Benna Keoghoe, BSc, Medical Herbalist (Dip. Phytotherapy)
Throughout my childhood, my parents fostered a strong love of nature by spending time together in nature, bike riding, camping, gardening, hiking, cross country skiing, and canoeing.
My first degree was in Environmental Science and Wildlife Conservation, after which, I worked for environmental non-profits doing research and outreach work for 6 years. In 2011, while I was working as a Forest Stewardship Coordinator, I started taking an intro course in Herbal Medicine taught by a local Medical Herbalist (Savayda Jarone) and it changed my life. I fell in love with Herbal Medicine and discovered that I could become a professional herbal practitioner! So with the guidance of Savayda, I chose to pack up and move to Victoria, B.C. to take the Diploma of Phytotherapy at Pacific Rim College.
The Diploma of Phytotherapy at Pacific Rim College is one of the most comprehensive courses in Western Herbal Medicine in North America. Classes include Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, Biochemistry, Energetics of Western Herbal Medicine, Herbal Pharmacy, Botany, Phytochemistry, Examination Skills, Nutrition, Avurveda, and the Materia Medica of 200+ herbs. Herbal Therapeutic protocols, Case studies and over 450 hours in a student clinic were also part of the in depth training as a Herbal Practitioner. I also had the opportunity to take electives in Flower Essences, Tuina, Mental Health Therapeutics, Oncology, and Pediatrics taught by guest lecturers from around the world! While at Pacific Rim College, I took the opportunity to volunteer for a few semesters in the schools herbal dispensary which contained over 250 herbs.
During this program Herbal Medicine has shown it's worth often, but most specifically when I had my own personal complex health concern with my immune system and adrenal health. Herbal medicine was the only source of real help for my situation. I know that I would have developed a more serious condition if I hadn't had herbal medicine in my life.
My Therapeutic Approach:
I believe in holistic medicine, we are all complex human beings with our own unique experiences, responses and health concerns. My job is to listen to and support you through your healing process. Finding the appropriate herbal formulas, dosage, nutrition, lifestyle advice and Tuina massage (if appropriate) specific to you.
I also feel that a team is often better than one and enjoy working alongside other practitioners including GP's, specialists and other complimentary health practitioners. I am so happy to be working in a clinic where I am working alongside other healing modalities.
I also firmly believe that Herbal Medicine can be a great conduit of re-uniting humans to plants and the natural world in a way that has generally been forgotten. This alone can be an immensely healing experience for both human and nature itself. Once we have a sense of deeper connection with the earth, we tend to have a stronger sense of belonging and purpose, plus more drive to understand and protect the planet we live on.
Because of my love of mother earth and her inhabitants, I carefully source all of my herbs with quality, environmental impact and human rights in mind. I also make conscious decisions when considering the use of botanicals that are at risk of over harvesting. Wherever possible, I like to harvest the medicines and prepare them myself, always being mindful of conservation ethics, timing and intention during harvest.
Being empowered in ones own health is also a topic that is dear to me, so part of my work involves workshops, teaching and, if a patient is interested, details about their health concerns, options and treatments.
Since moving back to Nova Scotia, I have spent time on finding the right community for me to live in. My goal is to live and practice in rural Nova Scotia where access to complementary holistic therapies (such as Herbal Medicine) are very low. In the clinic I am enthusiastically accepting patients with a broad array of concerns, but I have special interest in Auto-Immune disease, Endocrinology, Fertility/Menstrual Cycles and Sexual Health. I am also driven to create a welcoming, accessible and comfortable clinic space to all human beings. If there are any questions, concerns, or comments in this regard I welcome patients to contact me so that I can work to meet your needs.
I have become a member or the Board of Directors for the Herbalist Association of Nova Scotia (HANS) and am currently available for appointments via skype of phone. If you wish to book an appointment with me you can do so on the 'Services' page or by e-mail or phone.