Herbs in Common with the Tropics


Plantago major

The medicinal properties are found in the leaves and the seeds. The plant has astringent and demulcent properties, and is used as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Conditions treated with this herb include: respiratory problems such as; asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, coughs, hay fever. It also can be used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, haemorrhoids and cystitis. The heated or “chewed” leaves can be used as a dressing for wounds, skin inflammation, stings and swellings.

Note: Please seek advice from a qualified medical herbalist before using this herb.



Ipê-roxo – Tabebuia impetiginosa


Ipê-roxo – Tabebuia impetiginosa

Still in the Tropics…..

Here in Brazil one comes across many exotic plants, including trees fruits and flowers, let alone all those crawly creatures – best to stay away from them.

Today I felt the urge of sharing with you something immensely beautiful.  A tree, that is indigenous to Latin America and grows in abundance in the Brazilian forest. It is so beautiful that it is also used as an ornamental tree in cities throughout Brazil.

It is not only the beauty of this tree that I want to share with you, but also its amazing medicinal properties.  I have used it very effectively for many years in my practice and still use it. But of course, one thing is to use the ready made tincture and another is to see it growing in its native habitat.

Phytotherapists in Brazil use it for very much the same conditions as we herbalist do it in the UK.

It is a number one herb to use when our immune system is compromised. I have used it effectively to treat candidiasis. It has been used for many years and still is being used both in Brazil and in the UK as an anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory herb. As and anti-inflammatory it can be very effective in treating arthritis and mucus membranes of the digestive system.  This is a list of the most important uses of this amazing and beautiful herb. Enjoy it!


Its use is not recommended for pregnant women and children.

Note: Please note that the above is for information only. Before using this herb consult a qualified Medical Herbalist.




Miconia albicans


Common name: Canela de Velho,

Scientific name: Miconia albicans

On my first trip into the tropical jungle (Mata Atlantica), along the coast of the Atlantic ocean, in Bahia, Brazil, I was able to identify many very valuable tropical herbs, which were growing  along the path.  The first one I came across was Miconia albicans, which is now in bloom.

The parts used for medicinal purposes are the leaves. Traditionally (locally) they are taken as a hot infusion, one cup three times daily.

The knowledge of the medicinal properties of this plant has been passed down for many generations.

The infusion is taken internally but also applied externally on the affected areas, when it is used as an anti-inflammatory.

The main uses are:

Anti-inflammatory – used for arthritic conditions, to reduce pain and inflammation of the joints.

Digestive tonic

It also is reported to have a general blood cleansing effect.  The precise mechanism of this action is not known for certain, but my understanding would be that this may be due to the herb’s action on the digestive system, including the liver.  

Further research into the properties and phytochemistry of this plant is necessary, but the use of the same for many generations has proven it to be of great medicinal value especially in this part of Brazil where many people cannot afford any other kind of medicine.  It grows in abundance and is free, as well as effective.  There are no known side-effects, even when taken long term.



In the Tropics

Here I am in the tropics, making a huge sacrifice to leave the UK winter behind and carry out some Important Research on tropical herbs.  It is not an effort as such to do this work, since I really love these wonderful plants which we use for medicinal purposes and call herbs.  The effort lies in the fact that I am on the coast in the North of Brazil and I am surrounded by the most beautiful empty white sand beaches, abundant flora and fauna, and plenty of sunshine.

I can assure you, I will find time to relax into the slow pace of this part of the world.

The Natural Pharmacie is travelling with me and you are not restricted in any way or form to send me your queries.  I can reply to these and also send you your prescriptions and supplements wherever I may be in the world, and as I have been busy doing this morning (picture).  Explore my new website and find out how it works…

Watch this space for new herbs that I will be studying.  Just the photos will be worth a look.

With love from the tropics,




Dear all,

I will be on holidays from Tuesday the 3rd of December to Sunday the 8th of December. Please do send me your queries and I will reply to them on Monday the 9th of December.

Also note that you now can place your orders for your prescriptions and for you supplements on this website. Go to products and follow the simple steps from there. Whether I am away from the UK or not, your orders will reach you within 3 working days.

All best wishes,



Stay well this Winter

We do not need to get coughs, colds, flu and the winter blues..

Traditionally people have prepared for the dark months by changing their lifestyles to be in harmony with the season. Many old traditions of Medicine, in particular the Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, are based on the philosophy that we should live in harmony with the natural cycles of our environment.

This is the time of the year to reflect on our health, since the cold and darkness of the winter urges us to slow down. Many herbs and various supplements can help us to keep our immune system strong.

The correct food is of course an extremely important aspect in the maintenance of health but even more so in the winter. Sipping hot water throughout the day is sooting  and cleansing to our digestive system, an important aspect for the maintenance of good health, especially in the winter.

