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7th international conference on herbal medicine.

Twin Towns Resort, Tweed Heads/Coolangatta on the NSW/Queensland border

23-25 July 2009

Speakers and topics


Mary Bove DNatMed

CertMidwifery DHM

Brattleboro VT USA

Pediatric attention deficient hyperactive disorder and the autistic spectrum disorders from a naturopathic perspective

Attention deficient hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorders are some of the most common psychiatric disorders among children today with their incidence on the rise in the Western world. The growing connection between the gastrointestinal tract, inflammation and the microbiota presents new insights into etiologies, management and treatments. This presentation will look at an alternative approach to the treatment and management of these disorders, including botanical medicine protocols, nutritional supplements and dietary manipulation.

Dr Mary Bove obtained her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and Midwifery Certification from Bastyr University in Seattle WA. She received the Diploma of Phytotherapy/Herbal Medicine at the School of Phytotherapy in Great Britain. She served as a full time faculty member at Bastyr University and chaired the departments of Botanical Medicine and Naturopathic Midwifery. She is the author of the Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants and co-author of Herbs for Women's Health. She lectures internationally and writes on the topics of botanical medicine, pediatrics women's healthcare and natural childbirth. Dr Bove currently practices Naturopathic Family Medicine in Brattleboro VT.

Paul Bergner Medical Herbalist Naturopath

Boulder CO USA


Vitalist herbalism in the 21st century

Vitalism is an empirical observation based strategy for healing, its chief elements being to rely on vital ecological forces in nature and physiology for healing; to provide nutrients essential for the robust expression of health; to ensure healthy digestion, rest and activity; to remove obstacles to natural ecological healing; and to avoid methods injurious to the vital processes. This approach is the foundation of Thomsonian, physiomedicalist, eclectic and naturopathic herbalism in the West, and Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and Unani in the East.

The twentieth century saw changes that produced new conditions of health and disease which require a re-working of vitalist strategies to deal with such problems as micronutrient malnutrition, sedentary lifestyle, chronic sleep debt, disrupted circadian rhythm, artificial foods, pollution, physical and mental trauma and other factors not seen previously in the history of medicine. As schools developed language and curriculum appropriate to win social and political approval, many have lost the ability to transmit the essential vitalist principles to the next generation.

Vitalist herbalism in the twentieth century will require emphasis on creative therapies for nutrition, rest, healing digestive trauma, psychospiritual alienation of the heart, iatrogenic disease and other conditions unique to this period of history.

Paul Bergner is Director of the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism in Boulder Colorado USA, which offers a 2 year program of medical sciences and clinical training in medical herbalism and clinical nutrition. He has edited the Medical Herbalism journal since 1989 and has practiced naturopathy, clinical nutrition and medical herbalism since 1973. He completed 50 doctoral level semester hours in medical sciences at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1987.

Paul Bergner Medical Herbalist Naturopath

Boulder CO USA

Obesity as an endocrine condition

The 'calories in/calories out' theory of obesity does not withstand scrutiny, either in formal weight loss trials in the literature or in the near total failure of a 4 billion dollar a year weight loss industry to put a dent in the epidemic. We will examine obesity as a metabolic disorder, review the science behind weight loss and describe dietary, lifestyle and herbal supportive strategies to assist the obese patients to attain optimal health.


Isla Burgess MSc (Holistic Sci)

DipTchg DHM

Gisborne New Zealand

The conservation of medicinal plants: should we be concerned?

Globally the situation of conserving species of medicinal plants is in a precarious state. While there is increasing awareness among a few people, the focus is mostly on conserving plants that either play an important role in a local economy or on plants well recognised as being important as whole plant medicine or as a source of an isolated chemical base for drug production. This presentation traces the development of medicinal plant conservation to the situation it is in today including social and environmental concerns as well as projects and assessment approaches. It builds a foundation for a new methodology that includes firstly a Medicinal Plant Rapid Assessment Tool (MPRAT) and secondly the results of a pilot study using the first stage of the Free Choice Profiling Technique. Together they set the stage for future research while the initial application of the MPRAT provides direction for future use.

Isla is currently working towards a PhD on the development and application of a new methodology for the assessment of the conservation status of medicinal plants. Isla has been an educator for the past 40 years, firstly as a teacher of science and biology and then as Director of the International College of Herbal Medicine and Director of the Waikato Centre for Herbal Medicine New Zealand. She is an experienced herbal medicine practitioner and has presented at conferences in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. She is the interim convener for the International Research Group for the Conservation of Medicinal Plants and has appeared in two recent documentaries Earth Whisperers Paptuanuku (New Zealand) and Numen (USA).


Michael McMullen DMH

BA(Psych Hons)

Vaddo Sweden

The effect of bitters on the cardiovascular system

Bitters are used to improve digestive function. Bitters act locally to increase digestive secretions however it is unclear whether the actual bitter taste also produces additional centrally modulated autonomic stimulus. Michael will present results from his doctoral research involving double blind placebo controlled participant experiments on cardiovascular changes after intake of espresso coffee, caffeine and two commonly used herbal bitters. The Finometer, which records continuous blood pressure, as well as a battery of other cardiovascular parameters were used to measure changes from baseline after the intake of the various bitters. The cardiovascular changes to bitters in healthy participants were different for capsules and fluids indicating that the bitter taste generates a physiological response. The cardiovascular responses to coffee beans (the world's second most popular bitter herb) prepared as a double espresso containing 133 mg caffeine and a capsule also containing 133 mg caffeine were markedly different indicating that an extracted phytochemical is not the equivalent of a whole plant extract. Posture was found to modulate the cardiovascular responses in an unpredictable manner. The results illuminate a number of general principles that previously were not apparent and have far reaching implications for both the practice and research of herbal medicine.

