Dr. Rosari Kingston


What is Medical Herbalism?

Medical herbalism is effective, proven, natural and environmentally friendly. Its written tradition can be traced back 5,000 years and the earliest evidence of its use some 60,000 years. The pharmaceutical industry would not exist without it. Unlike modern drugs it is relatively inexpensive and has few side effects. It frequently offers solutions where conventional medicine has failed.

Everyone knows what a doctor is, how they trained, and, if they are consultants, their medical speciality. There is no such clarity of information available about herbalists, hence I offer some information about myself.

I am a member of the Irish Institute of Medical Herbalists (IIMH) which is a legally incorporated professional body dedicated to continued research in herbal medicine.


Like other health care professionals my training involved the study of the biological sciences, clinical diagnostic techniques, and the tradition and science of plants that can be used therapeutically.  I obtained an M.Sc in herbal medicine from the University of Wales, and a PhD from University College Cork. I continue to teach on the subject of Irish Healing Tradition in the University College, Cork.

My MSc thesis  concentrated on the scientific foundation for the therapeutic  use of Crataegus monogyna and my PhD dissertation examined Irish vernacular medicine in the 21st century. These in-depth studies, involving the integration of science and traditional knowledge, as well as continued  participation in research groups, allow me to approach health care issues from a very broad perspective.

I’m also involved in teaching healthcare professionals integrate traditional medicine into their practice.


I am particularly interested in the hormonal system, and consider that it is a system that is badly affected by today's way of living. Infertility, PCOS, endometriosis, PMS, thyroid dysfunction are some of the more obvious effects of a hormonal system gone awry, but current research also indicates other health issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), are also linked to this system.

Even though I was trained through the conventional route  of university, I am aware that, within Ireland, there are many traditional healers who were taught through their family lineage. Such healers belong to the world of vernacular medicine, and their skills, stories, and therapeutic practices, are of great interest to me. These healers, and the written record of this tradition, continue to inform and enrich my approach to clinical practice due to its wisdom, insight, and exceptional knowledge.

My interests, then, combine both the Irish vernacular tradition and modern research. It is this broad sweep of interest that allows me to give you,  my patient, the time and the skills to listen to your story and your health concerns. These skills also allow me to assess, prescribe, and dispense the herbal medicine most suited to each individual case.


Ireland's Hidden Medicine - An exploration of Irish indigenous medicine from legend and myth to the present day, 2021.

Book chapter:

Kingston R., 9."Medicinas Tradicionais Europeias". Medicina integrativa na prática Clínica. Edited by Ciro Blujus dos Santos Rohde, Mirella Martins de Castro Mariani, Ricardo Ghelman. 1st ed., Manole [publisher], 2021, page 86.ISBN: 9786555763508

Peer reviewed publications:
Folk Medicine and Its Second Life. Estudios Irlandeses, 2017. 12(2): p. 91-106.
The Evil Eye and Biomedicine. Béascna, 2017. 10: p. 65-83.
A Tale of Two Bonesetters. Béascna, 2013. 8: p. 89-102.
A brief examination of the therapeutic properties of some of the herbs mentioned in the National Folklore Schools Collection (NFCS), Co. Clare. Béascna, 2011.

Academic conference papers:
The Provenance of some Plant Knowledge Today ( Irish Conference of Medievalists. University College, Cork. 2019)
Worldview and Healing (Queens University, Belfast, 2016),
Charms and Healing (Maynooth University, 2014).

Conference papers concerned with continuous professional development (CPD):

A Herbalist's approach to cardiovascular insufficiency and diabetes. (CPP. October 2021)
Culture and its Impact on Clinical Practice (Herbfeast, Co. Mayo, 2019),
The Irish Healing Tradition, (Botanica conference, Trinity College, Dublin, 2014)

Canadian Herb Conference. International panel. (November 2021)

Canadian Herb Conference. Culture and its integration into Clinical Practice (November 2021)

Ireland's Hidden Medicine


Dr. Rosarie Kingston’s new book explores the rich healing traditions of Ireland which resonate through the country’s landscape, music, festivals, and language.

If you'd like a signed copy from the author herself, press 'Add to Cart'

also available for purchase on Amazon