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Holly Rd Medical Herbalists

Richard Whelan has been a herbalist in Christchurch since 1989 and has worked from 100 Holly Rd since 1997. After completing a University degree and a DIploma in Yoga Therapy, his daughter, Danielle Whelan, joined him as an apprenctice in 2014 and then graduated as a fully qualified medical herbalist in the year 2021.

Many patients who come to the clinic are eventually seen by both of them, often having their first appointment with Richard where the treatment program is drawn up and begun, and then having follow up appointments with Danielle for further support or treatment as required.

Who should see a herbalist?

Modern pharmaceutical medicine is especially good for accidents and emergencies but the old ways of medicine can be the best at helping chronic problems when we need to increase health and help remove whatever is obstructing the body's natural, self-healing ability.

If the herbalist you are thinking of going to has been in practice for a while, then they probably have seen people with the exact same kinds of problems you are experiencing and it is also quite likely that they have had positive experiences in helping those people. Herbs work, that's why we've kept keep using them for countless thousands of years!

What to expect

In the beginning, we focus on whatever is troubling a person the most right now. From there, we can fill in the picture of how it all started and what else has been happening.

By talking with a person, understanding their history, listening to their pulse, looking at their tongue and doing other diagnostic tests we work out the first step, which means getting some help from Nature's medicine chest.

Then we need to work out the second step, which could be anything, for example, making a dietary change, or putting something important into the daily routine, or attending to a source of harm. Usually it will be something that relates as directly as possible to whatever has been making them get sick in the first place. Healing is not an event, it does happen but it is a journey, and like all journeys, it begins with the first steps.


Diagnostic services

The more we can understand, and treat, the cause of any problem, the better chance we have to cure it.


What has happened in the past gives great insight into what is happening now. For many of us, our biography becomes our biology.

For some people, the most important question can be 'what was happening when all this began?' A person who has detailed information to convey about their medical history might want to bring some notes along with any relevant test results etc. to their initial appointment.    

Pulse and tongue diagnosis

All doctors of the past were herbalists and we had to figure out what was going on without lab tests. The arts of tongue and pulse diagnosis were at the forefront of every medical tradition – from the ancient Greek to the Chinese, Indian and Arabian traditions. They are just as valuable tools now as ever and this rather fascinating subject is explored in more depth here

Live blood analysis

Live blood analysis is a particularly useful tool for getting an impression of the overall health of an individual.

It is not used to diagnose illness or disease but rather is an aid, similar to the tongue and the pulse, that helps us to better understand what is going on.

After swabbing the finger to remove any surface debris, a tiny sample of blood is painlessly taken using a disposable device.

This sample is then gently applied to glass slides to ensure the cells receive minimal damage and we can see the blood as close to its natural state as possible.

A special, clear oil is then dropped onto the blood which enables 'immersion microscopy' to achieve extremely high magnifications of well over 1000x.

Blood is an ideal diagnostic medium. Every drop of blood is the same as all the other drops and looking at the blood whilst it is still live is a true 'window' into the body.

On the spot tests

There are several other procedures that can help fill in the picture when required. These include testing good vs. bad cholesterol levels, checking if there is any diabetes or clotting risk, reading blood-iron, sugar or uric acid levels, taking blood pressure, temperature, blood oxygen levels, hydrogen testing from the breath, useful for assessing bacterial overgrowth in the gut, and physical examination of the spine and abdomen.


Prescription medicines

We operate a fully stocked herbal dispensary as an integral part of our clinical practice. Most of the medicines are made on the premises starting from the highest grade raw dried herb material.

Herbal extracts

Herbal extracts are the dark, concentrated liquids that you take in drops or mls each day. Combining different extracts together enables a formula to be tailor made exactly for each patient.

The flavour of extracts can be much reduced by diluting the dose with a small amount of water (approx. 5-10 mls), swallowing it quickly and immediately following up with a small drink of water or other liquid.

Teas and decoctions

Teas and decoctions are also potent and proven ways to convey the medicinal benefits of herbs. A tea is soaked or ‘infused’ in boiled water and a decoction is simmered in boiling water. People get detailed instructions on how to prepare their tea or decoction if these are recommended.

Selected supplements

Nutritional supplements are sometimes used for a specific time, particularly where there are clinical signs of a deficiency. Likewise, a few, selected herbal medicines can be used in pill form and in recent years we have developed a select range of herbal capsules that give concentrated doses.

Adverse reactions

It is exceptionally rare for a person to get an 'adverse reaction' to a herb, as you would commonly see with drugs, but we do see people experiencing a rapid change in their symptoms or the way their body is feeling after using herbs. We encourage our patients to contact the clinic if they have any concerns.


How much does it cost?

~ Clinic Fees

~ First appointment $85.00
~ Follow-up visits $65.00

~ Diagnostic Services:

~ Microscopic blood analysis $15.00
~ Haemoglobin (blood-iron levels) $5.00
~ Uric acid $5.00
~ Food Intolerance Test (1 hour) $210.00
~ Glycation (diabetes risk) $15.00
~ Cholesterol panel $20.00

~ Prescription medicines

All prescription medicines are charged as per costs plus an ethical mark-up for our time in manufacturing, preparing etc. Wherever possible we obtain raw, organic and premium quality herbs that we then process into extracts, capsules etc. ourselves. This means that we can be 100% certain of the quality of our medicines and can provide strong treatment programs at a fraction of the cost to what they would be otherwise.

~ Payment:

Fees need to be paid at the time of the appointment. Eftpos is available, including Visa and MasterCard.

Making contact

~ Hours:

We are open every week from Monday to Thursday 9:00am to 5:30pm. Call one of the clinic assistants to make an appointment or for any other general enquiries.

~ Phone: (03) 356-1118

~ for more information go to the Contact Us page ~



© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd