Nurse, Herbalist, Dietitian
Hello and welcome, thank you for stopping by. My name is Jill Burns and I am a Medical Herbalist, Registered Dietitian and Nutritional consultant in Ottawa. I am a Mom to four young adults, as well as a trail runner and a passionate gardener and forager.
I have been involved in health care my whole adult life, initially working as a registered nurse and clinical tutor in acute care and emergency medicine in Scotland and England. I have been a herbalist for over 25 years having completed my herbal education in the UK. More recently, my studies led me deeper into nutritional health and I am very proud to be a registered dietitian here in Canada.
I move very comfortably between what is generally referred to as orthodox and complimentary health care and take an integrative approach in my practice. An integrative approach shifts the focus of care to the whole person, listening to each unique story, holding space for each person and taking an approach that includes environmental, genetic, and lifestyle considerations across a lifetime.
I see both health and disease as processes, part of a continuum, a dynamic equilibrium where we can leverage what we know about health, nutrition and herbs in our favour. The goal is to use clinical wisdom and science to intervene and lead each client towards their best health and optimal vitality.
The emerging area of digestive health and the microbiome is highlighting some key opportunities for improving wellness and preventing disease. Over the years I have worked with many clients to improve their gut health and overcome digestive dysfunction. The combination of nutrition and herbal medicine is powerful and I am grateful every day to be able to share the gifts of both with my clients. Improving digestive health lays the foundation for more general healing and well-being.
Many years ago I worked as a nurse in Kolkota (Calcutta), India and had the great privilege of meeting Mother Teresa. It made a profound impression on my young life. She once said “If you judge people you have no time to love them”. As such, my practice is informed by a compassionate approach, as I believe we learn and grow as we move through this world and that we are all doing the best we can in any given moment.
I believe, and have seen, that small changes made every day can lead to big results. I work collaboratively with clients to develop a plan that is realistic and achievable. Your goals also become my goals for you and together, we lay out the path for your wellness.
There are miracles going on in our body every day. I am in awe of how robust the body is and how plants as food and as medicine can serve to profoundly impact our state of wellness and resilience. It is a privilege to be able to spend each day with this working knowledge while supporting people on their personal health and wellness journey.
Registered Dietitians undertake a four-year degree in nutrition followed by a one-year internship working with clients in hospitals, the community, and food services. During those five years, dietitians learn to translate the science of food and nutrition into workable and manageable solutions for individuals, families, and communities, with the goal of achieving long-term change.
Dietitians belong to a regulated professional body, which sets the standards for safe and ethical practice. Following their five years of study, dietitians must take another exam to be eligible to register with their provincial college. Dietitians must undergo continuing education. This places them in a strong position to assist clients in navigating a food environment that is filled with increasingly mixed messages and overwhelming amounts of information.
Dietitians work with clients of all ages, helping each meet their nutritional goals and requirements in ways that are gradual, realistic and sustainable, while respecting individual values and lifestyles.
Medical herbalists undergo four years of full time education studying medical, social and, botanical sciences. In addition, a Medical Herbalist undertakes a minimum of 500 hours of clinical training in a supervised setting.
A wide variety of health conditions respond to herbal treatments, and herbalists will consider all aspects of a person’s health and lifestyle before prescribing a herbal medicine.
Herbal preparations that a herbalist may prescribe include tinctures, syrups, infusions (teas), salves, creams, decoctions, gargles, and juices. Tinctures and teas are most commonly prescribed.