Carol Thorogood

Carol Thorogood

Medical Herbalist. Dip H.M. (Heartwood); Bsc (Hons), MNIMH.

Hi! I’m Carol Thorogood, a Medical Herbalist who has a different take on how to be well and stay well than most doctors.

working alongside experienced herbalists and doctors to complete 500 hours of clinical training. I was awarded the Heartwood Diploma in Herbal Medicine with distinction and became a member of the oldest and most prestigious professional Herbalists’ organisation – the National Institute of Medical Herbalists.

If you are looking for a better more natural way to look after your health, you’ve come to the right place! 

My Story

Growing up with my Mum, Dad, and younger brother in a little cottage by the Helford River, I was privileged to have a lot of freedom. Running wild with my friends in the holidays, outside from dawn till dusk, we made campfires on the beach, skimmed stones, searched for crabs and anemones, collected shells, and learned the names of flowers in the hedgerows. Although my dad earned his living as a gardener, ours was totally overgrown with brambles. I had a passion for plants, although my first attempt at growing vegetables (under our big pine tree) came to nothing!

I was a good student, especially keen on sciences but found it hard to choose bet ween a career in horticulture, medicine, nutrition, or Environmental Health. Eventually I headed up to Scotland to study Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Nutritional training in those days was uninspiring and I realised that a career as a hospital dietician was not for me, so I returned to Cornwall. A couple of years later, while working as a Biomedical Scientist, I discovered a book in the library that was to change the course of my life. ‘Of People and Plants’ is the autobiography of Maurice Messegue, a French herbalist. His father trained him to use healing plants in poultices and foot baths. The plants that he used were the same as those that grew wild in the hedgerows I knew, buttercup, hawthorn, dandelion, plantain, and violet. His results were impressive and after some research, I found the National Institute of Herbal Medicine (N.M.I.M.H.) and enrolled on their Medical Herbalist training at the School of Phytotherapy in Tunbridge Wells.

With two small children, a job, a mortgage to pay and (in those days) no online resources, it wasn’t easy to qualify. I eventually graduated with a diploma in Herbal Medicine from the International Register of Consultant Herbalists I completed my clinical training with Medical Herbalist Mary Gardiner in Penzance and set up a practice in my front room. I did a regular phone-in about herbal medicine with BBC Radio Cornwall and as a result, patients came from all over the county. I was then offered an opportunity to study for a BSc in Environmental Health, so I put the herbal practice on hold and took the family to Salford for four years where I gained my degree. Back in Cornwall and qualified as an Environmental Health Officer I specialised in Food Safety, infectious disease and later, in Port Health – looking after the health of seafarers on board the many ships that call at Falmouth.

Meanwhile, the world of herbal medicine was developing at pace. There was growing evidence, not just from traditional knowledge but also from clinical trials, that herbs work at a profound level in the body and are effective for the many chronic conditions that affect us modern humans, including allergies, IBS and IBD, hormonal problems, depression and cognitive decline, joint disorders, skin disease etc.. The emerging science of Functional Medicine was revealing new ways to restore health using nutrition and medicinal plants. I decided to completely refresh my knowledge of medicine and herbs by joining the new Heartwood Professional Herbalist four-year course.

Going back to school was a both a challenge and a joy! I studied anatomy, physiology, pathology, herbal medicine, diagnosis, nutrition, and clinical practice. My tutors included herbalists, G.P.s, Functional Medicine practitioners and research scientists. I travelled the UK and Ireland, working alongside experienced herbalists and doctors to complete 500 hours of clinical training. I was awarded the Heartwood Diploma in Herbal Medicine with distinction and became a member of the oldest and most prestigious professional Herbalists’ organisation – the National Institute of Medical Herbalists.

I set up my practice – Cornwall Herbal Clinic – just as one of my tutors was taking family leave and I was delighted and honoured when she asked me to look after her patients for a few months. 

I now work with my own patients throughout the UK, using medicinal plants and nutrition to help them reverse chronic ill health often caused by modern lifestyles, stress, poor diet and all too often, the overuse of prescription medication. It’s often a case of gently undoing, with herbs, the inflammation and dis-ease that has built up over years, then rebuilding with good nutrition and movement to reach optimum health. While I have great respect for G.P.s and hospital doctors, so many of them are rushed and stressed by the medical system. With a typical G.P appointment lasting just 9.2 minutes, it’s no wonder you don’t get to the root cause of your problem. It’s often a case of “Try this drug and come back to me if you don’t feel better”. No wonder almost half of all adults are regularly taking at least one prescription drug and the in the over 75s, this figure rises to at least five different drugs!

This website is for you and I’m so glad that you’re here!

If you are looking for a better more natural way to look after your health, you’ve come to the right place!