Monday, 8 July 2019

Lampeter Herbs & Folk Festival

This colourful gathering will be the climax of Lampeter’s ‘Summer of Herbs & Folk’ in which the community and the University have come together in a celebration of traditional folk medicine and traditional folk music.

Community events, talks, herb-walks and demonstrations are spread throughout the Summer. The Town Museum offers a display on local herb lore, including recipes and recollections provided by local people. Antique herbals from the original library dating back to the very foundation of the University almost exactly two hundred years ago, are being displayed in our Founders’ Library - with postcards available of some of their most striking and charming botanical illustrations and frontispieces.

The folk music programme, headlined by Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita and the iconic Martin Carthy, will conclude with the Twmpath and folk music concert on the final evening of the conference featuring local singers, musicians, and dancers.

The conference itself is being presented by the University and its Harmony Institute in conjunction with the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, Britain’s oldest professional body of herbal medicine practitioners.

The conference is open to all with a personal or professional interest in herbs, health, and healing. Please come! The more the merrier

The Conference Programme

The conference is composed of three potentially stand-alone days - particularly important if you have to choose particular days to attend.
A detailed, hour-by-hour timetable will be available on this page nearer to the event.

Friday August 16th

Welcome to Lampeter

Friday afternoon and evening, will be for arrivals and welcomes. There will be a Welcome Desk in the Cloisters of our Saint David’s Building and Dinner will be at 6:45pm.
For those travelling to Lampeter via the M4 - or who have time for a pleasant detour - we have arranged a particular welcome at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales for you to visit their Apothecary’s Garden, the Physicians of Myddfai Collection, and the Apothecary’s Hall: a charming re-creation of an Edwardian pharmacy. The Gardens are about ninety minutes from Lampeter. Further suggestions for Friday activities are very welcome.

Saturday, August 17th

‘The Living History of Western Herbalism’

The first big day of the conference will celebrate the living history of western herbalism. Talks will range from herbal medicine in the Anglo-Saxon world, through Galen’s medicine with its humours and temperaments, to the esoteric tradition with its hermeticism, elements, correspondences, and astrological calculations.

The day will end with a challenging presentation by Dr Graeme Tobyn exploring our relationship, as moderns, to these thousands of years of tradition.
Presentations will include:
  • Dylan Warren Davis on ‘Nicholas Culpepper and the Missing Philosophy of Western Herbalism’
  • Steve Taylor on ‘The Galenic Assessment of Constitutions, Humours, and Temperaments’
  • Val Thomas on ‘Anglo-Saxon Remedies and Modern Practice’
  • Professor Nicholas Campion on Medical Astrology
  • Elisabeth Brooke ‘As Above, So Below: The Key to Traditional Herbal Medical Practice’
  • Alison Denham ‘Dr John Skelton (1805-1880): herbal practitioner, author and lecturer in Victorian Britain’
  • Dr Graeme Tobyn  ‘Ancients versus Moderns in Herbal Medicine: Authority, Evidence, and Effectiveness’

Sunday, August 18th

‘Myddfai: The Spiritual Home of Welsh Herbalism’

The second day will be devoted to the Welsh Herbal Tradition. The conference will be taken up into the hills to the little village of Myddfai, the spiritual home of Welsh herbalism.

Myddfai is also the Welsh home of HRH Prince Charles, the Chancellor of our University. It is said that he chose to make his home there attracted by the legends and associations with traditional herbal medicine. The Physicians of Myddfai were renowned in Wales for many centuries, and legend tells of how the first of their family lineage was given a bag containing all the secrets of medicine by a mysterious, faery Lady who appeared out of the primal lake, Llyn y Fan Fach, at the foot of the dramatic Black Mountain. Some of the more adventurous may want to get up extra early and go up to the lake itself - one hour of hearty walking up; 50 minutes down!- whilst most will go directly to the village.

In the new Visitors’ Centre, recently opened by Prince Charles, we shall be welcomed by Dr R. Brinley Jones C.B.E., the Chairman of the Physicians of Myddfai Society and the President of our University. There will be lunch and a chance to explore this beautiful little village with its extraordinary history. We shall then have presentations by the leading authorities on the Myddfai legends, texts, and tradition, and review the ancient remedies and their present day uses. Then back to Lampeter and - appetites honed by our hearty day out - there will be the Conference Dinner in the evening (nothing too formal, but there will be table service and so forth).

Presentations will include:
  • Dr Brinley Jones Welcome and Introduction
  • Dylan Warren Davis on the Lives and Legends of the Physicians of Myddfai
  • Dr Diana Luft on the Medical Texts of the Myddfai Tradition
  • Rosemary Westlake on Myddfai remedies in current practice for respiratory conditions

Monday, August 19th

‘West meets East and the Future of Traditional Herbal Medicine’

The third day will explore the future of Western Herbal Medicine and its relation to the ancient traditions of India and China.

The first morning session will concern the philosophy and principles of Ayurvedic herbalism and the following presentations will take us deep into the world of traditional Chinese herbal medicine.
In the afternoon, with talks, discussion groups, and panels, we will explore the challenges facing all traditional medicine and the future of herbal medicine in the modern world.

