Patricia Collins, Herbalist, Total Health and Education Centre | NSW
Chosen accredited natural medicine practice:
What drew you to focus on this type of Natural medicine:
I love gardening, being self-sufficient and looking after my family.
Has this always been your focus, or did you originally focus on another area of natural medicine / work in a different industry?
I was a Clerical Assistant, then a mother and built my own house.
What is your motivation to deliver this type of care for your clients?
I love using nature’s remedies and teaching people how to recognise and make their own products.
How does your type of natural medicine support your clients in reaching their health goals?
I give them the tools to help themselves. I teach them what teas, herbs, poultice to use for various ailments.
How is the perception of natural medicine changing in Australia?
I started teaching 30 years ago and back then no one cared what we did as they said it wouldn’t help. What a perceptual shift now with strong beliefs in natural therapies and proof they work.
Why are you passionate about your type of natural medicine?
It should always be the first line of defence not the tenth. If you use herbal remedies in the early stages of sickness, we could better manage a lot of chronic illnesses.
What are some of the ways you advocate for the natural therapies industry?
I do a lot of talks, demonstrations and workshops with all ages from school children to the elderly. I’ve taught thousands of students from all walks of life and I have clients from my area and beyond.
What does the future of natural medicine look like to you?
With the focus on certifications, credentials and additional courses especially in regards to becoming a herbalist or naturopath; I fear we are moving further away from our grass roots. It is so important to remember the basic simple things like poulticing, compresses and teas to keep our discipline alive and not be swallowed up by becoming pseudo doctors. I do fear for our future as we become more science and test based – I hope there are enough grassroot practitioners to find the balance.
What does it mean to you to be a finalist for this award?
I am very proud that someone thought I was a good enough practitioner to put my name down. It was a big surprise and humbling as well, it also gives me recognition for all the years I have been practising and will continue to do so.