Green Paws is a holistic veterinary medicine practice offering herbal medicine and other therapies to small animals, which complement traditional medical veterinary treatments.
Green Paws is run by Natalie Russell, a general practice vet of almost 20 years. Having grown up following the childhood dream of becoming a vet, she qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the Royal Veterinary College in 2001 and has worked in general practice caring for pets ever since.
Natalie has always had a keen interest in herbs, herbal medicine and home-grown food, spending as much time as possible tending her garden and allotment with her dog, hens and three young daughters. Having used herbal medicines within a general practice setting in recent years, in 2018 Natalie decided to explore her interest in this field further and pursue more formal training in the area. Initially, she completed a foundation course in herbal medicine and then having been inspired by that, through 2019 and 2020, obtained a post-graduate certificate in Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine, completing the specialist diploma level in early 2021.
Natalie’s husband James is also a vet and holds a certificate in Western Veterinary Acupuncture which can be combined well with the herbal approach primarily for pain management.
With Natalie’s registration, Green Paws is a member of the British Association of Veterinary Herbalists, covering Staffordshire and the East Midlands.
What is herbal veterinary medicine?
Herbal veterinary medicine has its roots in traditional medicine and encourages a holistic approach to an animal’s health. Herbal medicines have hundreds of years of practical history and traditional use, with knowledge passed down through generations in many different cultures.
More recently, this information has been built upon in clinical trials to provide an evidence base for the use of these medicines. Specific active chemicals have been isolated and studied in-depth to find a clear mode of action. In some cases, this has led to the development of new drugs, but many clinical trials have demonstrated that the use of the whole plant can be a lot more effective and beneficial than the active ingredient. The theory is that the synergy provided by the multiple components of a plant gives much broader benefits than the individual active ingredient.
When approaching an animal’s health with an herbal point of view, at Green Paws we aim to assess every element of their health and to use herbs to support, protect and optimise the body’s function, using a combination of veterinary experience and traditional knowledge.
“Stevie was tormented with itchy skin along his back to the stage he would chew his own fur out. After ruling out parasites and running allergy tests we then knew what we were dealing with. Natalie was able to use herbal medicines alongside his conventional medicine to treat the itch, to both help prevent allergy and sooth his inflamed skin. Now he is back to his happy, mischievous little self!”
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