Professional Course

Academic Tutors

Professional Course Module Tutors

Calder Bendle NIMH

Bendle has over 25 years of experience as a Medical Herbalist, and for most of his professional life has worked in an NHS setting alongside conventional medical practitioners. He has been a clinic supervisor and lecturer on the Herbal Medicine BSc course in Lincoln, and was a regular guest lecturer on the degree course at The Scottish School of Herbal Medicine. He also teaches on a number of post-graduate level courses, and has a particular interest in understanding the links between emotional and physical health that play a vitally important role in healing and recovery. He likes to grow and to collect plants to make his own herbal tinctures.

Helen Phillips Dip Phyt, MSc, MNIMH, MCPP 

Helen qualified as a Medical Herbalist in 1997 and began practice at Napiers in Edinburgh. In 2001, she went to work for the NHS in Huddersfield and as a Clinic Supervisor for BSc degree students of Herbal Medicine at UCLAN, specialising in teaching clinical examination and differential diagnosis. In 2014, Helen graduated with an MSc in Herbal Medicine – her final dissertation was ‘Getting out into the garden: A review of the biophilia hypothesis and the effect of nature upon human health’, exploring how spending time in a natural environment can impact our health. Helen has since researched and written a paper on pyrrolizidine alkaloids and currently practises as a herbalist in Cheshire offering home consultations. Helen has also run an after-school club for primary school children, exploring the principles of ecology, organic gardening and nature-connectedness. She regularly gives talks to local groups on home remedies using plants from their gardens, allotment or the hedgerow, and is currently working on compiling local herbal remedies with the help of the elder community.

Hananja Brice-Ytsma DipEd, MSc, MNIMH

Hananja has practiced herbal medicine extensively both in the UK and in Switzerland, working in private practice, in clinics and in hospitals for over 20 years. She qualified as a Naturopath in 1982 and then as a Medical Herbalist in 1990. In 1995, Hananja helped pioneer Britain’s first BSc degree in Herbal Medicine in partnership with Middlesex University, where she practiced at the Middlesex University training clinic. Hananja’s practice marries science with tradition, using the knowledge gained from new research to enhance the established traditions of herbal medicine, including the crucial importance of nutrition to health. She has lectured widely throughout the UK for her specialist experience in gynaecology and paediatrics, and sees a large number of patients with gynaecological problems referred to her by GPs and hospital consultants. Hananja has contributed to the BBC series and accompanying books ‘Grow your own drugs’, and co-edited the book ‘Herbal Exchanges’, and co-wrote ‘Herbal Medicine in Treating Gynaecological Conditions: Herbs, Hormones, Pre-Menstrual Syndrome and Menopause’.

Beth Caldwell BSc(Hons), BSc (Hons), PhD, FHEA, CeLP 

Beth is the Academic Skills Developer at Heartwood. Beth is a graduate of University College London where she completed her PhD in Anthropological Genetics. She also holds two BSc degrees, one in Human Sciences from University College London and another in Herbal Medicine from the University of Central Lancashire. Beth is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is also a Certified Leading Practitioner of Learning Development.

Helen Compton BSc(Hons) Herbal Medicine, PGCHE, MA, FHEA, MCPP

Helen trained in herbal medicine with the College of Phytotherapy, graduating in 2004. Her interest in teaching as well as practice started during her experience of clinical training, and she went on to study adult education, gaining a position as a lecturer on the former BSc in Herbal Medicine at Leeds Beckett University (and  involved in working to attain accreditation for the course). Following the closure of the BSc, she moved into teaching anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology on the biomedicine stream of the BSc in Acupuncture at the Northern College of Acupuncture. She continues to explore her interest in education through her PhD research in education and virtual learning for adults with specific learning difficulties.

 Sue Salmon BSc PHYT, MSc, MNIMH, MCPP

Sue qualified from the College of Phytotherapy with a BA(Hons) degree in 2002 and has been in practice in Huddersfield since that time. Sue has always felt that giving people the space and time to explore their own health stories, is at the heart of her practice. Networking within her local community has also always been a vital part of Sue’s work. In addition to giving talks to a wide variety of groups and leading herb walks, Sue looks for novel ways of re-connecting people to the medicinal plants that grow around them in the beautiful West Yorkshire countryside. She has been involved in running a variety of collaborative ventures, including workshops with artists at the ‘Yorkshire Sculpture Park’ and ‘Yoga and Herbs’ activities with local Yoga teachers. Sue will be joining a local chef for “Lunch and Learn” events in 2023.