  • Soups and stews with rich stocks, adding warming spices like ginger and garlic.
  • Whole grains and root vegetables.
  • Miso and seaweed.
  • Walnuts and chestnuts – preferably cooked.

Echinacea, Garlic, Andrographis, Thyme, and many other herbs are known as Immune supporting herbs.

According to the latest research, nearly 90% of people in the UK suffer from D3 deficiency during the winter months. Apart from increasing your risk of infections and low mood it also can have some other serious health consequences.

It is thought that serotonin levels are affected by the lack of sun/light and consequently it affects our mood. An amino acid called 5HTP is said to help improve serotonin levels.

Have a light and bright winter.

Happy Seasonal wishes,

Iria x


We have moved!

The Natural Pharmacie has moved!

We have moved to our own new premises, set in lovely quiet surroundings with ample parking and yet only three miles from beautiful Bradford-on-Avon, our previous location.

Our new address is:

Coptoak, Unit 1
216 Blackberry Lane
Telephone: 01225 723 894
Email: iria(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)thenaturalpharmacie.co.uk
Website: www.thenaturalpharmacie.co.uk

A map for directions can be found on our website.

So What’s New?

Our website had a Facelift and is packed with exiting products and news! Navigate through it and let us know what you think. Your suggestions are valuable to us. (Keep checking as we have not finished adding all the products yet.)

This is a very exiting time for The Natural Pharmacie.
With our new approach of working I will have more time to dedicate myself to writing quarterly newsletters (to which you can subscribe), blogs, tweets and much more.

What does this mean for you?

  • In my Quarterly Newsletter I will be giving tips on general health and wellbeing. These include tips on how to stay well during the change of seasons, especially the stronger seasons, from Summer to Autumn and Autumn to Winter.
  • In my blog I will discuss the use of specific herbs and supplements for the maintenance of good health and give you updates on general holistic approaches for health and wellbeing.
  • In the Spring I will start giving talks, and take you on interesting herbal walks.
  • And much more! Keep logged-on to The Natural Pharmacy!

How will I be working?

The Natural Pharmacie is no longer a town-center drop in shop. However, you can still come and see me for a chat as always, but if you want to be sure I’m in, its best to drop me a line or call first. We have a beautiful, bright and peaceful space that will look and feel familiar, and shares the same magical fragrance of herbs as the old shop, but with more space, tranquility, and with less traffic-noise and easier parking!

Just as before, I will still make you your lovely, tasty herbal mixes, and when we’ve caught up on any news you want to share, you still can walk out with your topped-up prescription.

In addition to our new premises, our website has also been revamped. Through it you can now order your prescriptions or supplements directly and I will post them to you ☺

I also now have more time for consultations. Should you wish for a more in-depth analysis of a condition, for example, if there is any new concern that might take us more than say a fifteen minute chat, then you will probably find a formal consultation is best for you. A consultation can be booked by telephone or e-mail. They are also available by Skype. For more information on booking a consultation please see my website.

Drop in Clinic at Serendipity

During November I will be operating a drop-in clinic at Serendipity in Bradford-on-Avon. These will be held every Wednesday from noon to 3:00pm. At these you can pick up your order or just come for a chat.

Serendipity is at Unit 4, Weavers Walk, Bradford-on-Avon
(Near the Cottage Café, Opposite Budgens)

Taking a Break

Through December and January (until 15th February) I will not be available in person but you can still contact me by e-mail or order your prescriptions and supplements from my website.


I would like to thank you all for the loyal support during my four years at the town-center shop in Bradford-on-Avon. I now look forward to this new phase, and to welcoming you all at our beautiful new premises!

Thank You! ❤

Get Ready for The Change of Season 1

Autumn is approaching fast!

Get ready for the change of the Season, which always takes us by surprise…

The best thing we can do at this time of the Year, is to embark on a preventative program.

It is very simple and anyone can do it!

Here we are:

  1. Take the extra strong organic Echinacea from The Natural Pharmacie and start taking it now until after Christmas.
  2. Take the top quality Time Release Vitamin C, needless to say, from The Natural Pharmacie.
  3. In addition to the above, take also Zinc, which of course we can supply to you.
  4. Lastly, the all-important Vitamin D3. Not only does it support your immune system, but it also does influence your mood! See the latest research on this very important vitamin. We now have the new one, which comes with the higher recommended dose, based on the results of the latest research.

The Echinacea and Zinc together with the Vitamin D3 are good immune booster, and the Vitamin C will be supporting you with its anti-oxidant effects.

