Did you know herbs can help? Try effective herbal medicine for many common ailments. Herbal medicine gets to the root of the problem, and has fewer, often no, side-effects. But when taking a plant medicine, ensuring you take the correct plants relevant to your individual needs is essential. If herbal 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 aware of contraindications.

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

Dilston Dispensary of Herbal Medicine Come to the physic garden in the summer for easy access to qualified information tailored to individual needs. Enjoying its 5th year, the Dilston Dispensary of Herbal Medicine will return summer 2020. Dates to be confirmed – April-September 2020 -Every Wednesday 12-3pm. Wednesday’s dispensary is led by medical herbalists Davina Hopkinson or Ross Menzies. Davina Hopkinson is a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists – so you are assured of qualified professional help to explore herbal medicine to support you back to health and keep you healthy. Wednesday’s dispensary is led by medical herbalists Davina Hopkinson or Ross Menzies.

No need for an appointment for a 10 minute £5 consultation – just come along to the dispensary at the physic garden. Plant medicine is purchased separately. For more complex conditions just arrange an in-depth consultation at £20 for 30 minutes or £40 for 45-60 minute.

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 garden too, entrance is £4 and the Season Pass only £10.  The Physic Shop also stocks a range of teas, tinctures, ointments and other botanical products.

Scroll down for more information, email us or contact Davina or Ross directly.

*Note: The Dilston Dispensary of Herbal Medicine does not dispense conventional medicine products;  Plant medicines are approximately £7 per week & usually made while you wait. £5 is for a 10minute consultation only, for a longer consultation just ask, they are charged at the normal rate. 2020 dispensary times may change.

Dilston Dispensary of Herbal Medicines

This is your herbal 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 herbalists Davina Hopkinson and Ross Menzies have together over 30 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?

Just drop by every Wednesday 12-3pm (except 12th & 19th June) this summer where a qualified professional medical herbalist will be available to talk to you about your individual herbal medicine needs and offer over the counter suggestions.

Finding the right herbal medicine specific to your needs can be difficult these days with the array of products available. 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 herbal medicines for more minor ailments, tailored to each person’s need.

About medical herbalist Davina and Ross

Davina and Ross together have over 30 years experience in prescribing effective herbal 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 herbal solution.”

Davina says, “One of my favourite herbs 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 remedies. Of course this is suitable for more minor ailments and for more complex health issues a consultation can be arranged.”

Davina and Ross, who are practicing medical herbalist with clinics in Broomley and Hexham, will be available at the physic garden every wednesday this summer 12pm – 3pm to answer questions and prescribe individually blended remedies for minor ailments.

Got a question?

Just email info@dilstonphysicgarden.com or come to the physic garden during opening hours and while you’re there don’t forget you can enjoy the physic garden and enjoy its health and healing properties too!*

*Please note Physic Garden admission charges do not apply if you’re just visiting the dispensary. 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”.

Nicolette, pharmacognosist at the physic garden, says “Visitors to the physic garden regularly ask which plants can help to treat everyday common ailments and which are safe to take with certain conditions or medications.  So we are delighted that Davina and Ross and other medical herbalists in the north east are here to provide professional safety-assured herbal medicine information. Many people do not realise that in order to prescribe medicinal plants you must be a qualified medical herbalist, affiliated with the UK National Institute of Medical Herbalists. Medical herbalists study for 4-5 years and undergo clinical training including in contraindications. Although most herbal medicines have a more gentle effect on the body, with few if any side-effects, plants contain chemicals which act as drugs, so a knowledge of contraindications is crucial, the effective anti-depressant St John’s Wort being one example. The Dilston Dispensary of Herbal Medicine is a first for the North East and Ross and Davina have worked alongside the physic garden for many years now.  We have also had the opportunity to welcome Milena, as a trained pharmacist who also dispenses herbal medicine – a first for the UK. We hope this can lead the way in embracing the European pharmacy recommendations of prescribing herbal medicine alongside orthodox medicine for general ailments – so people have the choice – this would be exciting progress for both mainstream and herbal medical practice in the UK”