My approach involves using a combination of modern science and traditional knowledge to keep up to date with scientific research and new paradigms of understanding the body, medicines, herbs and health to inform and direct my work with patients. Alongside this, I also research anthropological and traditional uses of herbs as a way to inform my choice and preparation of herbs (in fact this is also one of my great interests!).
Plant-based medicine is a natural, safe and effective form of medicine. My view is that modern medicine can work hand in hand and there exists a place for both. Modern medicine is truly amazing and saves lives, however there are times when gentler, more restorative preventive medicine may be more appropriate. Herbs have been safely used for thousands of years; this knowledge, with trial and error has been passed down through generations and cross-culturally.
I look at not only your symptoms, but the bigger picture, what you eat, your stress levels, your exercise and movement. In my experience, these factors all combine to produce your overall health and wellbeing. If one area is out of balance this will impact other areas of your health.
My goal is supporting you with targeted and tailored herbal medicines to help support your body back into balance, and to help you to feel you again.
A Bit About Me
I grew up in the Middle East, Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia. The exotic souks which were a melting pot of colours and cultures were where herbs and spices first caught my eye. There, the traditional use of plant medicines is still strong and they are used in food and as medicine on a daily basis. I loved the colours and aromas...
My later interest in medicinal plants stems from working on an Amazonian rainforest reserve in Ecuador after completing a degree in Anthropology and Spanish at Sussex University, Brighton. In Ecuador, I assisted the local Shaman in the propagation of medicinal plants from the rainforest and observed the medicinal qualities of plants used in a community with little access to western drugs. I was so impressed with the therapeutic qualities plants could have that I decided I had to learn more about their diverse properties and how they could be used therapeutically as a natural form of medicine.
Subsequently, I returned to the UK and completed a BSc (Hons) in Herbal Medicine at the University of East London while working as a project coordinator for a young carer's project. The course consists of modules including anatomy and physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology, differential diagnosis and herbal therapeutics. It places emphasis on possible herb/drug interactions and which plant medicines may be used safely with conventional medications.
Focus on Hormonal Health
My initial research dissertation focused on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and I was awarded a first class honours for the research project. I was then asked to publish this as an article in the International Journal of Herbal Medicine by Elsevier.
Sara Rooney, Barbara Pendry
Phytotherapy for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A review of the literature and evaluation of practitioners’ experiences,
Journal of Herbal Medicine, Volume 4, Issue 3, 2014, Pages159-171
After a few years as a medical herbalist, I realised my interest, focus and passion was on women's health and how herbs could be used so effectively to balance hormones and support good health. I felt the orthodox approach didn't
always address many of women's health concerns effectively and that in many cases herbs could provide really effective support.
I have worked on many retreats including developing and running one specifically for women in central Portugal.
A relatively new area of interest is the study of medicinal mushrooms. I am completing a postgraduate training with renowned mycologist Fred Gillam, focusing on using medicinal mushrooms therapeutically.
The synergy of botanical medicine and fungi is a new passion.
I have lived in many countries, including Ecuador, Spain, Portugal... I love travelling and am now based in Chailey near Lewes.