Steve Taylor Ba(Hons), Dip H.M., MNIMH

Steve qualified in 1994 from the college of Phytotherapy, and opened a High Street Herbal clinic and shop which he ran for 18 years. His deep interest in the roots and culture of European herbal medicine led him to explore and study the philosophy and practice of Nicholas Culpeper, and to research the remaining folk tradition of the British Isles. He was a founding member of the Ethnomedica project run in conjunction with the Royal Botanical Society, which aimed to gather remaining memories of older people who had recollections of using indigenous plant remedies in the home. He has researched the use of traditional herbal poultices in the treatment of leg ulcers and presented his findings at a NIMH conference in 2018. His interest in ancient healing practices led him to study African healing rituals, with him undertaking ten years of field trips to the Eastern Cape of South Africa to work with indigenous healers. In 2021 he published ‘The Humoral Herbal’, a practical guide to using the Galenic principles of balancing the humours to heal disease and promote health. He continues to practice as a full time herbalist, and to lecture and write, while based in West Sussex, England.

Melissa Ronaldson BSc, FNIMH

Melissa qualified with a Bachelor of Science in herbal medicine in 2000 and has been in practice ever since. Her herbal practice has been varied and diverse: she was based for many years at a mental health and arts project in Hackney; she has worked on traditional medicine projects in Ecuador and in Peru; first aid posts at Glastonbury and other festivals – and more recently the refugee camps in Northern France. In 2002, Melissa became a founder member of London Community Herbalists and later went on to project manage the building and integration of a large, award winning, intensive medicinal roof garden for North Haringey Primary school. In 2007, Melissa began the journey to fulfil a dream to create a floating herbal medicine venue that would traverse the London waterways. Stormvogel the Herbal Barge is now an established clinic, teaching space and apothecary.

Chanchal Cabrera MSc, FNIMH, (RH)AHG

Chanchal has been a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (UK) since 1987 and was awarded Fellowship 2009. She gained an MSc in herbal medicine at the University of Wales in 2003 and has been Faculty Chair in Botanical Medicine at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine since 2004. She is a Certified Master Gardener, and Horticulture Therapist, and holds Diplomas in Botanic Garden Management and Education from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Chanchal and her husband run Innisfree Farm and Botanic Garden, specializing in food and medicinal plants. They also host Gardens without Borders, a registered not-for-profit society that runs therapy garden programs for people with disabilities

 Anita Ralph MSc, MNIMH, MCPP

Anita began full-time training to become a medical herbalist in 1987, graduating as a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (MNIMH) in 1991. She completed an MSc in herbal medicine in 2006. Realising there was a need to bridge the gap between people unfamiliar with professional herbal medicine and herbalists themselves, she opened her own herbal dispensary in 1997. Since 2006, she has treated patients at the Integrated Gynaecology Clinic with consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician Anne Henderson, providing much needed help for women with complex gynaecological problems. Anita is a member of the College of Practitioners of Herbal Medicine, and has lectured at the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine’s BSc and MSc courses.

Nathalie Chidley BSc(Hons), MNIMH

After first beginning to study herbal medicine at evening classes with Christopher Hedley in 1991, Nathalie formally qualified in 2000 with a BSc and then worked for 10 years as Dispensary Supervisor at the Archway Clinic of Herbal Medicine, the training clinic associated with Middlesex University’s Herbal Medicine degree, the training clinic associated with Middlesex University’s Herbal Medicine degree, working closely with her colleague Hananja Brice-Ytsma on a number of projects including a popular series of CPD lectures and workshops. At this time she also contributed to the BBC series and accompanying books ‘Grow your own drugs’. Since moving away from London, she has been practising as a herbalist in a market town in Suffolk.
Nathalie makes many of her own tinctures from herbs she grows on her allotment and has completed a number of postgraduate courses in the therapeutic use of oils, including essential oils, and the formulation of creams. 

