Principal Medical Herbalist
DPhil (Oxon) BSc (Hons) BSc (Hons) MBSI MNIMH MCPP
Ruth A Austin
BSc (Hons) BA (Hons) MNIMH MCPP
BSc (1st Class Hons) IB MNIMH MCPP
Foster DPhil (Oxon) BSc (Hons) BSc (Hons) MBSI MNIMH MCPP
Principal Medical Herbalist Practitioner
Serene, is a registered member of the
National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH)
and of the
College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP).
who has been involved with Hydes Herbal Clinic for over 20
years. She is a mother of two, and is a mature, caring and
dedicated practitioner, and offers the highest standards and integrity together with a deeply
Serene has an
Honours Degree in the practise of Herbal Medicine from The University of
Wales and an Honours Degree in Immunology from
The University of Glasgow.
Whilst working in the
Nuffield Department of Surgery at the John Radcliffe
she was awarded her Doctorate in Transplantation Immunology at
As Dr Foster she is a
highly qualified Immunologist with 28 years experience in Medical research
at some of the country’s leading Institutions, including:
The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford
The Imperial Cancer Research Fund
Imperial College School of Medicine
at St Mary’s Hospital, London
St Georges Hospital Medical School, London
; and lately at
Leicester University in Immunotoxicology
Serene has specialised
in the Immunology of: Transplantation; Virology; and Respiratory Medicine.
She has published in many scientific journals on various medical and immunological matters, including on
“Mite allergens” in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology,
and also on
“Contaminants of indoor air” in the Journal Immunology”.
Her current research interests
are in areas of cancer, multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue, and in the specific immune
function of herbs such as Echinacea and Phytolocca. She has recently written a report
on “Echinacea and the common cold”. She maintains a working knowledge of a huge number of
Herbs for treating an array of medical conditions
Dr Foster’s years
of experience in Orthodox Medical Immunology combines well with her
experience as a Medical Herbalist Practitioner, striving for optimum immune function as the
key to good health. She believes that plant chemistry holds many
answers to the safe and effective treatment of the disease process and she and Hydes Herbal Clinic
have treated thousands of patients back to good health with safe and effective plant chemistry.
Serene and her work on Eczema was featured in "The Kathy Sykes Alternative Medicine Series on Herbal Medicine" on BBC2. She
also writes monthly editorials on health and herbal medicine in the Leicester mercury.
Serene has an active role in the understanding of Herbal Medicine and is frequently asked to present seminars
at Herbal and Medical conferences.
Ruth A Austin BSc (Hons) BA (Hons) MNIMH MCPP
Medical Herbalist Practitioner
Ruth is a registered Member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and of The College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy. Ruth has a BSc (Hons) Degree in Health Sciences: Herbal Medicine from the University
of Westminster. She has spent the past 11 years studying and practising Herbal Medicine, and been an active member of the East of England Medical Herbalist Group before joining Hydes, having run a successful
practice in Essex.
Ruth regularly consults on a variety of health concerns, in particular hormonal problems (fibroids, emdometriosis, and sub-fertility), digestive disorders (including food sensitivities/intolerances), allergies and
skin conditions. She appreciates the pressures of maintaining a work/life balance having had two children whilst studying and commuting. The impact of stress, whether it be related to work pressures, illness,
environmental factors, or the demands we make on ourselves, and how it affects health should not be underestimated.
Ruth is passionate about education. As a volunteer in local schools she regularly helps children with their reading and phonics, and as a herbalist she has run information sessions to highlight how lifestyle choices
affect our health and wellbeing. Diet and exercise are fundamental, and with this in mind she champions a rainbow diet, regularly trying new foods and recipes, particularly for children and the elderly, who tend
to stick to what is familiar. Childhood obesity and the risk of Type II Diabetes are of particular concern and Ruth is currently investigating ways in which herbal medicine can help tackle these issues.
Ruth’s 2006 thesis was a systematic review of the possible/perceived Interaction between Hypericum perforatum and the contraceptive pill. This touched on the important issues of compliance and patient behavioural
aspects. In the past year Ruth has attended several conferences regarding Female Health and Digestive Disorders and been a guest lecturer at the School of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences at The University of Brighton.
She is a keen cyclist and walker, and even runs occasionally. She enjoys challenging herself and in the past 5 years has taken up horse-riding, skiing and indoor skydiving. She is keen to promote exercise of all
sorts and highlights the positive impact it can have on mental and physical wellbeing.
Ruth also has a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in French Language and Literature from The University of East Anglia. She has lived and worked in France. At Hydes Ruth will use her French in consultations to help
French speakers and is also willing to use Italian, her second foreign language should that be needed
Amparo Aracil BSc (1st Class Hons) IB MNIMH MCPP
Medical Herbalist Practitioner
Amparo is a registered member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and of The College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy. Amparo combines traditional systems of medical understanding together with the latest scientific
research to offer the highest standards of care. She is a mature, caring and dedicated practitioner who places the wellbeing of her patients as a priority and has a calm demeanour that puts you instantly at ease.
Amparo has a first class Honours Degree in the Clinical Practice of Herbal Medicine from the University of Westminster. She is equipped to diagnose using orthodox clinical techniques and to prescribe herbal medicines safely,
through knowledge of mechanisms of orthodox medicines. Amparo’s understanding of skin conditions is evident in her thesis “Exploring therapeutic approaches of Western Medical Herbalists to Acne vulgaris.” which was presented at the
Spices and Medicine UCL Conference and in the National Institute of Medical Herbalists Conference 2013. Already published as an abstract, her study will appear soon in a peer reviewed Journal.
Amparo worked as an intern in the NHS researching awareness of Diabetes in the local population of Bexley to inform service development. She is the co-author of the paper “Evaluation of the attitudes of high risk communities
towards diabetes risk factors in the London Borough of Bexley” which was published in the Diabetes UK 2013 Conference. Amparo was awarded a diploma in Initiation to Scientific Research by the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
In this program she had the opportunity to deepen her knowledge of cancer as a disease and explore the theoretical basis of angiogenesis and antiangiogenic therapies as a block on endothelial cells of blood vessels to prevent
metastasis. Her work is registered in the intellectual property office in Spain. Amparo’s research interests are in Diabetes and related health problems, cancer, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, and Post Traumatic Stress,
although she has a good all-round knowledge of all medical conditions.
Her interest in how people and indigenous groups use herbal medicines around the globe brought her to start postgraduate studies in Medical Anthropology which will compliment her full time work at Hydes. Amparo is a truly dedicated
Amparo can conduct consultations in English, Spanish or French!