Principal Medical Herbalist
DPhil (Oxon) BSc (Hons) BSc (Hons) MBSI MNIMH MCPP
Ruth A Austin
BSc (Hons) BA (Hons) MNIMH MCPP
Foster DPhil (Oxon) BSc (Hons) BSc (Hons) MBSI MNIMH MCPP
Principal Medical Herbalist Practitioner
Serene, is a registered member of the
British Society for Immunology (BSI)
and of the
National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH)
and of the
College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP)
who has been with Hydes Herbal Clinic for over 22
years and is highly experienced as a Consulting Herbalist. 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 by
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 also
Leicester University in Immunotoxicology
Serene has specialised
in the Immunology of: Transplantation; Virology; Allergy; Respiratory Medicine, and Immune Function.
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 on “Echinacea and the common cold”,
and writes for Bladder Health UK on herbal solutions for Urinary Tract infections, her concerns for antibiotic resistance, the role of the Microbiome
on immune function and digestive, respiratory, and urinary health. She also writes on Prostate conditions and the use of Saw Palmetto, and she maintains a
working knowledge of a huge number of
Herbs for treating an array of medical conditions.
Serene has sat on council for the CPP since 2003 and is their Director of Education holding regular seminars and education days in London.
Serene sat on the council of the
European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA)
for 5 years promoting safety in UK Herbal Medicine.
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