Michael trained as a research psychologist before studying herbalism with the Southern Cross Herbal School. He has been a full time practising herbalist since he moved to Sweden in 1986. Together with his wife Anna, he runs a company distributing herbal and nutritional products. Michael is also undertaking a PhD at Westminster University in London. His research measures changes in the autonomic and cardiovascular systems after the intake of bitter herbs and how these changes are modulated by taste and posture. During the conference he will be presenting some of his research findings.


Phil Rasmussen MPharm


Auckland New Zealand

Dosage in herbal medicine

Ensuring optimal dosage is a critical component of successful herbal treatment, just as it is for drug based medicines. Inadequate dosage is probably a common cause of treatment failure, while excessive dosage increases the likelihood of unwanted effects. Despite these fundamental principles of pharmacology, a wide range of different approaches to herb dosages are adopted by practitioners in clinical practice. This presentation will review the main traditional and modern day approaches to this subject and appraise these as well as discuss possible ways to determine the best dosage to use in various clinical situations.

Phil has a busy clinic in Auckland where he has practiced for 16 years. Before this he worked for more than 10 years as a pharmacist and did research on antidepressant drugs and serotonin. He has lectured at naturopathic and herbal colleges, written extensively on herbal subjects for both practitioner and consumer publications and presented at conferences in New Zealand, Australia and the UK for many years. Phil is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy at the University of Auckland and was Deputy Chair of the Interim Expert Advisory Committee on Complementary and Alternative Medicines established by the Australian and NZ governments as part of plans towards a joint regulatory agency.


Airdre Grant BA DipEd MEd

Lismore NSW

Looking for the water from a deeper well: an investigation into the role of education in natural medicine

The philosophical foundations of natural medicine state that holistic practice looks at all aspects of health and that true wellbeing is an integrated balance between mind, body and spirit. Scrutiny of the literature on holistic medicine states repeatedly that this balance is central to practice and that spirituality is a key component of health. This research investigates whether current education and training practice is reflective of this philosophical commitment.

These philosophical underpinnings of natural medicine are the signature of the profession; they are the identifiers that differentiate it from green allopathy, they define practice and signal the authenticity of the natural medicine practitioner. There is a pedagogical need for philosophy to be embedded strongly in natural medicine education to develop core skills and understandings in natural medicine practitioners, however research indicates that philosophy is a marginalised component of many training programs. This presentation argues that there is a powerful need to have strong philosophical foundations in natural medicine, one that gives neophyte practitioners a solid scaffolding in the principles of natural medicine.

This can only serve to strengthen natural medicine as an independent profession in healthcare in Australia.

Airdre is a Doctoral student at Southern Cross University NSW Australia. She was the Director of Studies at Nature Care College in Sydney before commencing her research. She is looking at the role of spirituality and culture in CAM education and practice.


Annette Morgan MSc(SCU)


Lismore NSW

Grey matters: does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older Australians?

Results of a randomised double blind placebo controlled trial assessing the efficacy of Bacopa monnieri in improving memory performance in healthy Australians over the age of 55 years and assessing whether the use of Bacopa is associated with side effects.

Annette lectures in clinical studies at Southern Cross University and holds qualifications in naturopathy and herbal medicine as well as Bachelor of Nursing and Master of Science degrees. She has worked in the naturopathic profession in various contexts for over twenty years; in private naturopathic clinical practice and in naturopathic education. Her MSc thesis, published in 2006, investigated the effects of Bacopa monnieri on memory performance in older persons. She has a particular interest in the application of botanical and nutritional approaches to optimising the integrity and function of the brain and nervous system.


Dawn Whitten BNat(Hons)

Hobart Tasmania

The place of herbal galactogogues in lactation

Human lactation has recently become an area of research focus resulting in major advances in the understanding of the physiology of lactation and key obstacles to normal lactation. Perceived insufficient milk supply is one of the top reasons given by women for premature weaning; many women seek lactation aids, including herbal galactogogues, to address supply issues. The support a woman receives at this time plays a pivotal role in protecting the breastfeeding relationship and the subsequent short and long term health outcomes for mother and child. This presentation will explore the use of herbal galactogogues within the context of current perspectives in the physiology of lactation. Insight into the factors impeding breast milk supply enables effective support, herbal and otherwise, to be tailored to the individual's situation.

Dawn Whitten is currently part of a collective running Goulds Naturopathica, a 128 year old natural medicine dispensary and clinic in Hobart Tasmania. This grassroots practice combines growing premium quality herbs and manufacturing herbal medicines with both over the counter and long consultation clinical practice. Dawn encounters many women seeking herbal support with lactation, which has inspired her to seek further education in this area. She is interested in exploring the potential role of herbalists in supporting and encouraging human lactation.

Derrian Turner AdDipBM DHM

Sydney NSW

Sacred gardens, healing gardens and monastery gardens in England and Australia

Physic gardens have historically been intimately connected to healing, service and holiness. A search has been undertaken to find revived restored monastery gardens, to chart the timelessness of the actual herbs in the spirit of a pilgrimage as well as plant discussion. Sacred healing places in nature, not necessarily attached to buildings, will be shown, their history and current usage explored. Perhaps the best known spiritual place in southern England, Glastonbury, will feature as well as a lovingly recreated healing and herb garden in New South Wales. The intention is to rekindle the strong spiritual connection many have to the earth, from which we may have unintentionally found ourselves adrift.

