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About Richard

I have been in full-time practice since February 1989 and am a registered member in the NZAMH (New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists). I did my Diploma in Medical Herbalism in Australia during the 1980s with Dennis Stewart, Andrew Pengelly & Robyn Kirby but I was born and grew up in Christchurch and here I remain today, working hard within its deep and diverse community.

Melbourne Botanic Gardens, 1987: starting out as a student practitioner)

In 1990, (though rather lacking experience!) I spent a year teaching and supervising final year students at the Canterbury College of Natural Medicine. I also began a small dispensary at the clinic for the students so when Paul Mitchell approached me in 1991 to talk about opening a bigger shop the natural result was a collaboration between us that bought about the locally famous ' Herbal Dispensary'.

I left the business several years later to concentrate solely on my clinic work but it continued to flourish until its untimely demise in the terrible earthquakes of 2011.

My own practice has always been entirely based on word-of-mouth referrals. Nearly everyone who comes to see me does so because a friend, a family member, or their own doctor or therapist recommends them to me. Christchurch is a conservative city where pharmaceutical-based medicine is almost fully subsidised so to succeed as a herbalist I have had to get a lot of good results with people who were not getting better by themselves or with the help of Western medicine!

It's not only been my practice keeping me busy...

I don't belong to any groups or organisations other than my herbalist's association but I work on a kind of faith that Nature will look after me if I do the right thing by others. Herbs are medicines of the Earth -- they belong to everyone and I want to be able to work with people from all walks of life so I keep my consulting fees modest and only put ethical mark-ups on the medicines we manufacture in our clinic and dispense from our clinic to those who are able to come to see us in person.

The three main sections of the website are in A-Zs. The first is an A-Z of herbs; each one talking about their history, science and practical use; that page starts here. The second A-Z is on health conditions from my experience with patients with these problems -- you can find it here. The third A-Z is a collection of health related articles found here.

The place to read about what I do and how I practice is in the page 'about herbal medicine' here. How much it costs to see me, where I am, how to contact me etc. are found in the 'about the clinic' page here. In many ways I am an intensely private person but for anyone that's interested I have shared some of my thoughts here, and my music here.

I'm sorry that I can't treat you or advise you unless I see you at least once in person but,
wherever you are, I wish you peace and good health!








© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd