Did you know plant medicine can help?

Plant medicine has scientific research to show it is effective in treating a number of common ailments,and in some cases, where studied, they have been shown as effective as conventional drugs, with fewer or no side effects. With plant medicine, in order to ensure an effective medicine, is it important to take the correct prescription of plant medicine/s and dose for your individual needs.

This summer you can have easy access to National Institue of Medical Herbalist qualified information on plant medicine with Davina Hopkinson via phone or Skype (normal consultation rates apply). The dispensary of herbal medicine returns to Dilston Physic Garden 2021: for most minor ailments there is no need for an appointment – a 10 minute consultation is £5. For more complex conditions you can arrange a longer consultation (£20 for 30min or £40 for 45-60min). Plant medicine is purchased separately at approximately £7 per week.

DILSTON DISPENSARY OF PLANT MEDICINE 2021 summer dates to be confirmed: Wednesdays 12-3pm

Trying effective plant medicine for many common ailments gets to the root of the problem. When taking a plant medicine, ensuring you take the correct plant medicines relevant to your whole body’s individual needs is essential. If plant medicines are used incorrectly, just as with drugs, problems can arise. Medical herbalists who are associated with the physic garden have studied a degree in herbal medicine and are fully trained in prescribing plant medicines, and are aware of contraindications with drugs and conditions. Wednesday’s dispensary is led by medical herbalist Davina Hopkinson. Don’t forget you can enjoy the physic garden while you’re there –  admission charges do not apply if you’re just visiting the Dispensary, however if you’d like to visit the physic garden too please pay admission.  The Physic Shop also stocks a range of teas, tinctures, ointments and other botanical products.

*Note: The Dilston Dispensary of Plant Medicine does not dispense conventional medicine products;  Plant medicines are approximately £7 per week & usually made while you wait. £5 is for a 10 minute consultation only, for a longer consultation just ask, they are charged at the normal rate. 2021 dispensary times may change.

Medical herbalists in the North East – scroll down for the details of medical herbalists in the North East who are associated with the Dilston Physic Garden.

Dilston Dispensary of Plant Medicines

This is your plant medicine dispensary led by registered medical herbalists – a place where you can discuss a minor ailment, receive the best qualified professional recommendations and have your tailor-made plant medicine mixed in front of you.

Medical herbalist Davina Hopkinson has over 20 years clinical experience prescribing effective plant medicines.

More information 

Are you confused about exactly what herb to take for what? Do you see shelves of herbal medicines but want a qualified professional to help you decide which is best for you? Are you concerned you are being treated by a qualified herbalist registered with the National Institute of Medical Herbalists ?

Just drop by every Wednesday 12-3pm (except 1st July) this summer (29 April to 16 September) where a medical herbalist will be available to talk to you about your individual plant medicine needs and offer over the counter suggestions.

Finding the right plant medicines specific to your needs is necessary for effective medicine and can be difficult these days with the array of products available. Plant medicine often involves individually tailored prescriptions of more than one plant to treat the whole condition/s. Often people spend a great deal on supplements and remedies that are not appropriate or helpful. Dilston aims to offer over the counter suggestions and effective plant medicine that is tailored to each person’s need.

About medical herbalists Davina and Ross

Davina and Ross together have over 40 years experience in prescribing effective plant medicines to patients. Ross says “For many of the health issues that you would go to the chemist for it now possible to seek a plant medicine solution.”

Davina says, “One of my favourite plant medicines is verbena. Use of this herb has been recorded consistently since Egyptian times and it used to be revered as something of a cure all. These days one of its main uses is a relaxing nervine. The English herbalist Culpepper described it as being useful for people who are “frantic” and I think this is an apt description, who these days is not frazzled and stressed out!”

Davina works from home and visits patients in their own homes around the North East and works with the physic garden in promoting and organising educational school visits for children as well as running her popular Potion Clubs over the summer.

Ross continues “People have been coming to my clinic for many years and recently I have become aware that more and more people would like the opportunity to visit me in the same way they would a pharmacist at the chemist. Sometimes a consultation is not necessary and we’d like to offer the public personal health suggestions and individually blended plant medicines. Of course this is suitable for more minor ailments and for more complex health issues a consultation can be arranged.”

Davina is a practicing medical herbalist with a clinic in and  will be available at Dilston Physic Garden this summer to answer questions and prescribe individually blended remedies for minor ailments.

Got a question?

Just email info@dilstonphysicgarden.com *Please note Physic Garden admission charges do not apply if you’re just visiting the dispensary but if you’d like to visit the physic garden too, entrance is £4 or a Season Pass only £10.

See you at the physic garden!

Want to see a medical herbalist outside of Dilston Dispensary hours? Here is a list of Medical Herbalists and a Herbal Pharmacist who are affiliated with Dilston Physic Garden.

Davina Hopkinson Medical Herbalist BSc MNIMH.

Davina gained her degree in Herbal Medicine at Lincoln University, having also completed a 2-year course in complementary therapies. Davina has her own herbal practice she runs from home or if required visiting patients in their homes. As well as practising herbal medicine Davina likes to spread the “herbal word” by giving talks, leading herbal walks and organising herbal workshops – teaching people how to make their own medicines from garden and hedgerow plants. Davina also runs Potion Club, Herbal Treasure Hunts & workshops for children and schools at Dilston Physic Garden.

Ross Menzies Medical Herbalist BSc(hons)psychology DBTH MAMH.


Ross is an experienced herbalist and has been in practice in Hexham for 15 years supporting patients with many acute and chronic health imbalances. He works using primarily native herbs and prepares many of his own medicines. He has also studied kinesiology and NLP. Ross has had a close association with Dilston Physic Garden for many years and regularly runs courses there.  He has tutored on a professional herbal medicine diploma and has edited a professional journal.  Ross also runs a nature based therapeutic project for people with mental health difficulties.   At the core of all he does is an understanding that nature can be profoundly healing, be it through plant medicines or simply by creating space and stillness to engaging with it in a meaningful way.

Jill Schnabel Medical Herbalist BSc(hons) PhD MNIMH.


Jill studied agricultural science (BSc) and plant pathology (PhD) before qualifying as a medical herbalist in 2004. She now practices herbal medicine in Newcastle upon Tyne and Northumberland.  After working as an advisor with the National Centre for Organic Gardening, she moved to the North-East in 1993 where she co-founded a successful organic vegetable growing cooperative.  As an adult education tutor she has taught a diverse range of courses in organic gardening, plant folklore and herbal medicine, at both university and community levels.  “My enthusiasm and love for plants was inherited from my grandmother and mum, and continues to weave a constant thread through my life and work. My approach to plant medicine is eclectic and encompasses historical, cultural, scientific, emotional and spiritual dimensions.”

Sarah Hughes Medical Herbalist, Nutritional Therapist BSc Hons, NT Dip, MA, CNHC, mNIMH, mBANT.


Sarah is an experienced medical herbalist and nutritional therapist who has practised for over a decade in both Ireland and the north of England.  Sarah sees patients of all ages and at all stages who present with a wide range of health issues and is based at the Stonegate Medical Clinic in York.

Sarah has lectured on the Medicinal Plants and Functional Foods MSc at Newcastle university and speaks regularly on BBC radio Newcastle. She also teaches foraging courses for Taste the Wild who are a foraging company based in North Yorkshire.

Milana Kopkowska Pharmacist, trained in dispensing herbal medicine


Milena works part time in a community pharmacy in Durham but also advices and dispense safe effective plant medicines according to your needs for minor ailments. As a pharmacist she has knowledge about both herbal and synthetic medicines and therefore can help you explore different treatment options. Milena qualified as a pharmacist in Poland where herbal medicines constitute a substantial part of the pharmacy stock and are commonly used by doctors, as in much of Europe, for the management of minor ailments. Since moving to the UK, Milena says “many common health problems may not be adequately addressed in the main stream UK health service. Since UK doctors don’t prescribe herbal medicines, and pharmacies often don’t offer them, the public don’t know about them”.

Dr Nicolette Perry, pharmacognosist at Dilston Physic Garden, says “Visitors to the physic garden regularly ask which plants can help treat common conditions and which are safe to take with certain conditions or medications.  We are delighted that Davina Hopkinson and other medical herbalists are able provide qualified professional safety-assured plant medicine here in the north east.”

In order to ensure effective plant medicine, it is important people take a prescription for your individual needs. Many people do not realise that in order to prescribe effective plant medicines you must be a qualified medical herbalist affiliated with the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. Medical herbalists study for 4 years and undergo extensive clinical training.

Today many plant medicines are being tested in clinical trials and in scientific research. A number are shown safe and effective to treat many common conditions from anxiety to digestive issues. A number tested have also been shown as effective as their drug equivalents, for example in treating anxiety and often have few or no side effects.

The Dilston Dispensary of Plant Medicine is a first for the North East and Davina and Ross have worked alongside Dilston Physic Garden for many years.  We have also had the recent opportunity to welcome Milena Kopkowska who trained as a pharmacist in Poland. In Poland, and other European countries plant medicine is dispensed in the pharmacy alongside conventional drugs and people are given a choice of which they prefer to take. We hope this can help encourage general medicine in the UK to embrace the European pharmacy recommendations of prescribing safe effective plant medicine alongside drugs for general ailments.