Of course Diet is extremely important. Reduce foods that are considered mucus forming such as:

  • Cows milk
  • Cows cheese
  • Foods made with refined flour, too much of the vegetables that belong to the Salanaceae Family: like Potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines.
  • Alcohol, sorry, yes. Too much of it depletes our reserves and the bugs will not miss the chance!

Should you still get the bug, it will for sure be an easier ride. Also dosage of the above can be increased during the infected period.

For the correct dosage of any herbs and additional seasonal tips, please call us or send us an email and we will be happy to help!

Iria Kreutz-Schiller
Medical Herbalist

Note: If you are on prescribed medication, consult your doctor. The above is intended as information only.

Recommended Reading


  • Dalton, Katharina, M.D., Once a Month (1991 ) (Fontana)
  • Dalton, Katharina, M.D., PMS – The Essential Guide to Treatment Options (Thorsons, London)
  • Dalton, Katharina, M.D., Depression After Childbirth (1989) (Oxford University Press, Oxford)
  • Dalton, Katharina, M.D., Premenstrual Syndrome and Progesterone Therapy (1984) (Heinemann Medical Books, London and Year Book Inc., Chicago). Revised 2nd edition
  • Kenton, Leslie, Passage to Power – Natural Menopause Revolution (1995) (Ebury Press, London)
  • Lee, John R., M.D., What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause (1996) (Warner, New York)
  • Lee, John R., M.D., Natural Progesterone: The Multiple Roles of a Remarkable Hormone (1995) ( BLL Publishing, Sebastopol, CA, U.S.A.)
  • Martin, Raquel with Judi Gerstung, D.C., The Estrogen Alternative (1997) (Healing Arts Press, Rochester, Vermont, USA)
  • Neil, Kate and Patrick Holford, Balancing Hormones Naturally (1998) (Judy Piatkus Ltd, London)
  • Rushton, Anna and Dr. Shirley A. Bond, Natural Progesterone(1999) (Thorsons)


  • Chopra, Deepak, M.D., Quantum Healing (1989) (Bantam Books, New York)
  • Chopra, Deepak, M.D., Perfect Health (Bantam Books, New York)
  • Erasmus, Udo, Fats the Heal, Fats that Kill (1993) (Alive Books, Burnaby, Canada)
  • Holford, Patrick, The Optimum Nutrition Bible (Judy Piatkus Ltd, London)
  • Holford, Patrick, 100% Health (Judy Piatkus Ltd, London)
  • Kenton, Leslie, The New Raw Energy (1995) (Ebury Press, Random House, London).
  • Puri, K Basant, Professor, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, (Hammersmith Press Ltd., London)
  • Puri, K. Basant, Professor, Chronic Fatigue Syndrom (Hammersmith Press Ltd, London)
  • Puri, K. Basant, Professor, & Boyo, Hilary, The Natural Way to Beat Depression (Hodder and Stoughton, UK)
  • Shearer, Mary Ann, The Natural Way Recipe Book 1 (1993) (The Natural Way Pubs., Johannesburg).


  • Chopra, Deepak, M.D., Ageless Body, Timeless Mind (Bantam Books, New York)
  • Cousens, Gabriel, M.D. with Mark Mayell, Depression Free for Life, (Harper Collins Publishers Inc. NY)
  • McTaggart, Lynne, What Doctors Don’t Tell You (1996) (Thorsons, London, UK)
  • Northrup, Christiane, M.D., Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (1995) (Judy Piatkus Ltd, London)
  • West, Stanley, M.D., The Hysterectomy Hoax (1994) (Doubleday, New York)


  • Kenton, Leslie, Passage to Power – Natural Menopause Revolution (1995) (Ebury Press, London)
  • Lee, John R., M.D., What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause (1996) (Warner , New York)
  • Sheehy, Gail, The Silent Passage (1993) (Harper Collins Publishers, London)


First aid tips

Sea Sickness & Travel Sickness
Frequent sipping of an infusion of peppermint, ginger or chamomile can give considerable relief. Alternatively chewing a little piece of fresh ginger root can help.

Sprains and Strains
For sprains which involve a joint, use a cold compress which has been soaked in some witch-hazel and/or marigold infusion and apply to the swelling, and then frequently apply comfrey ointment.
For strains which affect muscles through excessive or incorrect exercise, massage with essential oils of rosemary and lavender diluted into a vegetable oil such as sweet almond at five drops in to each tablespoon of oil.

Bites or Stings
After cleaning the area well, remove any stings with tweezers and cool the inflammation with ice if possible. Apply a cold compress soaked in a strong infusion of chamomile or with a few drops of essential oil of lavender.

Apply a cold compress, which has been soaked in a comfrey infusion or with oil of lavender. For small bruises and to speed up healing use comfrey ointment.

For minor burns cool the area in cold running water for at least two minutes. Afterwards apply a few drops of oil of lavender.