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Ep 20 - Does Herbal Medication Work? With Melinda McDougall & Anita Ralph
Episode 201st November 2022 • The Menopause and Cancer Podcast • Dani Binnington
00:00:00 00:55:23

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Herbal medicine is one of the most used complementary therapy by people with cancer. Yet, I feel the majority of us don’t actually know what it really is, beyond what you can pick up in a little bottle from your local health food store - how it is used and hence it becomes an under-effective therapy.

I am very grateful to be joined by Anita Ralph who is a consultant medical herbalist MSc MNIMH MCPP, and Melinda McDougall, who also holds a Master of Science degree in herbal medicine and specialises in women’s health.

Both of them are super passionate about helping us understand how we can use herbal medicine in the best way to support us going through menopause after cancer. 

Anita began full-time training to become a medical herbalist in 1987 and on graduating, became a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH). She is a member of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP) a professional association dedicated to exploring and promoting scientific advances in herbal medicine.

Anita runs a busy, full-time, multidisciplinary clinic with herbal dispensary in Kent, and she also collaborates with consultant gynaecologist, Anne Henderson, offering an integrated service to those with gynaecological problems.

You can find Anita here:

Melinda has analysed hundreds of research papers on herbal medicine and menopause to find out what really works and uses that knowledge in her busy clinic to help women find natural solutions to their health problems. She lives and works in London, sees patients remotely too and is Vice President of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, which was established in 1864.

You can find Melinda here:

Here are some of the helpful resources mentioned in this episode:


Here are the highlights:

(05:47) How Melinda and Anita work as herbal medical practitioners 

(11:00) How herbal medication works for individuals 

(15:30) Examples of how herbal medicine has helped patients 

(18:57) How herbal medicine can work alongside conventional treatments 

(25:38) Can herbal medication help with hot flushes

(32:53) The myths around phytoestrogens

(36:37) The benefits of adaptogens 

(41:15) Solving sleep issues with herbal medicine 

(44:27) Seeking help from a private herbal medical practitioner feels like a luxury, how expensive is it?


About Dani:

The Menopause and Cancer Podcast is hosted by Dani Binnington, menopause guide, patients advocate for people in menopause after a cancer diagnosis, and founder of the online platform Healthy Whole Me. 

There is lots of information out there about the menopause but hardly any if you have had a cancer diagnosis as well. Many people say to me they have no idea what their options are, who to ask for help, and that they feel really isolated in their experiences. 

I started this podcast because there was nothing out there when I was thrown into surgical menopause at the age of 39, which followed on from my cancer diagnosis aged 33.

Through the episodes, I want to create more awareness, share information from our fabulous guest experts, doctors and other specialists in the cancer and menopause field. 

And of course, I will share stories from the people in our community.

So that together we can work towards a better menopause experience. For all of us.

More educated, better informed and less alone.


Connect with Dani:

Instagram @healthywholeme  

Facebook: @healthywholeme  

Join Dani’s private Facebook group:

For oodles of inspiration, healthy recipes, yoga classes and all round positivity go to her website:





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