 Delphine Sayre Dip Phyt, NIMH

Delphine graduated from the School of Herbal Medicine in 1989 and has been a practising herbalist in Sheffield ever since. In 1997 she completed a 3 year training as a psychotherapist to enhance her working style, and has been part of a supervision group since then. She runs her private practice from The Lodge House in Sheffield, and shares the space with a range of therapists. Her other main area of work is for a charity called Cavendish Cancer Care which supports patients, carers and families affected by cancer and which offers a range of complementary therapies free of charge. Delphine has run WEA courses on herbal medicine for about 20 years and she has been a guest teacher for the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine, amongst others.

Dílis Clare BSc, MB, BCh, DRCOG

Dílis trained in medicine at University College Dublin Medical School, and in Herbal Medicine at Middlesex University. She is a leading authority on Herbal Medicine in Europe, and has worked in full time Collaborative Medical Care since 1999, integrating the best of both pharmaceutical and herbal medicine. She is Honorary Clinical Fellow at the University College Medical School, Galway.

Mary Bove ND, AHG

Mary obtained her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and Midwifery Certification from Bastyr College of Natural Health Sciences in Seattle, and received her Diploma of Phytotherapy/HerbalMedicine at the School of Phytotherapy in the UK. Dr. Bove practiced Naturopathic Family Medicine and Midwifery at the Brattleboro Naturopathic Clinic for 24 years, specializing in Naturopathic Pediatrics and was a full-time faculty member at Bastyr University, chairing the departments of Botanical Medicine and Naturopathic Midwifery. She is the author of the Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants, and is currently Medical Educator for Gaia Herbs Brevard, N

Abi Akinola BSc, MNIMH

Abi gained a degree in Western Herbal Medicine from Lincoln University in 2019. She received a diploma in Natural Therapeutics in 2016 from the University of Westminster. Whilst completing her degree Abi began working as a trainee assistant herbalist at the Haelan Dispensary. She currently co-runs the Haelan Dispensary which predominately provides consultancy and dispensary services for patients, customers and fellow herbalists in the North London Area
Abi enjoys providing access to herbal medicine to as many people as possible and has also enjoyed assisting other herbal practitioners in running monthly Living Medicine Community Workshops. Some of which were run as part of the Chelsea Physic Community Garden in West London. Abi also finds great value in providing accessible learning options in the education of herbal medicine. She is also currently assisting Anita Ralph on some of the Business Skills course. She assists in assessing and guiding students for the preparation in the practice of herbal medicine. Abi has a background in Mental Health and studied Psychology at University of Roehampton. She worked in community as a mental health support worker for over 12 years as well as training at the North London IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies).

Sonya Elnaschie BSc(Hons)

Sonya initially trained as a Physiotherapist at the University of Southampton and has worked in NHS & private setting both in the UK & abroad. Having a keen interest in holistic and preventative health care, she went on to complete a degree in Western Herbal Medicine at the University of Westminster. After graduation she went on to set up a private practice for herbal medicine & nutritional therapy in East London with a special interest in women’s health & autoimmune disease. Sonya has taught on herbal medicine courses at the University of Westminster & Betonica with a focus on anatomy & physiology & clinical skills.Sonya also works for The Social Prescribing Network which has been an opportunity to contribute to meaningful changes in how healthcare is delivered & work towards addressing health inequalities on a larger scale than she has been able to as an individual practitioner. She is also the co-founder of Bee Happy Babies LLP which trains health care professionals to be baby massage instructors. She now lives in Northern Sweden and works remotely.

Contributing Lecturers

Alison Denham, BSc (Hons), MA, FMNIMH

Alison is currently appointed to Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee (HMAC), which advises the MHRA on licensing applications for registration of OTC herbal medicines, proposed changes to the regulation of the prescribing of herbal medicines by herbal practitioners, and pharmacovigilance of licensed and unlicensed herbal medicines.

Graeme Tobyn, PhD

Graeme has worked as a senior lecturer in the School of Community Health and Midwifery, University of Central Lancashire since 2000. Graeme’s clinical background is in herbal medicine, having practised for 26 years including a period in the UK National Health Service. Dr Tobyn is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the Royal Historical Society, the British Society for the History of Pharmacy and the College of Medicine. He is external examiner for the BSc and MSc Herbal Medicine programmes at Lincoln College, UK. He was a visiting botanical medicine scholar at Bastyr University, Seattle, USA in 2015 and twice a visiting lecturer at Pacific Rim College, B.C., Canada. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Herbal Medicine. He is the author of two books, Culpeper’s Medicine (1997, 2nd edn 2013) and, with fellow herbalists, The Western Herbal Tradition (2011, repub. 2015), and several book chapters and articles. His latest studies are: Tobyn, G. ‘Herbaries’ and apothecaries: The identification of William Turner’s herbalists in Tudor and Stuart England’, Vesalius, XXIV(1), 67-75, and Partington, H., Duckworth, J., & Tobyn, G. Transformative education for sustainability, health and wellbeing: a model of online delivery. In W.L. Filho & A. Consoret-McCrea, Handbook of Sustainability and Humanities: linking social values, theology and spirituality towards sustainability. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

jim mcdonald

In 1994, jim mcdonald’s life changed when he drank tea from a wild plant he harvested from the land he lived upon. Since those first sips of strange tea, his life in the woods and meadows of southeast Michigan has been centered on the plants & ecosystems of that land, and how he might share their virtues to restore wellness with those around him. jim’s approach to herbcraft is deeply rooted in the land he lives upon, and blends traditional european folk influences with 19th century eclectic and physiomedical vitalism, which he conveys with story, experience, humour, common sense and lore to students, clients, random passersby and visitors of his websites &

He’s taught classes throughout North America, is one of the organizers of the Great Lakes Herb Faire and is currently alternately writing “Foundational Herbcraft” and the “A Great Lakes Herbal”, in addition to articles for journals and other publications. jim is a community herbalist, a manic wildcrafter and medicine maker, and has been an ardent student of the most learned teachers of herbcraft… the plants themselves.

Nic Rowley, MA, PGCE, MRCS, LRCP, BAc

Nic trained in medicine at Cambridge University and the Royal Free Hospital, and has practised as an holistic doctor in the UK, France and Denmark. Dr. Rowley is a past Dean of Studies at the School of Herbal medicine and past vice-principal of the European School of Osteopathy, and author of ‘Hands On, a Manual of Clinical Skills’ and also of ‘Basic Clinical Science’ (both originally published by Hodder and Stoughton). Nic is an experienced teacher and lecturer, and holds a PGCE in Higher Education from the Institute of Education in the University of London. He has given workshops and seminars at Diploma, Higher Diploma, Degree and Master’s levels for The University of Surrey, The University of Chichester, and many colleges of alternative and complementary medicine, and has also been a consultant to a wide range of institutions on course development and degree validation at Bachelor and Masters level. He has comprehensive experience of curriculum design, and of representing institutions at successful validation events (with the Universities of Surrey, Wales, Glasgow, Middlesex, Greenwich and Chichester). He also served for some years as an assessor for the University of Wales’ external degree validation panel, and was involved in validation events for a variety of UK and European institutions. He has written a number of self-help health books, and has contributed articles to various journals in the UK and Denmark.

Elle Devereux, BSc, MNIMH

Elle Devereux is a medical herbalist working in a multidisciplinary practice in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.  She graduated from Lincoln University with a degree in Herbal Medicine in 2008. Her background is in the NHS and as a dual-trained nurse she has worked in both general and mental health nursing with experience in out-of-hours urgent care and a variety of community mental health teams. Most recently Elle worked with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) as a specialist practitioner. 

Frances Watkins, BSc (Hons), PhD, MNIMH, MCPP

Frances worked in customer communications for nearly 20 years before studying herbal medicine at Middlesex University in 2003.

Having gained First Class honours, she went on to complete her doctoral thesis at the University of East London in 2013 titled ‘Investigation of antimicrobials from native British plants used in 10th century wound healing formulations’. Dr Watkins has since published a number of papers in international journals, co-edited Herbal Exchanges with Hananja Brice-Ytsma, and is currently researching the formulaic approach of herbal remedies in early medieval manuscripts. She practices from clinics in Bushey Heath and Kings Langley, Hertfordshire. Frances mentors newly qualified practitioners to the NIMH, and is Academic Adviser on the Heartwood Professional Course.

Mary Tassell MSc, MNIMH

Mary commenced training to become a medical herbalist in 1996. On graduating she became a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (MNIMH) in 2000, subsequently taking over editorship of their in-house magazine for a number of years. Her professional career has also included teaching at both Western Herbal Medicine training clinics and for the Northern College of Acupuncture, where she taught Anatomy and Physiology and herb/drug interactions. Mary completed an MSc in Western Herbal Medicine in 2006, and currently practices as a consultant Medical Herbalist in Bridport. She also runs a variety of informal courses, walks and workshops in the area.

 John Campbell

Bio to come

Marie Reilly MSc MNIMH DipCoun

Marie  Reilly  is  an  experienced  Medical  Herbalist  and  teacher.  She  qualified  from  the College  of  Phytotherapy  in  2004  and  subsequently  completed  the  Scottish  School  of Herbal  Medicine  Masters  Degree  Programme,  having  conducted  her  research dissertation on the treatment of female functional infertility with herbal medicine. She has also studied Endobiogenic Medicine with Dr. Jean Claude Lapraz, and Ayurveda with Dr. Vasant Lad. She currently runs the Lismore Clinic, a busy multidisciplinary clinic in Lismore,  Ireland,  where  she  also  runs  her  own  private  herbal  medicine  practice  and herbal medicine student training clinic.

Marie has taught on the BSc Herbal Sciences course at Cork Institute of Technology, and on various other herbal medicine training programmes at the College of Naturopathic Medicine  (Ireland),  the  Plant  Medicine  School  (Ireland),  Excelsior  School  of  Herbal Medicine (Nothern Ireland) and Betonica (UK). She has lectured at the Cork Institute of Technology Herbal Science Symposium; at Botanica 2014 (Trinity College Dublin), and
at the National Institute of Medical Herbalists Annual Conference. She has also provided numerous CPD seminars on various subjects for practitioners of herbal medicine and
nutrition internationally. Marie is also a qualified Emergency First Responder, and works in conjunction with a Medical Doctor and Paramedic, to provide emergency first aid in the local community as part of the Lismore Community First Response Team, a voluntary service.

 Amparo Aracil

Amparo holds a medical degree (MBChB) from the University of Dundee and qualified with a BSc in Herbal Medicine from the University of Westminster in 2013, and has been practising since. Amparo is a registered member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and the General Medical Council. Amparo has been working with medicinal plants for the last decade and focuses on building a therapeutic relationship with their patients to find the best ways for them to incorporate herbal medicine, lifestyle and dietary recommendations into their lives. Amparo is interested in community herbalism, acute medicine, first aid and making herbal medicine accessible to all. They are in the process of opening a herbal space in the southeast of Spain that would welcome students, herbalists and patients alike.

Andreas Syrimis

Andreas is an established and well-known osteopath and medical herbalist often integrating both systems in his treatment approach. He has been a senior lecture for more than 10 years in medical sciences at several UK universities including Westminster, East London, London School of Osteopathy and British School of Osteopathy and has published a groundbreaking 8-DVD series on clinical skills, and written two books on anatomy & physiology and embryology. Andreas founded the Bloomsbury practice in 1996 and also lectured for BSO as prosection demonstrator at the Royal College of Surgeons and practices both under NHS and privately.

 Dr Rachel Frost MCPP

Rachael Frost studied herbal medicine at the University of Central Lancashire and graduated in 2011. Since then, she has completed a Masters and PhD and spent seven years working in ageing and primary care research. Rachael is Senior Research Fellow & Trial Manager at University College London, managing a RCT of a new service to maintain independence in older people with mild frailty. As a Research Fellow, she has also worked on a variety of projects related to health promotion in later life, mental health in older people and dementia, including systematic reviews, qualitative studies and a feasibility trial. Rachael is also a NIHR Research Design Service adviser, PhD supervisor, Associate Editor for the Journal of Herbal Medicine and has published widely in academic journals. Alongside this, she has practiced herbal medicine in Glasgow, Berkhamsted and Blackburn, and is particularly interested in supporting health and wellbeing in later life.

Ellie Holly BSc, (Hons), MCPP

Ellie has over nineteen years’ experience working as a Medical Herbalist. She completed a four year, full time BSc in Herbal Medicine at Middlesex University in 2000 and has been seeing patients ever since. In addition to her work as a herbalist, Ellie has taken a strong interest in nutrition and believes nutritional guidance is a key part of supporting her patients on their journey to better health. Alongside her herbal practise, Ellie has spent over ten years teaching nutrition to adults at two central London colleges: The City Lit in Holborn and the Mary Ward Centre in Russell Square. Ellie’s aim is to educate and enlighten with energy and enthusiasm so that people are empowered to make positive changes in their lives.