The apothecary is a beautiful shop, very traditional, and a treat to be inside. Wendy is a walking advertisement for her products (twinkly-eyed, youthful, cheerful and chatty) and that alone is enough to convince me that the banishment of my insideyness is possible. So, after a chat and a description of my lethargy, bleurgh-ness, and all-round wish to hibernate, I am now the recipient of one tea (mate and marshmallow), and one tincture (schisandra). The latter has a fab reputation as an adaptable herb, in that if you take it in the morning it can help to give you a little oomph, and if you take it when you’re stressed it can help to give you a little aaaah. The mate (pronounced mah-tey) can give the boost of coffee, but without the horrid jitters, and can also benefit weight loss, skin, anti-stress, as well as having antioxidant properties. 

I can most definitely vouch for the mate and marshmallow tea  and the schisandra tincture. For some reason we often have a dippy-hippy view of herbalism. It’s funny because we acknowledge that other naturally-sourced products do what they say, eg: caffeine, tobacco, cannabis etc. However, it turns out that even a prior-cynic such as myself can be converted. I awoke two days after beginning the tea/tincture feeling so much better that I spent the morning wondering why I felt so much more alert and energetic – and it was only then, when I thought “what’s different?” that I realised.

(Verity Lush - "Lushness": Portsmouth)

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Natural remedies are part of Wendy’s holistic healthcare
Published on Monday 20 February 2012 08:09

Even as a child, Wendy Budd enjoyed gathering plants and herbs from the garden and making her own medicines.

The difference nowadays is that people want to buy and take her herbal remedies.

Wendy is a medical herbalist and reveals her passion for plant therapy started at a young age.

‘My grandfather was very into his roses and I used to go out and pick the petals, put them in water and try to make perfumes. And I was always trying to make these potions with gunk from the garden and wondered why nobody wanted to take them.’

Today is a different matter. Wendy knows exactly which health-giving properties are in which plants and how it all works because she has a BSC degree in herbal medicine from the University of Central Lancashire.

And she is passing on her knowledge and expertise to customers in Portsmouth at her new shop in Albert Road, Southsea.

Budd’s Herbal Apothecary, due to open this week, specialises in remedies for all kinds of conditions including skin problems, digestive problems, migraines and menopause issues. And Wendy also offers facials, making up ointments to suit the individual’s skin.

Herbal medicine is based on the natural health-giving properties of plants.

Wendy explains: ‘There are thousands of chemicals in plants that have medicinal properties. Garlic, for example, has a chemical compound called allicin, which acts as a natural antibiotic.’

Taking herbal medicine is like eating the right foods, says Wendy. But the mixtures target specific problems and the properties are more concentrated.

‘When people come in for a consultation, I look at diet too. It’s a holistic approach. I’m not a qualified nutritionist, but my degree covered nutrition, as well as physiology and conventional medicine.’

Wendy is quick to point out that medical herbalists aren’t opposed to conventional treatment and actually understand pharmaceutical drug therapies.

‘A lot of people think we are but that’s not the case. I am trained in clinical diagnosis and if I was concerned about someone’s symptoms I would always recommend they see their GP. Similarly I would say people should visit their doctor if they are concerned about something.’

She says doctors will sometimes recommend herbal medicine and more people are trying natural remedies as prevention and to ease things like chronic skin conditions.

The industry is self-regulated and Wendy adheres to a code of ethics laid down by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. Practitioners can also be members of the Association of Master Herbalists.

Herbal medicine has been practised throughout the centuries and dates back to ancient civilisation. Wendy reckons our ancestors were definitely on to something.

And although she buys herbal extracts from a supplier to produce her tinctures and mixtures, she can still be found gathering nettles, elderberries and other native flora and fruit.