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Medicine Woman with a Dash of Herbal Essence

Feeling the strain of living life at a fast pace? Tinctures might be the answer.

Feeling the strain of living life at a fast pace? Tinctures might be the answer. By LUCIA BLASHArticle 1

With the cost of living rocketing, the housing market in freefall and the threat of job cuts looming, it's little wonder Wharfers are feeling just a teensy-weensy bit stressed. So wouldn't it be a relief if you could simply pop a pill (legally,of course) or sup a special potion and let all your worries and anxieties fade away into the grey mist that hangs heavy over London City Airport.

Medical Herbalist Deborah Grant can't promise to change the economic climate (she a medicine woman not a miracle worker) but she does reckon she can put you on a better course to deal with its effects, such as increased stress levels, low libido and depression, with her herbal tinctures and tablets.

"Working in a high-pressured environment like the one here at Canary wharf can be very stressful," she says from her practice room at Exceptional Health Clinic, Admirals Way. "Many people spend their entire lives here, stuck behind their desks, working incredibly long and arduous hours. It's no wonder that stress levels are high. I'm here to try to combat that with an alternative approach.

That approach is an holistic one. She works with herbs and plant solutions, advocating them to be a kinder, gentler alternative to orthodox medicine. Deborah also believes that its far better to get to the root of an illness than to simply treat the immediate problem with a one-drug-treats-all remedy and its sometimes unpleasant side-effects.

"Unlike conventional GPs, I try to treat the underlying cause as well as the symptoms," she says. "Everyone is different. I feel this fact must be taken into account when prescribing treatment. Individualized prescribing enables me to meet the unique needs of each patient."

She cites the case history of one of her patients, a 28 year old banker from one of the corporate giants at canary Wharf. He booked a consultation with Deborah because he was finding it difficult to cope with the pressures at work and didn't feel a conventional GP would be able to help. "He was suffering with depression and his energy levels were low," she tells me. "Even though he was exhausted, he was unable to sleep well - he was awake for two to three hours every night. "His libido had taken a nosedive and he was under pressure in his relationship as well. I gave him a stress mix, tailored to meet his unique needs and aimed at restoring his adrenal glands, shake off the depression and give him more energy."

Along with this Deborah advised the young banker to cut out coffee and to take regular exercise - even if it was just taking the stairs when he arrived at Canary Wharf Tube as opposed to the escalator. "When he returned to see me two weeks later, he said 'I can't believe how different I feel, sleeping like a baby and I have much more energy', she says.

As well as stress, Deborah treats a host of other ailments including allergies, thyroid deficiencies, weight issues and arthritis. She has more than 200 different plant extracts in her dispensary with names straight out of a harry Potter book - like Filipendula ulmaria and Withania somnifera -from which she makes up her specially-tailored tinctures.

After an hour-long consultation with a patient where she takes a note of the person's medical history, allergies, family health chart, diet and lifestyle she can determine just what is required. "I formulate a prescription to meet the patient's unique needs. The medicine can be in a tincture form, where I might mix up to five different herbs, or taken as a tablet," says Deborah. "Again it depends on what the patient prefers."

So has she any tips for the Wharfers to deal with their hectic lifestyles? "It's really about health maintenance. I see people with recurring illnesses due to high stress levels in work. My advice is don't wait for a problem to get a grip. Once you get the balance back into your life, you'll not only feel much healthier but you'll look it too."

Published in the-Article published in The Wharf newspaper 5th June

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