Treatment options have increased for patients at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) with the launch of its first Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) clinic. Catering to those interested in pursuing treatments outside of orthodox medicine, the CAM Clinic includes its own herbal medicine dispensary.
“CAM works in conjunction or with conventional medicine. It takes a very holistic approach to healing, supporting the body’s natural striving to achieve a balanced state of positive energy and optimal physical health,” said Dr. Irka Ebanks, Caymanian Herbal Medicine Practitioner and Physician. “CAM can also encourage the use of naturopathic medicine, which embraces the idea of not just addressing the symptoms of disease, but addressing its root cause, which can be influenced by a poor diet, lack of sleep, mental health problems and other factors that can have a negative influence on a person’s physical and mental health.
Various types of CAM approaches include the use of natural products/herbal remedies, mind and body practices, and other complementary health approaches. They are used to help with a variety of conditions such as colds, flu, post-viral fatigue, stress and anxiety, muscle, back and joint pain, digestive health, high blood pressure, heart problems. women’s, men’s and children’s health, weight issues and cleansing/detox.
Dr Ebanks noted that the use of natural products/herbal remedies has been practiced by many traditional Caymanians. “They have found that the use of specific herbs is effective in healing ‘suffering’ areas of the body and mind, treating them, with the aim of restoring a state of normalcy. However, herbal remedies herbs should be treated with caution, as they are medicines – people should be aware that there are possible interactions with pharmaceutical drugs, supplements and other herbs, so they should only be given under the supervision of doctor.
Dr. Ebanks earned his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in 2013 after studying at University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona, Jamaica and UWI, School of Clinical Medicine & Research, Nassau Bahamas in 2013. She gained experience in public hospitals in the Kingston area – Kingston Public Hospital, Victoria Jubilee Hospital and Bustamante Children’s Hospital and Health City Cayman Islands. In 2019, she graduated from the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London with a Diploma in Herbal Medicine and a Diploma in Naturopathy, after which she returned home and joined HSA as a doctor.
Rosemarie Bailey, who works alongside Dr. Ebanks and manages the herbal pharmacy, has been registered as a pharmacist for over 28 years, holds a master’s degree in clinical pharmacy, is a trained cannabis provider, has training in herbal medicine and is a medical missionary.
The CAM Clinic is located in the new and spacious SAH Specialty Clinic at 3rdfloor of the Smith Road Centre. Opening hours are from Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
To learn more about the CAM service, visit https://www.hsa.ky/services-specialties/complementary-alternative-medicine/ or call the Specialty Clinic at 244-7750 or 244-7751.
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