Episode 19

The Role of Food in treating skin conditions with Herbalist Alex Laird

Published on: 14th June, 2023

“Keeping our blood sugar within limits and eating slow-releasing food is absolutely fundamental to inflammatory disease”

Alex is a practising medical herbalist and phytotherapist with more than 20 years of experience. She runs the UK's first herbal clinic in hospital dermatology at Whipps Cross University Hospital, where she is tutor-practitioner to BSc herbal students. She also practises at Breast Cancer Haven and privately. She is a council member of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP), and formerly of the Aromatherapy Organisations Council. She has published clinical research and is a visiting lecturer to universities including Westminster, East London, Hertfordshire and the Royal Free Medical School. She is a founding director of the charity, Living Medicine, which teaches people how to use food and herbs in self-care, exchanging and updating knowledge from all cultures to feed into public health. Originally a TV producer, she then worked as an aromatherapist for staff at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, with drug users and those with HIV while training as a medical herbalist.

Alex’s driving passion is discovering how life is designed at all levels – reconnecting to each other, our rhythms, food and nature to follow our design are key to resilience.

Alex has built impressive research around the powerful impact of herbalism in dermatology. Whilst supporting community and cultural sensitivities at Whipps Cross, Alex has shown that a personalised approach can really make a difference even with the most complex of skin conditions. 

In her chat with Simon, we learn about several lightbulb moments that have taken Alex on a journey of discovery and why she is so passionate about the role of nutrition when it comes to improving our health.

Alex talks on:

  • Herbal approaches to complement cultural beliefs within communities.
  • Making herbal medicine accessible.
  • Documenting treatment results & wellbeing using Westminster University’s Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile (MYMOP.) 
  • Looking beyond the diagnosed condition to treat all issues and internal factors. 
  • Educating patients and reconnecting them with food. 
  • Her commonly used herbs for treating skin conditions.
  • The story of Living Medicine - education support for communities, delivered by herbalists
  • Her mission as an educator in reminding people of their own resilience.
  • Blowing the research trumpet.

Find out more about Living Medicine on their website, www.livingmedicine.org or contact Alex on alex.laird@livingmedicine.org

Grab a copy of Alex’s book Root to Stem: a seasonal guide to natural remedies and recipes for everyday life (Penguin 2019) at https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/311757/root-to-stem-by-laird-alex/9780241371213

Find out more about Herbal Reality on Instagram @herbal.reality or visit www.herbalreality.com 

Herbcast is produced by Decibelle Creative: @decibelle_creative / www.decibellecreative.com 

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