Mental Health

Patient Testimonial: Anxiety, depression, weight-loss and confidence

“Before I started working with Jonny, I had dropped out of university and generally felt miserable about my life in general, that I wasn’t going anywhere and was wasting my talents, but I was stuck in a rut I couldn’t get out of. No self confidence, unhappy with my physical or mental states, I never really felt comfortable talking about myself and my problems to anyone, so I kept it inside most of the time.

Initially I was sceptical about seeing Jonny but I’m glad my worries were baseless. The herbal medicines he gave me were tailored to my symptoms and changed month to month as my treatment progressed.

Since I started working with Jonny, taking the time to do the simple and sensible things he recommended, taking the herbal medicines that he made specifically for me and exploring honestly the reasons why I think and act the way I do, I feel like I’ll actually be able to take the next steps in life and not just wishing that I could: university, a proper career, overcoming deeply ingrained bad habit loops that stop me meeting new people and doing new things.

Jonny managed to get me to open up about things I’ve hidden for years, things that formed the bedrock of my anxieties and fears. Now, I finally am able to recognise and deal with them as they come up: the habits are hard to break, but I am finally equipped mentally to overcome them.

Jonny is so easy to talk to, I couldn’t believe some of the stuff I was saying in our consultations. It’s not easy to admit your failings, but he has a great empathy for people and helps you use those negative experiences as learning opportunities, not the failures you think they are.

I’m going back to university in September, have lost lots of weight and generally am feeling more confident in myself and my abilities than I can ever remember. I have clear goals and career ambitions for the first time, not just a vague outline of a plan that I could use to put off actually thinking about it. I’m glad that Jonny was recommended to me and I would recommend him to you.”

Chris Meredith (UK)

Chris was feeling trapped with his old patterns of behaviour that were stopping him from progressing in life. He was open about his scepticism of herbs and my coaching process but quickly started to see positive changes once we found what herbs and lifestyle changes he responded to. Chris has achieved all of the goals and targets we set out from day 1, plus many more he did not know were part of our 6 month journey.

Chris’s confidence, mental health and courage have improved significantly. I wish you all the best with going back to university to continue on your new path of success and independence.

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

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

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

New Sheffield Men's Group Looking For Men to Join

Beginning Wednesday 6th of February in Sheffield, from 19:15 - 22:00.

Come along to meet the facilitators and understand how, why and what we will be doing as men. This is an opportunity to step into the unknown with every chance that this will help you discover what being a man means to you.

The group will meet for 8 sessions on alternate Wednesdays with every meeting being led by experienced men. No need to have had any prior exposure to ‘men’s work’, therapy or self-development programs. You just need a desire to turn -up and explore your willingness to be among other men who want a more authentic expression and better experience of life.

I plan to be co-facilitating every meeting with the other men involved so please get in touch if you feel called to developing yourself with other participants. Your first session is free and is a chance to really feel if this group and program is right for you. However, YOU MUST CONTACT US TO BOOK YOUR PLACE AT THE FIRST SESSION.

Men Group 2.jpg

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

Finding Purpose as a Man

The leading cause of death to a man my age is suicide. To take one's life is often met with confusing feelings by those who are close and witness this. Anger, sadness, frustration, despair and numbness are words often used to describe such events. 

Why is this happening? What is going wrong with men? how can we live in one of the richest countries of the world yet live knowing the biggest risk to a man's life - my life, is death due to actions by my own personal choice. 

Whilst it is impossible and naive to give an ultimate explanation to this it is easy to see how poor diet, high stress, one's class and social standing have a part to play. But how many times do you hear about purpose? What is your purpose? What is a man's purpose? 

Were we made to live a life of service to others in a never-ending rollercoaster of subservience and consumerism? To work yourself to death for a chief executive who will never know or even care about your name? To spend all your money on pointless goods? Or maybe it's to fuel money into the biggest distraction of a man's power - the belief his local football team actually represent him and his worth?

The defining factor in all of this is purpose. When a man has purpose with unbounding intent his life brings forth the attraction of knowledge, power and insight. For a man to let go of commonly held social beliefs of what modern society tells us a man should be searching for and replace that with the challenge of finding inner truths and a purpose on earth then meaning and hope can flourish. 

With purpose we breed passion, a passion to live one's life with something inherently beautiful. To access inner gifts and find out who you are and why you are really a part of this web of existence. 

When a man truly discovers something more to the story that was imposed on him by others then begins the journey out of darkness and into the light. 

Herbal medicine has been an integral part of my life's purpose. To save knowledge, to have meaning and to use my gifts for others. My true purpose propelled me into a path of strength, to discover my inner man that was longing to break through the damaged boy.

Indeed it is now a large part of my work with most of my male clients. Therapy can often provide that helping hand and facilitation needed for men to step into their power and discover a new path. 

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