Foundation Course

The Foundation Course Team

Course Leader for the Foundation Course

Delphine Sayre Dip Phyt, MNIMH

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. 

Foundation Course Tutors

Sue Bottomley MNIMH

Sue studied herbal medicine at the School of Herbal Medicine in East Sussex and has practiced as a Herbalist in Sheffield since 1994. She works from a multi-disciplinary clinic, sharing a well-stocked dispensary with two other herbalists. She has taught pharmacology to Herbal Medicine students for ten  years, and is currently a member of a small team that delivers a module on Complementary and Alternative Medicine to final year medical students at the University of Sheffield. Her background as a pharmacist informs her interest in using herbs safely alongside conventional medicines, as well as on their own.

 Rasheeqa Ahmad

Rasheeqa (Hedge Herbs) is a herbalist in her community in Walthamstow in north London. She has been practicing since 2012, offering treatment with herbal medicine and teaching about its many aspects, alongside a wider mix of work whose aim is connecting us as communities with the potential of this knowledge and craft as a way to develop healthier living systems and relationships.

Rasheeqa is inspired by her early involvement with the Radical Herbalism Gathering in exploring how to make plant medicine accessible and restore balance to its practice in the contexts of systemic inequalities and oppressions that are part of our shared histories. She comes from a family lineage of herbal medicine practitioners in Unani Tibb, who continue to practice this in northern India. She is an instigator of the Community Apothecary in her locality, a project that brings community members together around a patchwork of medicinal herb gardens where we can learn about growing, wildcrafting and making medicines together, which are then available to the community. The vision is to co-create thriving mutual healthcare systems, sharing knowledge, peer support and the model so that we can create landscapes of healing everywhere.

Alongside these community based projects she practises two days a week from her home in Walthamstow. Central to this is connecting emotional and physical health, and offering support through the community activity as well as with herbal and nutritional treatment. Regular areas of treatment include hormonal and menstrual health, and psycho-emotional balance.

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).

Amanda Rew BSc (Hons), MCPP

Amanda graduated from the University of Westminster in 2012 with a first class honours degree in Western Herbal Medicine. Since graduating she has worked as an in- house herbalist for G Baldwin and Co in South London as well as having her own private practice. She is also a qualified gardener and has worked with Roots and Shoots, a charity based in South London offering horticulture training to young people with learning disabilities, for the last 20 years.

Zoe Naylor

Zoe is a medical herbalist, she qualified in 2010, and has been practicing until 2021. She ran free clinics on anti- fracking camps and was a member of the radical herbalism collective organising gatherings. She believes our health is intrinsically linked to health of our wider society and ecosystems, and holistic herbalism cannot be independent of social and environmental justice. Since learning that she autistic, Zoe is learning animal medicine whilst teaching on the Foundation Course.

Sophie Outen BSc(Hons), CNM Dip Nutritional Therapy, Body Harmonics, Acupuncture Diploma, MNIMH

Sophie has been practising as a herbalist in private clinics since qualifying in 2006. She currently works alongside chiropractors and osteopaths seeing patients with a wide range of conditions, including many whose pain is caused by immune dysregulation or which is inflammatory in nature. Over the years she has incorporated acupuncture and nutritional therapy into practice which are useful tools and complement the herbal prescription. When she is not in the clinic she enjoys alternative ways to be a herbalist, taking  groups on herb walks and running workshops in the woods with Wild Wood Days, a forest school. 

Course Creators

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.

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.