A love of plants developed in my late 30s so of course I studied herbal medicine as soon as I could. I had been in practice since 1977 and in the early 1990s fell in love again, this time with growing and manufacturing for my own dispensary. For more years than I care to count I have lectured at Nature Care College in herbal medicine, iridology and Bach flower remedies. The context of the current presentatiuon reflects my deepening spiritual journey, my intense connection to my homeland landscape and the growing awareness that healing water has played and continues to play in many cultures across the globe.

Gary Ozarko DNMN ND MD(MA)

Burleigh Waters Queensland

Iridology indicators for herbal treatment of the gastrointestinal system

Iridology is a system used to evaluate underlying health factors and not to produce a medical diagnosis. The underlying health factors found in iridology are indicative of the patient's need for certain actions and the herbs that will produce those actions. Iridology indicators for herbal treatment of the gastrointestinal system reveal the iris signs for the use of bitters, carminatives, demulcents, immune modulators, laxatives, restoratives and spasmolytics in the treatment of the GIT.

Born in Canada, Gary moved to Australia where he earned his herbal qualifications (DNMN) through Fred Steed during 1977 and entered the NHAA as a full member in 1978. During 1980 Gary earned naturopathic qualifications (ND) through the Anglo-American Institute of Drugless Therapy. In the early 1990s Gary was bestowed with an MD doctorate (honoris causa) in natural therapies, MD(MA) from the Open International University for Complementary Medicine (WHO recognised) for his work in iridology. Gary currently works on the Gold Coast offering both a mobile service and in clinic consultations.


Hans Wohlmuth PhD BSc

Lismore NSW

Current quality issues in herbal medicine

The clinical efficacy and safety of herbal medicines depends on their quality. The raw materials from which they are derived--the herbs--are inherently variable and chemically complex and can be subject to substitution as well as contamination with a range of undesirable and hazardous substances. Differences in extraction and manufacturing techniques introduce additional levels of complexity. As a result the quality control and assurance of herbal medicines can be highly challenging.

This presentation will examine some of the current quality issues in herbal medicine. Topics to be discussed include authentication, substitution and adulteration of raw materials (how confident are you that the herbal medicine contains what the label says?), the widely used but poorly understood herb to extract ratio (and just how meaningful is it anyway?), and a critical appraisal of the use of different extraction solvents in the manufacture of herbal medicines (what every practitioner should understand about alcoholic and non alcoholic herbal extracts). The presentation will be illustrated with examples and original data drawn from the extensive work in this field conducted at Southern Cross University.

Dr Hans Wohlmuth has been involved in herbal medicine for more than 20 years. He works at Southern Cross University where he is a pharmacognocist with the Centre for Phytochemistry and Pharmacology and a senior lecturer in the School of Health and Human Sciences where he teaches herbal medicine and evidence based complementary medicine at undergraduate and postgraduate level. He is the Curator of the University's Medicinal Plant Herbarium and a member of the Complementary Medicines Evaluation Committee. Hans is an active researcher and has given numerous conference presentations in Australia and overseas.

Hans Wohlmuth PhD BSc (presenting author)

Lismore NSW

Matthew J Leach PhD BN(Hons) RN ND

DipClinNutr (co-author)

University of South Australia

Evidence based (practice in) herbal medicine

Evidence based medicine (EBM) has been the catchphrase of mainstream medicine over the past decade, and the concept of evidence based practice (EBP) has followed for the allied health disciplines. In essence EBM and EBP are about basing clinical decisions on the best available evidence. This is often misinterpreted to mean that only clinical practice based on randomised controlled trials or systematic reviews of such trials can be evidence based. It is also a common misconception that complementary medicine, including herbal medicine, cannot be evidence based.

This presentation will explore the notion of evidence based herbal medicine. In doing so it will consider the far more nuanced definition of EBM that was put forward by the originators of the concept and examine the practice of herbal medicine within an expanded hierarchy of evidence framework. It will argue that evidence based medicine and practice are not exclusive domains of the mainstream, but rather universal concepts that could and should be embraced by all health care workers and practitioners.

Dr Matthew Leach is a research fellow within the health economics and policy research group at the University of South Australia and previously a registered nurse, naturopath and lecturer in naturopathy and health sciences. In 2005 Matthew completed a PhD that examined the clinical effects of horsechestnut seed extract in the management of venous leg ulceration. His research aims to improve the evidence base and quality of complementary and alternative medicine as evidenced by the papers and book chapters he has published in these areas and the many forums, seminars and international conferences at which he has presented.


Jerome Sarris PhD


AdvDip(Nat) AdvDip(Acu)

Melbourne Victoria

Insomnia and complementary medicine: are you asleep yet?

Sleep disorders present a significant socioeconomic burden with chronic insomnia often being challenging for clinicians to treat effectively. This presentation details current evidence of herbal and complementary medicines for the treatment of insomnia. The material outlined is based on a systematic database review which was conducted in late 2009 on a wide range of complementary medicine clinical trials in the treatment of sleep disorders. Specifically the review explores the evidence base of these therapies (quality of studies and efficacy of interventions). An integrative approach to the treatment of insomnia patterns is also outlined. This clinical model involves the integrative application of herbal medicines and nutriceuticals, dietary and lifestyle modification, sleep hygiene techniques and psychological interventions to achieve somnolence.

Dr Jerome Sarris is an NHMRC Clinical Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne Department of Psychiatry, and Swinburne University Brain Sciences Institute. Jerome researches, lectures and publishes in the area of CAM and Integrative Psychiatry. He is the co-editor of Clinical Naturopathy (Elsevier) to be published March 2010.


Jon Wardle BHSc(Nat)


Brisbane Queensland

The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for Health Professions: what would inclusion mean for Western herbal medicine and naturopathy?

The Victorian Department of Human Services review released in 2006 that strongly urged registration of Western herbalists and naturopaths is well known within the industry. However it is less known that similar support for registration has been officially noted by various reports of the governments of the Commonwealth and other states. Should Western herbalists and naturopaths become statutorily regulated, it is likely to be enacted through the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for Health Professions (NRAS). Whilst only current nationally registered or partially registered professions (including the complementary medicine professions Chinese medicine, osteopathy and chiropractic) have been included, there is scope to extend this to currently unregistered professions. There are many grassroots practitioner concerns about the potential impact that occupational regulation would have on the professions of Western herbal medicine and naturopathy --some valid and some exaggerated. The clear guidelines within the legislation provide policies and procedures that deal with many of these issues. This presentation will discuss the details of this legislation, the effects it would have and how it would relate directly to herbal medicine and naturopathic practice. The myths surrounding the legislation and possible frameworks it allows will also be discussed.

Jon is a naturopath practising in Brisbane and an NHMRC Research Scholar at the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland. He also holds a visiting appointment at the School of Medicine, University of Washington. Jon is Director of the Network of Researchers in the Public Health of Complementary and Alternative Medicine's (NORPHCAM) Research Capacity Stream. He holds editorial positions on a number of journals including the International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, and is co-editor of the text Clinical Naturopathy: an Evidence Based Guide to Practice published by Elsevier. His research interests include complementary medicine policy and integration.


Karen Bridgman PhD

MSc(Hons) MEd MAppSci (Social Ecology) ND DBM

Sydney NSW

Monitoring cancer patients effectively from a complementary medicine perspective

Modern medicine is efficient at diagnosing and treating life threatening diseases such as cancer however at an individual (patient-practitioner) level its success in improving the person's health is minimal. For complementary medicine practitioners such as herbalists, improving health is an area of expertise. The effectiveness of these practitioners is dependent on how accurately they can measure the functional parameters of health so they can, with the use of herbs and nutritional substances, assist the patient in regaining their health. Methods of measuring functional health parameters must be easy to access, relatively non invasive and provide the information required for the practitioner to be able not only to determine the most appropriate intervention necessary, but also to monitor the health of the patient and the effectiveness of these interventions. Tests need to be supplemented by medical testing that measures the disease process as this combination allows the practitioner to fully evaluate the progress of the patient. Case studies will demonstrate how effective these tests have been for a Sydney practitioner dealing with cancer patients.

Dr Karen Bridgman has been renowned in the field of complementary medicine for the last 25 years working clinically as a naturopath for the last 20 years. She lectures at the University of Sydney in the Masters of Herbal Medicine and has written a herbal medicine course for GPs and medical students. She has lectured in nutrition at the University of Western Sydney. She was Vice President of the Natural Health Care Alliance and was on the Health Claims and Consumer Protection Advisory Committee for the NSW Department of Health. She regularly writes for magazines and is currently co-authoring a nutrition textbook. Karen is the managing director of a small business selling Australian grown organic dried medicinal herbs.


Karen McElroy BHSc(Nat) BA

Noosaville Queensland

Herbal medicine practice in a post peak oil world

This session will examine the possible ways that the convergence of the environmental issues of peak oil and climate change might affect the practice of herbal medicine in the future. Do we know the true costs and impact to the environment of our profession? How dependent are we on a cheap supply of oil and a stable climate? Various scenarios will be suggested for how the world might change in the coming decades and will raise the question of how we will cope as a profession.

Karen McElroy is a naturopath and herbalist with over 10 years clinical experience specialising in women and children's health. She has previously written university curricula on reproductive health, lectured in nutrition at RMIT and ran workshops at the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne on menopause. After running a busy practice for over eight years in Melbourne, Karen moved to the Noosa hinterland where she consults from a multidisciplinary clinic and writes a popular health column for the local newspaper. She is actively involved with permaculture and sustainability and when she is not in clinic she is busy growing food and herbs.

Kathy Harris MHSc (HMed) BEd ND AdvDipHom

Sydney NSW

Autoimmunity and the thyroid

We as herbalists have so much to offer people whose lives are touched by autoimmune disease--those people who wish to avoid surgical intervention and/or a lifetime of taking drugs. This presentation will review the fundamentals of the development of autoimmunity: why does the immune system turn on itself? By understanding why, we can confidently support our patients in ways that make a lot of sense to them and motivate them to be compliant in the long term in order to heal themselves rather than allow the disease to take over. Some interesting cases of thyroid autoimmune disease will be discussed to illustrate how herbal medicine, supplements and dietary modifications can change the progress of the disease. Wherever possible the evidence for treatment will be included.

In 1995 Kathy established her naturopathic and homeopathic clinic in Sydney. As a result of initially specialising in women's hormonal health, treating fertility and perimenopausal difficulties, Kathy now has lots of families under her care. This has led to many patients with autoimmune disorders and cancer seeking her help. She has found that herbal medicine can give such patients unique support. Kathy lectures final year naturopathy students at Nature Care College and the University of Western Sydney and is one of the team of clinical supervisors at the UWS Uniclinic.


Kerry Bone BSc(Hons) DipPhyto

Warwick Queensland

Gotu kola: the herbal healer

Herbalists and natural therapists place a great emphasis on assisting the body to heal itself. But when we examine our materia medica and exclude topical application, there is a notable scarcity of herbs that are documented to promote tissue healing. One herb stands out: the humble weed gotu kola (Centella asiatica). In this presentation the traditional understanding of gotu kola will be reviewed, together with the clinical and experimental evidence of its impact on the healing process and connective tissue regeneration. Exactly where gotu kola fits in a healing prescription will be fully described. In recent times the role of gotu kola in promoting venous health and microcirculation integrity has been supported by good quality clinical trials. But it will be demonstrated that these new uses are entirely consistent with its impact on connective tissue regeneration. In closing, a broader role for gotu kola in a variety of modern health challenges will be explored.

Associate Professor Kerry Bone as the co-founder and Director of Research and Development, is the innovation driver at MediHerb. He was an experienced research and industrial chemist before studying herbal medicine full time in the UK where he graduated from the College of Phytotherapy in 1983. He is a practising herbalist (25 years experience) and still maintains a busy practice in Toowoomba. Kerry is a prolific author with six published herbal medicine texts with total sales worldwide of around 70,000 copies. His latest book, co-written with Rob Santich, is Healthy Children: Optimising Children's Health with Herbs. Kerry has published 30 scientific papers in the field of herbal research. Kerry has been a full member of the NHAA since 1985 and a Fellow since 1996.


Leah Hechtman

MSciMed(RHHG) BHSc(Nat) ND

Sydney NSW

Delayed conception: supporting mature women concurrently through ART

With women delaying conceptions until later in life, we are clinically presented with a challenge--how to support a woman older than 40 when her anti Mullerian hormone (AMH) is dropping and her ovarian reserve falling. Concurrent support with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) is both beneficial and essential for optimal outcome.

Leah has qualifications in reproduction, endocrinology, infertility and genetics, naturopathy, Western herbal medicine, clinical nutrition and environmental medicine. Her primary passion is her clinical practice where she is regularly inspired and humbled by her patients. She is Vice President of the NHAA, lecturer at University of Western Sydney to both the undergraduate and postgraduate naturopathy students, is authoring a clinical naturopathic text due to be published by Elsevier, regularly contributes to texts and journals within professional publications, presents at conferences and seminars throughout the country and has a regular weekly column in a Sunday paper. She is a regular media spokesperson for the industry and stays grounded by maintaining her own further studies.


Lesley Braun PhD

BPharm DipAppSci(Nat)


Melbourne Victoria

Herb, nutrient and drug interactions in cancer and cancer therapy 2010

It is well established that people with cancer use a wide variety of complementary medicines (CM) and therapies. Whilst some CM treatments are used in the hope of improving cure rates, often they are used as supportive measures. This may be to provide symptom relief, reduce drug toxicities or generally improve wellbeing. Much research has been published in the last decade about the potential interactions between complementary medicines and treatments used in oncology. Some of the information is derived from test tube and animal studies, but increasingly clinical trials are being performed. There have also been multiple systematic reviews published which tend to be confusing and provide limited guidance to patients and their practitioners. This talk will explore some of the issues relating to interactions in oncology. It will provide examples of potentially harmful interactions and other interactions which may potentially improve patient outcomes. The strengths and limitations of the evidence will be discussed and some key issues to consider when advising people with cancer.

Dr Lesley Braun is a graduate of the Victorian College of Pharmacy, Southern School of Natural Therapies and RMIT in Melbourne. She has training in pharmacy, naturopathy, clinical nutrition and herbal medicine. Lesley currently works as a research fellow within the Department of Surgery, Monash University (Cardiothoracic Research Unit, Alfred Hospital), research pharmacist at the Alfred Hospital and lectures and tutors medical students at Monash University and chiropractic students at RMIT. She is a regular contributor to pharmacy and complementary medicine journals and is the main author of Herbs and Natural supplements--an evidence based guide. She is Vice President of the NHAA, a member of the Complementary Medicine Evaluation Committee (CMEC) and an advisory board member to the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA).

Lesley Braun PhD BPharm DipAppSci(Nat)


Melbourne Victoria

A look at 3 major integrative medicine centres in the US

In 1999 the Consortium of Academic Health Centres for Integrative Medicine was established in the United States and now boasts approximately 44 academic centres including Yale, Duke and Johns Hopkins Universities, Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic. In October 2009, Professor Frank Rosenfeldt from the Cardiothoracic Surgical research Unit at the Alfred Hospital and I went on a study tour of three different Integrative Medicine Centres which are leaders in the field to learn more about how they were established, what research is being conducted and the complementary medicine services being offered to patients in hospital and outpatients. This lecture provides an overview of the study tour and presents food for thought about where Australia could be heading and the role of complementary medicine practitioners within the different integrative models that are emerging.


Linda Bates BA DipHerbMed

CertNutrChem CertIridol


Sydney NSW

Inflammation, immunity and autoimmunity: a four year case study of psoriatic arthritis

This patient's history of regular and severe infection through her life, beginning at the age of 12 with scarlet fever, make this an extreme case of an immune system in persistent overdrive and overwhelm at the same time. Her insistence on withdrawing from the pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory pain killers, the prednisone and the methotrexate allowed the symptomatology to emerge clearly. Her willingness to work with me fortnightly for the first 2 years of treatment allowed me to collect important and useful detail. Responses to meditation retreats, dietary changes, herbs for anti-candida treatment, herbal medicines for anti-inflammatory pain relief and physiological repair, herbal tinctures in oils used as applications to wrap inflamed joints, supplements of vitamins and minerals, flower essence therapies and exercise, were reported.

The result of four years of working together is that knee replacement surgery has been avoided. The client has changed from a person unable to work for a living to a person who works full time teaching art to HSC students. Only natural plant medicines and nutritional supplements are used for continued repair and maintenance with the occasional course of pharmaceutical medication as an experiment for improving the psoriasis.

Linda studied with both Denis Stewart and with Dorothy Hall then began clinical practice in Balmain in 1984. Linda moved to the Blue Mountains in 1993 and began growing herbs and wildcrafting to manufacture much of her dispensary from fresh plants. In 2002 Linda began teaching herbal medicine and manufacturing at colleges in Sydney and Coffs Harbour. Now in Sydney Linda teaches privately only. With a busy practice in Bondi Junction she has 2 apprentices who are qualified naturopaths and teaches clinical practice to groups of final year students; how to manufacture traditional fresh plant tinctures, healing creams and oil blends to small groups; mentors new practitioners and teaches short courses on traditional herbal medicine and philosophy to post graduates.

Linda Bates BA DipHerbMed CertNutrChem

CertIridol DipEastMedPhilosophy

Sydney NSW

Helen Stevenson BSc(Hons) ND(Adv) DBM DipNutr

Adelaide SA

Medicinal foods

A demonstration of manufacturing techniques including vinegar tinctures, medicinal strength salad dressings, oxymels, herbal sauces and how to remove alcohol from a patient's mix making them safer and delicious.

Helen Stevenson has a background in Biochemistry, Intellectual Property and Peace and Environment activism. She studied herbal medicine and naturopathy at Nature Care College 15 years ago and has been in clinical practice and teaching since. Her experience as a grass roots peace and environment activist, and her subsequent practice in a women's health centre (working with socially and economically disadvantaged women), followed by her current work with drug and alcohol rehabilitation has led her to finding ways of administering herbal medicines that are inexpensive and readily accepted. She now prepares a range of medicinal foods for her clients, and teaches them how to manufacture their own.


Nadine Campbell BSc

BAppSc(Nat) Post Grad Dip Nat


Corrimal NSW

Chlamydia and tubal subfertility: Australia's fertility at risk

Pelvic infection is a major cause of tubal subfertility. Infective tubal damage can be caused by Chlamydia trachomatis which accounts for around half of the cases of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in developed countries. It is the most common sexually transmitted agent in Australia. In 2001 there were 11 859 notifications of Chlamydia for young people aged 12-24 years, representing 59% of all notifications for Chlamydia. Of these, 69% were for females. This indicates risks for the future fertility of young women in Australia as both symptomatic and asymptomatic Chlamydial infections can damage the reproductive tract. In women it can cause urethritis, cervicitis, endometritis and salpingitis eventually leading to peritubal adhesions that can result in subfertility or ectopic pregnancy. Topics that will be covered include recent research regarding the pathophysiology of tubal damage by Chlamydia; are genetic polymorphisms and host genetic traits related to tubal pathology in infertile women; tests to assess fallopian tube patency; the advantages of hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography; Chlamydia and IVF; research to indicate herbal medicine use for Chlamydial infections.

Nadine Campbell is a naturopath and herbalist who runs Asha Holistic Health in Wollongong and Sydney. Nadine also practices at the community based non profit Illawarra Women's Health Centre. She holds a degree in Biomedical Science from the University of Wollongong and graduated with Distinction from the University Western Sydney (UWS) with both a Degree in Naturopathy and a Postgraduate Diploma in Naturopathy, as well as being awarded the UWS Deans Medal for outstanding academic performance. She is currently studying her Masters Degree in Reproductive Medicine at University of New South Wales and is particularly passionate about women's health and fertility issues.


Ondine Spitzer MSocHealth

BHSc(Nat) DAppSci(Nat)

Melbourne Victoria

Risk and uncertainty: what constitutes evidence in complementary medicine?

Health practitioners of all persuasions are encouraged to achieve best practice through the use of evidence based medicine. What this actually means depends on the particular paradigm (biomedicine or naturopathy for instance) and to some extent individual interpretation. There are different ways of understanding evidence in the health domain--observational information, historical knowledge, patient feedback, animal studies, clinical trials, etc. This presentation will explore how evidence may or may not ensure certainty of outcome, particularly in relation to the practice of complementary medicine. What the practitioner is left to grapple with is the risk of ineffective or unsafe treatment which may lead to adverse outcomes. How do we manage these risks and uncertainty?

Ondine has 12 years' clinical experience as a herbalist and naturopath and has also lectured and supervised naturopathy students for over a decade. She is a past President of the Victorian Herbalists Association and has presented at numerous conferences in Australia and overseas. Since gaining her Masters degree in 2005 Ondine has turned her focus to research and writing in the area of complementary medicine generally and herbal medicine in particular. She is currently working on some health research projects at the University of Melbourne and the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.


Ron Guba DPhyto

Melbourne Victoria

Aromatic medicine for ENT complaints

In the realm of herbal medicine, essential oils present a wide range of possible benefits in dealing with common respiratory complaints. This presentation will review the therapeutic properties of essential oils, potent antibacterial and antiviral remedies, expectorant, mucolytic, antitussive, anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating. Common respiratory complaints including bronchitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis and viral respiratory infections will be considered. There will be discussion and demonstration of treatments using essential oil based formulations for topical, inhalation and ingestive use for both adults and children. Discussion of how essential oil treatments are used in complement with other herbal and naturopathic treatments. Some relevant case histories will be presented.

Ron has specialised in the area of aromatic medicine (or the therapeutic uses of essential oils in the context of herbal medicine) since the early 1980s. Emigrating to Australia in 1986 Ron studied and worked with the renowned French Aromatherapy physician, Dr Daniel Penoel who lived in Australia until 1988. Completing his diploma in Phytoaromatherapie in 1988 in France, Ron began Essential Therapeutics, a company devoted to providing therapeutic grade essential oils to health practitioners and the Centre for Aromatic Medicine to provide training in the practice of aromatic medicine. Ron was a founding member and past chairman of the International Federation of Aromatherapists (Australia) and a founding member and present chairman of the Australian Aromatic Medicine Association. Ron continues to research and lecture extensively on aromatic medicine topics throughout Australia and overseas.


Sandra Villella DAppSci(Nat)


Melbourne Victoria

Postmenopausal women: the 'new' cardiovascular patient

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has until recently been regarded as a disease mainly effecting men. With 50% of deaths in women being the result of CVD and with the incidence of CVD dramatically increasing in the postmenopausal years, the postmenopausal woman has become the new cardiovascular patient. This cohort of women typically regard their risk of CVD as low, are slower to seek a medical review, tend to present 10 years postmenopausally and have a greater likelihood of delayed or incorrect diagnosis. CVD is usually quite advanced by the time symptoms appear and should a woman suffer an acute myocardial infarction, she is less likely to survive. Women in their midlife years are the mostly likely patient to seek complementary therapies. As primary health care clinicians we need to recognise the importance of assessing these women for their CVD risks and discuss management and reduction of these risk factors. With the adverse effects of commonly prescribed medical preventative treatments being demonstrated, the evidence for safe and reliable herbal and dietary alternatives will be explored. Case studies examining the effect of a specific herbal combination on hypertension in perimenopausal women over a twelve month period will be presented.

Sandra Villella has been a practising naturopath and herbalist for over sixteen years and completed postgraduate studies in acupuncture with a Masters Of Applied Science Acupuncture. She works predominately in women's health and specialises in the management of perimenopausal health complaints. Through her work with the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health, Sandra is constantly exposed to up to date research and trends with regards to perimenopausal women's health. She is also involved with compiling information and education material on complementary therapies for the Foundation. She regularly conducts seminars and education sessions, particularly on mid life health for women in the general public and for health professionals in Australia and New Zealand.


Stuart Glastonbury MBBS

Bsc(Med) DWHM

Toowoomba Queensland

Pre malignant and malignant skin pathology: differential diagnosis and management

The incidence of premalignant/ malignant skin pathology is rapidly increasing with the incidence of malignant melanoma reaching as high as 1:30 in some areas of Australia. With the increasing role of CM practitioners as primary health care providers it is vitally important that practitioners are encouraged and educated to detect suspicious lesions, know when to refer and have some naturopathic protocols for the management of patients diagnosed with premalignant/malignant skin pathology. This presentation will cover a pictorial journey through premalignant/ malignant skin lesions, pathophysiology, associated risk factors and essentials for clinical diagnosis. This will be followed by a discussion of the naturopathic management of these lesions with a strong emphasis on general prevention of recurrence. Naturopathic areas will include the herbal management following diagnosis with a targeting of the immune system towards cellular immunity and micronutrient deficiencies that may be associated with increased risk of recurrence. General topical herbal treatments for premalignant lesions will also be covered as well as up to date principles and NHMRC guidelines with regards to continuing monitoring. Conference participants will be offered a suggested algorithm to guide their management and treatment of premalignant and malignant skin pathologies.

Dr Stuart Glastonbury has a Diploma of Western herbal medicine, a Bachelor of medical science degree (majors in immunology and biochemistry) and a degree in medicine (UQ). Stuart has lectured and written course material for numerous CM colleges in Australia and has practiced herbal medicine for the last 6 yrs. Stuart currently works as a medical doctor at Toowoomba Base Hospital and is currently an examiner on the NHAA board, a position he has held for the last 5 years. Stuart's passion is integrative medicine and he plans to open an integrative medicine clinic on completion of general practice post graduate training.


Sue Evans PhD

Lismore NSW

Integrative medicine: is co-operation without co-option possible?

The concept of integrative healthcare is promoted within Australia and elsewhere as an ideal which will allow patients easy access to both biomedical and natural medicine. In particular the United Nations Beijing Declaration on Traditional Medicine (2008), to which Australia is a signatory, recommends the integration of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) into national health systems. In this context there is discussion of the need for TCAM practitioners to demonstrate their evidence base but little consideration has been given regarding how and whether philosophical differences between the differing systems can, or should, be maintained. While Australian herbalists indicate their desire to interact within the mainstream health system they also wish to maintain essential characteristics of their practice. In this presentation advantages and pitfalls inherent in the coming together of differing medical systems will be discussed using international examples. Suggestions will be made regarding ways in which to facilitate co-operation within a context of respect for difference.

Sue Evans has been a herbalist for more than 25 years. After qualifying with the NIMH in the UK in the early 1980s, she returned home to Melbourne to practice and teach herbal medicine. Since 1996 she has been part of the team which brought herbal medicine and naturopathy to Southern Cross University in Lismore NSW. She has recently completed her PhD which is a study of the views and attitudes of Australian herbalists and the documentation of their professional history over the last 150 years.

Sue Evans PhD

Lismore NSW

John Baxter BHSc ND DBM

Sydney NSW

Snapshot of concerns of the profession 2009

A report on the major themes arising from the discussions which occurred during the 2009 seminar series around Australia.

John Baxter holds a Bachelor of Health Science in complementary medicine with other qualifications and practises as a herbalist and naturopath in Sydney. He is the current president of the NHAA.


Susan Dean MHSc(HerbMed)


Ballarat Victoria

Is St Mary's thistle (Silybum marianum) effective and safe to use during chemotherapy treatment for cancer?

This review evaluates the effectiveness and safety of St Mary's thistle for use during chemotherapy in cancer treatment. Its effectiveness in protecting the liver and other tissues during chemotherapy, its ability to prevent long term problems resulting from chemotherapy, its potentiating effects on chemotherapy agents and its ability to prevent recurrence of cancer look promising but require further clinical research. The possibility of St Mary's thistle interacting with chemotherapy drugs to cause under treatment or unexpected toxicity is a valid concern but may be influenced by dose. Its potential ability to stimulate tumour growth is theoretical and requires further investigation. On the evidence available St Mary's thistle when used without phosphatidylcholine at the recommended dose of 200 to 600 mg standardised to 70% to 80% silymarin should be effective and safe to prescribe to people undergoing chemotherapy. It may be most effective in preventing acute and chronic liver and other tissue damage when prescribed at the time or shortly after chemotherapy exposure. The use of high dose silibinin combined with phosphatidylcholine should not be used during chemotherapy to prevent therapeutic outcomes being compromised. Careful monitoring of patients using St Mary's thistle while undergoing chemotherapy is strongly recommended.

Susan joined the NHAA Board of Directors in October 1999 and was the NHAA President from 2001-2005. She represented the NHAA on the industry reference group advising on the development of a training package for Western herbal medicine. She was a member of La Trobe University's research group considering the risks, benefits and regulatory requirements for Western herbal medicine and naturopathy. Susan is in private practice in Ballarat Victoria.


Vivienne Hansen Cert IV

Bush & WHM

Perth WA

Our journey: traditional Aboriginal bush medicine to Western herbal medicine

I am a Noongar woman from Western Australia and my family are from the Balladong and Wadjuk people. I was raised by my grandparents and after the death of my grandmother by my aunt and uncle. These family members and older uncles, aunts and cousins raised me to have a strong sense of respect, appreciation and knowledge of Noongar identity, culture and language. My childhood was spent in the Brookton Beverley and surrounding regions of the south west of Western Australia. Like all my relatives this close connection to country allowed me to explore the local bushlands and develop a deep understanding and knowledge of traditional bush medicinal and remedial properties and practices. In 2008 I undertook formal training at the Marr Moorditj Foundation and completed Cert IV in Bush and Western Herbal Medicine. I attribute my passion and knowledge of bush medicine to my grandfather, granduncles and aunties early in life and the ongoing support of my husband and family.

Sharing my cultural knowledge is an important aspect of my life and I really enjoy having the opportunities to pass the knowledge on to my family and the wider community as well as watching the benefits and wellbeing experienced by the people around me.

I am very proud to be the first Indigenous member of the National Herbalist Association of Australia and a proud recipient of the 2005 Premiers Australia Day Active Citizenship Award for the City of Armadale in Western Australia.


Wojciech (Voytek)

Kielczynski MD PhD

Melbourne Victoria

Herbs that influence our genes: emergence of phytogenomics

Genes are acquired at conception and carried to the grave. Some genes can be expressed differently in different people or at different times during an individual's life. The differences are the result of epigenetic markers (e.g. methyl, acetyl groups) which hold the key to understanding and preventing a number of diseases. Genome is all of the genetic material contained in an organism or a cell, which includes both the chromosomes within the nucleus and the nucleic acids in mitochondria. Recent technical advances allow study of genome in its entirety called genomics. Similarly nutrigenomics deals with genome wide influences by nutrition (Of Broccoli and Man) and phytogenomics studies genome wide influences of medicinal plants.

The application of genomics has already revealed that gene expression profiles induced by a single drug/single plant component, and induced by the combination of drugs/whole plant extract could be entirely different. This makes the information of the mode of action of isolated 'active principle' questionable (surprise, surprise!). The application of the '-omic' technologies will open the new understanding of herbal medicines. Herbalists have the potential to harness this information and influence disease prevention and treatment. Examples and application of common herbs that influence human genome are presented.

Dr Voytek Kielczynski has been a practising herbalist for more than 30 years including 25 years in Australia. Experienced in orthodox medicine (MD), medical research (PhD), herbal and medical education (SSNT, ACoHM) and regulatory affairs (TGA), he practices exclusively herbalism/phytotherapy as a primary treatment or as support for other forms of therapy. He travels widely, especially to Polar Regions and the Mediterranean, for plant collecting and lecturing. He also produces, for his patients, increasing amounts of his own herbal extracts not otherwise available. Voytek is a long standing member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (UK) and National Herbalists Association of Australia.
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Publication:Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Dec 22, 2009
Previous Article:Letters.
Next Article:Toxicology: Piper methysticum, kava kava.

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