped me understand the pain and trauma of what an abortion can mean for a woman.

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Jonny's Apothecary is crowdfunding

9 days ago i took the step to start a crowdfunder. Having wanted to do one since over a year ago i never had the courage or confidence to ask for help. Fear would always strike me at the thought 'nobody cares' or 'i won't get anyone donating'. Having shared these thoughts with other friends and therapists it would seem it is quite a common experience for people to fall under the weight of picking a financial target and being crippled by nothing but our own minds. You see with crowdfunding there are options that if you don't hit your target you can still withdraw, so naturally there is no excuse other than the emotions of fear to stop us from requesting financial help. 

Jonny's Apothecary is crowdfunding and needs your help

Of course some crowdfunders are better than others due to connections or rewards but the truth remains, we can all ask for help sometimes when we need it and see if the fruits of our labour in our community will return the gifts we have shared or brought to them in good time.

So for me this process has felt a humbling experience so far as i watch the donations come in. It feels my wait to build up the courage to do this was also closely linked with my feelings of self-worth. Now the time is right i can feel it. 

At the moment the crowdfunder stands at £490 with 19 days remaining to achieve the big £1,000. With every donation there is a choice to receive a gift in return so please read the options carefully. As i type some massages still remain at 30% off, an absolute bargain if i say so myself.

For me the integrity and honour of receiving donations I intend to share many blog posts about the progress and development of the clinic.

At the moment the room is almost ready for the next step. Furniture, stock, diagnostic equipment and marketing are all the next stages needed for Kelham Therapy Room to take its place in the Sheffield holistic healthcare scene. The crowdfunder is part of this next stage of development. Items needed include:

  • Lockable cabinets for stock
  • More stock than what i have now
  • Massage table
  • Cleaning products
  • Rug
  • Desk
  • Chairs
  • Desk lamp
  • Indoor plants for air quality

Please consider donating towards the crowdfunder and know that every £ received goes towards the development of the clinic. Herbal medicine is the medicine of the future and now more than ever people are turning their backs on pharmaceutical medicine for alternative natural options. Get involved in the transition and grab yourself a bargain in the process. If you were interested in herbal medicine donating only £45 will cover your first consultation with medicine for a month (normally £90). 

Please donate at:
https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/jonnys-apothecary-and-kelham-therapy-room

 

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists MNIMH

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness
Clinics in Sheffield and Manchester

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Kelham Therapy Room Update

Kelham Therapy Room with new laminate floor and painted walls

After careful thinking i have decided to call the new clinic 'Kelham Therapy Room'. It will be marketed as an independent holistic clinic based inside Kelham Arcade. All the therapists will continue to be self-employed but i will market and advertise the venue under the new name. 

So the clinic has changed a bit more since last week......

Front door of the new clinic Kelham Therapy Room

The walls have been repainted and the windows cleaned. Underlay has been fitted along with a 12mm laminate floor with an oak finish. I'm really hoping the thick floor will keep any sound from outside the room to a minimum. The aim for the clinic has always been to give it a professional medical feel without it being 'plastic' or IKEA-ISH, if that is even a word. Not that i have a problem with IKEA! I just want to use more antiques and old furniture to fill the room. 

Dirty belfast sink with cleaning products

To add to the look i have managed to source an old 'Belfast' sink. It was absolutely filthy when i found it at Swiftie's on Abbeydale road. But after some tough love and a lot of hot steam it has come up quite nicely. I will need this for washing hands for any examination or cleaning equipment used in prescription making. 

Jonny Woodall cleaning the belfast sink with steam

Hopefully the lights, dimmers, blinds and sink will all be fitted in the coming days and then the furniture will be ready to go in.

It is looking like the official opening day will be the middle of March. The first popup shop catering for Peddler's Market will be the start of April. Expect lots of herbal products such as Neil's Yard Remedies, handmade creams, teas, unique jewelry and essential oils. 

I already have a few therapists who have seen the room and want to work from it. Please get in touch if you want to have a chat about my ideas for the space and to see if you want to join the team. 

Here it is.... a beautiful restored Belfast

Here it is.... a beautiful restored Belfast

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists MNIMH

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness
Clinics in Sheffield and Manchester

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

New Sheffield clinic now running

Jonny's Apothecary is pleased to announce that all further face-to-face to consultations will be conducted at a therapy centre on Abbeydale road in the west of the city. This will be an appointment only service so please get in touch to arrange a time that suits us both. 

The clinic is open 7 days a week but requires me to book the room in advance so it is highly unlikely I will be able to offer same day appointments. 

