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Herbal Healing With Ciara O'Meara

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Feeling tired, sluggish, and in need of any energy boost? Don't worry, our herbalist Ciara O'Meara has just the remedy for you.

Ciara O'Meara - Medical Herbalist
I have a long standing interest in natural medicine. From a young age I found myself allergic to antibiotics, this prompted a proactive approach to preventative medicine, ensuring that through diet and exercise I was always doing my best to stay healthy.

I completed an honours Science degree in University College Dublin in 1997 followed by an MSc in Medical Genetics at Aberdeen University. I then spent a number of years working in the field of academic research in areas such as The Human Genome Project at Oxford University, UK, and on Cancer research at Cancer Research UK. It was during this time that I took up a yoga practice and further cultivated an interest in holistic medicine.

First hand experience of successfully using herbal medicine prompted me to pursue an interest in the subject. I soon realised that this interest was part of a much broader, richer and complex area of natural medicine which required dedicated study to appreciate both its subtleties and power. To deepen my knowledge on the subject and acquire the ability to confidently use it as a health professional I completed a four year degree at Westminster University in London.

This University is a long established centre for excellence in the training of medical herbalists. Its facilities encompass a central London clinic for herbal medicine where members of the public can avail of treatment. This is where I completed 500 hours of clinical training as part of my degree, treating members of the public from young to old with a range of illnesses. This was an integral part of the educational programme, in the interests of maintaining a high level of safe practice. This training included differential diagnosis of illness up to a high standard of training clinically on par with that of a GP

Today we are looking at Energy Boosting Herbs:


Beta vulgaris
Beetroot juice is jam packed with multi vitamins and minerals. Recent research has found it to be of substantial benefit in reducing blood pressure. Beetroot is a superb blood cleanser; it also contains numerous minerals including selenium and vitamins A, C, E and flavonoids. It is primarily full of antioxidants, which mop up damaging toxins throughout the body. Beetroot also helps the body to break down fats. (May produce red/pink urine and stool this is natural and nothing to worry about!).
Betaine one of the active ingredients in beetroot can help the body regenerate an important cellular antioxidant enzyme called methionine reductase which is used by the body to prevent a build-up of homocystine a biochemical which has been associated with many chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease among others.
Beetroot juice can be bought bottled at your local health food store or juiced from raw, or eaten cooked, although many of the vitamins are lost in the cooking process.


Cyanara scolymus
Artichoke is a great detoxicant via the digestive system, especially useful after the indulgence of the festive season. It has been found to help lower cholesterol; it is considered a liver remedy by boosting the power of the liver the entire system is energised.
Its main action is stimulating the secretion of bile the body's natural laxative; in this regard it can be useful where digestive troubles can be accompanied by feelings of fullness or nausea which can sometimes be related to poor liver function.
Artichoke juice can be purchased in your local health food store, directions as per product.

Elleutherococcus senticosus
Siberian ginseng is less stimulating than Panax ginseng and should not be confused with it!
It is a much used herb in the treatment of stress and fatigue. It can improve mental and physical stamina. It is known as an adaptogen this means it raises the body's ability to deal with stresses.
Caution should be exercised in patients with a history of heart complications speak to your local medical herbalist. At normal dosage Siberian ginseng is a very safe herb.
It can be taken as a tincture or capsule.


Zingiber officinalis
Ginger is a wonderful way of boosting digestion and circulation livening up the entire body in these cold winter days. To make your very own syrup follow these instructions:
All these measurements can be adjusted to taste the most important factor is that the sugar to liquid volume is 2:1.For example if you have 500mls of liquid add 1 kilo of sugar.
-Take xg of fresh chopped ginger root available at your local supermarket or veg shop.
-Bring to the boil in a saucepan of x ml of water, allow simmer for about 15-20 mins. Strain.
- Add x g of sugar stir in until dissolved, allow to cool and bottle straight away in a glass bottle with an airtight lid.
Directions take a teaspoon each morning or a teaspoon before or with each meal for weak digestion.
You can add other warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or star anise at the boiling stage to add even more flavour.


Bee Pollen
This is an excellent nutritive and tonic supplement and is considered a super food. Pollen contains 21of the 23 known amino acids, many of the B vitamins, Vitamin A and numerous minerals.

It also contains powerful anti-oxidants, which are said to help with stress induced premature aging. It is useful for building up the immune system and helping the body to cope with the added demand for nutrients during the cold winter months.
Bee pollen is widely available in health stores; it can be taken sprinkled on cereals in smoothies or juices.

For more information on Ciara please visit

Her Clinic location:
The Herbal Clinic
Suir View
Cathedral Street
Co .Tipperary

For More Information On Herbalists
Visit the Irish institute of medical herbalists -