The day will end, after dinner, with our traditional ‘Physicians’ Twmpath’: a traditional Welsh Ceilidh and concert featuring local folk musicians and dancers. Should be jolly! For these festivities, we shall be joined by members of the broader community and proceeds from the event will go towards Lampeter’s National Eisteddfod Fund. This will be a fairly casual affair with no regimented seating, compulsory dancing or deafening music - just pleasant entertainment and plenty of space to chat with folks and swap contact details as the conference draws to a close.

Presentations will include:
  • Anne McIntyre on the Principles of Ayurvedic Herbalism
  • Charles Buck ’Chinese Medical Herbalism: Insights into a Great Medical Tradition’
  • Abbot Wang Chengya on Yao Shan (Medicine Diet): the Traditional Daoist Art of adding health-giving herbs to food to promote health and to treat imbalances. The Abbot kindly offers optional workshops on Daoist medicine in the afternoon.
  • Dafydd Monks on ‘Yr hen doctor mynydd’, The old doctor of the mountain: David Thomas Jones, Wales’ forgotten herbalist.
  • A Plenary Session with many of our speakers.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Isle of Arran Intensive

There are a few places available for the Celtic Herbal Medicine Intensive on the Isle of Arran in Scotland August 1st-10th. Act quickly to book a place. For more information see:

Monday, 20 May 2019

David Winston Adaptogens, Dublin Wed 22nd May 2019

As well as teaching at Excelsior in Belfast David will also be teaching in Dublin.

Don't miss out on this amazing talk with USA Guest lecturer David Winston on the 22nd of May in Dublin and learn how adaptogens can be used to support the HPA axis.

Learn how herbs can positively impact strength, stamina and stress relief. David will share his years of experience of using adaptogenic herbs synergistically.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Conference on Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids

I will be part of the panel speaking in London this June on the subject of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. PAs are commonly found in plants, but in some species unsaturated PAs in particular may be toxic once they have begun to be metabolised in the liver. Due to a number of commonly-used herbal medicines also containing forms of PA, there has been a perennial concern about whether such medicines should be discontinued. But upon what evidence is this doubt based? This conference, organised by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, hopes to offer some much-needed clarity on this thorny issue.This is a vitally important area for both practitioners and students to understand, and is a reminder to regulators and the public how seriously herbalists take the safety of their patients.

For non-NIMH members please contact to secure a place

Monday, 11 March 2019

Emails & Appointments

I've been having problems with the main email account
Apologies if you have been trying to get in touch and haven't received a reply.

I am not sure if the account has been hacked but I have my team looking into it. If you receive emails purporting to be from Belfast Herbalist trying to sell you something or open a link, please ignore.

Until this gets sorted please email

There is currently no appointment availability until mid-April but please do get in touch in case of cancellations.


Monday, 18 February 2019

Excelsior David Winston Masterclass in Belfast May 2019

Excelsior Herbal Medicine Presents
A Master Class with David Winston (RH) AHG
Belfast May 25th-26th 2019

Excelsior are delighted to welcome back one of the world’s most renowned herbalists on what might be his last overseas lectures. We are opening this lecture to herbalists, students and other therapists.

David Winston is an Herbalist and Ethnobotanist with 49 years of training in Chinese, Western/Eclectic and Southeastern herbal traditions. He has been in clinical practice for over 40 years and is an herbal consultant to physicians, herbalists and researchers throughout the USA and Canada.

In 2013 David was presented with the Natural Products Association (NPA) Clinician’s Awardand awarded a fellowship by the Irish Register of Herbalists. David is the founder/director of the Herbal Therapeutics Research Library and the dean of David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies, a two-year training program in clinical herbal medicine. He is an internationally known lecturer and frequently teaches at medical schools, symposia and herb conferences. He is the president of Herbalist & Alchemist, Inc. a manufacturer that produces herbal products that blend the art and science of the worlds great herbal traditions.

In addition, David is a founding/professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, he has served four terms on the Board of Directors and he is on the American Botanical Council's Advisory Board. David was a contributing author to American Herbalism, published in 1992 by Crossings Press,and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) , 2000-2013,the author of Saw Palmetto for Men & Women, Storey, 1999 and Herbal Therapeutics, Specific Indications For Herbs & Herbal Formulas, HTRL, 2013 and the co-author of Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief, Healing Arts Press, 2nded., 2019, and Winston and Kuhn’s Herbal Therapy and Supplements; A Scientific and Traditional Approach,Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott, 2008. He is also a member of the AHPA Expert Advisory Council that created the new edition of the Botanical Safety Handbook, CRC Press,published in 2013.

This is a rare and unique opportunity to listen to David’s wealth of practice-based knowledge, that will enhance your understanding as well as your clinical skills. David will cover an array of topics over the weekend including The Synergy of Herbs, Anxiety, Depression and Burn Out and An Introduction to Cancer.

Please be aware we expect this event to sell out quickly and we encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment.To secure your place please contact
We will come back to you with full details closer to the time. Reserve your place today!

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Herb Patch Project 2019

Herb Patch has a new website. The team are getting ready to bring miniture herb gardens to primary schools up and down the country, and are currently looking for volunteers to help expand the project to more schools and help develop an interest in growing and using herbs among children. Visit the website for information packs and further information. Great to see this project taking off again!