I am taking bookings as of now so please get in touch or let you loved ones know this service is now available. 

Medicine will not be dispensed on site so there will be an option for medicine to be posted to you or for it to be collected from Nether Edge Herbarium. The shop is open Monday to Saturday (10-1730). 

Salvia spp. Sage in bloom

 

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists MNIMH

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness
Clinics in Sheffield and Manchester

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

My 10 Day Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreat

Greetings for 2018.....

Whilst you may have been celebrating the tide of leaving 2017 and welcoming the new year with a party or celebration i was curled up in bed spending time living what could only be described as the life of a buddhist monk. 

I heard about Dhamma Dipa 10 day vipassana retreats approximately 4/5 years ago and never forgot the clarity and wisdom in the words shared with me about how it had changed this person's life who was communicating what it meant to them. It stayed with me ever since that day. Having completed the herbal medicine degree in 2017 i knew that now more than ever i wanted to go. 

The organisation is non-profit and takes their buddhist teachings of vipassana from a lineage of monks. The course is run on 'pay what you feel' donations so no money was exchanged beforehand. 

On the first day you are greeted by the welcome team and all electronic equipment is handed over for safekeeping. Men and women are split to different quarters and i ended up sharing a room with 4 other men. From day 1 you agree to abide by a strict set of rules:

  • No verbal or non-verbal communication of any kind

  • No sexual misconduct (Celibacy)

  • Only 1 small breakfast at 630am, 1 hot lunch at 11am and fruit at 5pm. Vegetarian/vegan.

  • No intoxicants or substance abuse

  • No exercise other than light walking during rest periods

  • No reading of books or literature

  • No electronic equipment to be used of any kind, Ipods, phones, laptops, music etc.

  • Wake up at 4am.....lights out at 930pm

The day contains 10 hours of meditation where you are given a mat and cushion designated for your use throughout the stay in the meditation hall. This is the only time you share space with the opposite sex. But even then, men were kept to the left and women kept to the right. Even in the food hall men and women do not get to see or speak to each other. 

On day 1 you are given a very basic breathing technique which as the course develops everyday you are given another step towards the end goal.... total silent, purposeful and clear vipassana. So each day there are group sittings which you are obliged to attend, but other meditations you are allowed to go to your shared room and meditate there. But only in complete silence. 

Within the first day i started to feel that very familiar tension i get whenever i put myself through something challenging that in my heart i know will be good for me. Just straight away on day 1, having done only a few hours meditation, and silence for half a day i was feeling this growing feeling i didn't want to be there. My frustrations only grew as i could feel all the men around me drop into a lower vibration, our faces were clearly not very happy. 

So it begins, the inevitable process of craving and aversion. What the course teaches you is that for every moment there are sensations all throughout the body. Some of these sensations will develop words or stories attached to them. An out of control mind can fester stories for hours or days after an event. They also teach you that you and only you are the perpetrator of your own state of being. Whether or not people say or perform negative actions towards you, it is your ability to respond or react wisely or appropriately to such actions. Hence the reason why 5 people who are harmed by the actions of 1 person can all suffer variable consequences or states of mind. It is your own internal processes that are ultimately responsible for your craving, anger, aversion, hatred or stories that get created in your mind.

The vipassana technique is unveiled to you day by day as you drop deeper into your unconscious mind like a surgical operation. Each new day whenever the next vipassana stage was shared i would sometimes feel a huge expansive sense of joy or elation at what felt like a completely altered state of mind. This would sometimes be the complete opposite though and feelings of anxiety, stress or paranoia would arise. It was clear to me that each day there was a sense of awareness and focus on my mind and body that was developing through the technique.

372710-Buddha-sitting-closed_eyes-digital_art-Buddhism-meditation-glowing-fire-blurred-fractal-abstract-748x421.png

Within the first 5 days i noticed that everyday i began to crave and crave more and more. It was literally eating my mind and body alive. It was easy to see how whenever i have painful experiences i tend to crave something to squash or pander to that feeling instead of actually dealing with the original feeling. The process of stripping away all ability to distract oneself makes sense when all you are now left with is breathing, silence, your mind and body. After 5 days of craving everything from food, to music, to exercise, to walking i finally gave way and spoke to the teacher. I complained at how my cravings were making me feel like i was going to explode. She gave me some simple advice about focusing my breath on a particular point on my body. Then all hell broke loose in my mind as i switched to an incredible rage that rippled through me that night. I became painfully angry at everything and everyone around me. I desperately wanted to leave but i knew deep down this was good for me. 

My reasons for attending the course were bound in my sense of helplessness i have felt at certain addictions i have struggled with over the years. Why do i have them? Where do they come from? Why are some easier than others to drop? It felt like the answer was staring in me in the face on day 7/8 when upon walking in a little woodland around noon during rest period i found a holly tree. 

Upon finding the holly tree i had a moment of feeling somebodies presence around me. It was the leader of my men's group in Manchester. I recognised his smile in my mind and stared helplessly at the holly tree as i realised how much i use holly as a flower remedy for repressed, unresolved anger. The presence of this dear brother was a revelation as i remembered all the times i have seen him guide the mens group through intense rituals and ceremonial offerings. His humility, humbleness and wisdom is deeply inspiring to me. I realised at that moment i had to find a fallen holly branch to make offerings at the side of my bed every day. With the holly branch in hand i walked back to bedroom and began the same ritual every morning and night. Folding everything neatly and placing this holly branch on top of my clothes and bag. It was a reminder that for all of my addictions the driving force has been an unrepenting, burning fire of anger inside me that i have never known how to deal with other than using substances or other addictive cravings. 

It was these final days everything clicked in and although i was drained, exhausted and had barely slept for 10 days i found a deep sense of peace, love and sweet compassion for myself. My heart exploded on day 10 as were given permission to talk to others. It was like a huge cloud had lifted among the group and my heart expanded with pride at how much i had learned about myself.

I feel more empowered than ever to understand the stories or cravings and aversions my mind creates whenever i am faced with something i don't like or don't want. This was a deeply humbling experience and although it hasn't 'cured' me of my minds craziness, or ups and downs, i now have an ability to stop my mind running away like never before. I also feel a love for myself and my heart that feels very healing. 

I would highly recommend this course to other therapists, healers and practitioners. It really is a sweet treasure to put yourself through something so difficult. This is by far the most challenging experience of my years of self development and one i hope to return to again next year to deepen the practice.

For more information on retreats which are open to anyone to apply for please visit: https://www.dhamma.org/en/

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists MNIMH

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness
Clinics in Sheffield and Manchester

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

7 signs you are not growing in ways that matter

Are you growing what matters in your life?

Are you growing what matters in your life?

Are you growing what matters? When was the last time you asked yourself this question?

If you are unsure about this question or connect with any of the 7 signs then maybe the time for change is calling you.

 

  • Soul dissatisfaction - You have an inherent knowing your life is dull, boring and stuck. You find everything tedious, difficult and profoundly disappointing. You know life could be different but a deep sense of dissatisfaction fills your reality. 

  • Lacking authenticity - You are noticeably different with a change in social group. With some friends you hide your personality in ways to fit in or not cause disruption in social cohesion. You hide truthful information away from people for fear of being misread or rejected. You notice that you have created layers of identity that are not really the real 'you'.

  • Loss of excellence - You lose hope in mastering certain arts, crafts or hobbies. You stop attending groups or workshops where you can learn about excelling in a certain tradition or skill. You effectively stop learning new things and find it difficult to start that process again.

  • Procrastination - You constantly create excuses for not finishing a certain difficult physical or emotional task. You avoid certain subjects in conversation to stop you feeling emotional and create different topics to not go into wounds or traumas. Your home-life is patterned with avoidance of difficult duties or responsibilities.

  • No vitality - You wake up every morning with a sense of fatigue. You struggle to feel a sense of pride in the wonder of life and need a coffee and/or a cigarette to get going. Your libido is low and social interactions drain you. Your sleep is disrupted and energy levels are low.

  • Self aggrandisement - You create a false persona in the hope of gaining power or a hold over people. You promote your importance and ego at every opportunity, maybe even using your material wealth as a tool for proving your worth, yet you are spiritually, morally and ethically bankrupt. You go home feeling lonely, lost and unimportant, constantly finding even more ways to show wealth. However that hole inside of you remains. 

  • Difficult emotional indicators - You are irritable, ungrateful, angry, impatient, lost, lacking purpose, chronically anxious and/or depressed, lack joy, struggle to become motivated. 

 

pexels-photo-204495.jpeg

Connecting with any or all of the above is a message calling you to change. To become a healthier, happier more whole person. Trust your intuition and feel the longing inside of you for a deep and meaningful growth in your soul.

Chronic disease is often connected to a loss of not growing what matters. Discover for yourself the journey that awaits when you make the symbolic act of deciding to work on your problems and watch your life change to a more positive, fulfilling existence.

If you feel touched by a call to change then search for a therapy that suits what you believe you need help for or contact me at Jonny's Apothecary.....Your new path awaits.

 

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
Bsc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary