Dr Simon El Nahal
Dr Simon El Nahal
Medical Herbalist & Medical Doctor
Simon is a dual trained medical herbalist and medical doctor, practising both in Edinburgh and his home on North Uist.
Born into a family of doctors, I followed my parents’ path into medicine, qualifying from the University of Birmingham in 2015. Exposed to both the strength and weaknesses of orthodox medicine, I sought a wider perspective throughout my training which included spending several weeks at the Institute of Tibetan Medicine in Dharamsala and spending time with doctors in the UK who practice holistic approaches by integrating mindfulness and healing therapies into their clinics.
I studied herbal medicine with Heartwood UK and completed a Diploma in Herbal Medicine, gaining a distinction. This included 500 hours of clinical training, many of which was spent with Dee Atkinson and her herbal team at her clinic on Bristo Place, Edinburgh.
My work as a doctor has taken place in hospital settings within a wide range of specialities and I currently work in both emergency medicine and general medicine at speciality registrar grade (ST1/2).
I believe the body has a great capacity for healing and, whilst there may never be a magic cure for all the illness a person can face, the power of the body to recover when given the right conditions is not to be underestimated.
I offer an integrated approach to herbal medicine. As both a hospital doctor and medical herbalist, I am able to bring together the best of what these often contrasting disciplines can give. Orthodox medicine has honed its ability to diagnose and understand illness, whilst herbal medicine looks deeper at the root causes and offers medicine from the plants around us to help shift our bodies back towards health.
Through my training in orthodox medicine I have seen, first hand, the limitations of its approach. Whilst powerful and life-saving in an emergency or with severe illness, my experience of orthodox medicine is that it frequently fails to address the underlying reasons people find themselves unwell and in hospital.
Seeking an alternative perspective, I found in herbal medicine an expansive and inclusive world of healing and support. Plants are our oldest healers, and their ancient wisdom has nourished humans and other animals for as long as we know. The huge diversity of plant species, and the variations between individuals of the same species, echoes our individuality as human beings. We are each completely unique and the medicine we need is equally as unique; one size does not fit all, and rarely fits two the same.
Herbal medicine requires an approach that takes into account the entireness of a person, from the problem with which they are seeking help, to the way they eat, sleep, live and move.
I welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to my clinic. Whether your problem is new or longstanding, whether I am the first person you have approached or you are already receiving treatment, and whether your problem is physical, emotional, or spiritual, my door is open to support you on your jouney.
During the consultation, I will listen to your story and the issues you seek help with, asking questions to better understand you and the processes that could be underlying what is going on. I might also suggest an examination of the relevant body system to support this. From there, I will make a treatment plan together with you, using plant medicines alongside nutrition and lifestyle.
If you are already receiving orthodox medicine, I will make sure the herbs prescribed can be used safely alongside any medication you are taking. I might recommend that you see your own doctor for further testing or referral, and can write to them should you wish me to. I might also suggest another therapy to work alongside your treatment plan if I feel it would be particularly beneficial.
I will aim to see you again in clinic after 4-6 weeks to see how you have been doing and to allow any adjustments to be made to your prescription.
I live with my family on North Uist in the Outer Hebrides and practice there as well as my regular face-to-face clinic here at Napiers Clinic in Edinburgh. You can also book a consultation with me on Zoom or on the telephone.