Dr. Graeme Tobyn

Dr. Graeme Tobyn

Senior Lecturer

School of Community Health and Midwifery

Brook Bulding, BB323

+44 (0) 1772 89 3788


Lecturer at undergraduate and postgraduate levels within the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, with a focus on holism, patient-centred approaches and diet; an experienced medical herbalist with a history of working within the NHS and as an external clinical examiner of BSc Herbal Medicine students and a historian of medicine interested in the (herbal) remedies of the past and how history can support medical competencies on contemporary training programmes. 

Full Profile

Graeme Tobyn graduated from Leeds University in 1978 with a degree in Russian with Italian. He developed the Latin and French he learned at school for use in his later studies of the histories of Renaissance and early modern medicine. He trained in herbal medicine in the 1980s, graduating with the top award and, after a six-month engagement as a phlebotomist at University College Hospital, London, entered practice in 1990 as a herbalist and member (later fellow) of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. He became a herbal trainer in 1993, working at several NIMH training clinics, and switched to external clinical examiner for two BSc Herbal Medicine programmes from 2007. In 2000 he joined UCLan as a senior lecturer and took over the leadership of the BSc Herbal Medicine there the following year. His teaching focus on the programme (2001-2012) was in clinical examination skills and therapeutics. He completed his PGDipHE in 2005. Since 2011 he has been leader of the MSc Herbal Medicine, and in 2016 took over the running of the MSc Integrated Healthcare. In 2015 he was visiting botanical medicine scholar at Bastyr university, Seattle, USA. In 2017 he was awarded a PhD in the history of medicine from Lancaster University. 

Membership of professional and learned bodies
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the British Society for the History of Pharmacy
  • Member of the Royal Historical Society
  • Member of the College of Medicine
Social Media

Profile on LinkedIn. Publications on Academia.edu and Researchgate.


Tobyn, G. (2018). Herbaries and apothecaries: The identification of William Turner’s herbalists in Elizabethan and Stuart England, Vesalius, XXIV(2), 67-75.

Tobyn, G., Denham, A., & Whitelegg, M. (2011, repub. 2015). The Western herbal tradition: 2000 years of medicinal plant knowledge. London, UK: Singing Dragon Books.

Tobyn, G. (2015). Dr Reason and Dr Experience: Culpeper’s assignation of planetary rulers in The English Physitian. In Charles Burnett and Dorian Greenbaum (eds.) From Masha'allah to Kepler: Theory and Practice in Medieval and Renaissance Astrology. Lampeter, Wales: Sophia Centre Press.

Tobyn, G. (2014). An Anatomy of The English Physitian. In S. Francia & A. Stobart (eds.) Critical approaches to the history of western herbal medicine. London, UK: Bloomsbury.

Tobyn, G. (1997, repub. 2013). Culpeper’s medicine: A practice of Western holistic medicine. London: Singing Dragon Books.


  • PhD, Dept of History, Lancaster University, 2017
  • PGCert HE UCLan 2004
  • Dip.Phyt School of Herbal Medicine 1990
  • BA (Hons) Russian University of Leeds 1978


UG and PG modules, professional doctorate supervision

External Activities

  • Member of the editorial board of the Journal of Herbal Medicine.
  • External examiner for BSc Herbal Medicine, BSc Clinical Herbalism and MSc Herbal Therapeutics programmes, Lincoln College



  • History of medicine
  • Herbal medicine


Tobyn G. ‘Ancients v moderns in herbal medicine: authority, evidence and effectiveness’.
Herbal medicine: Ancient Heritage and Modern Practice conference, University of Wales Lampeter, 16-20 August 2019.

Tobyn G. ‘Culpeper on distillations in his translation of the London Pharmacopoeia compared with his herbal’, British Society for the History of Pharmacy conference, Kegworth, 6-8 April 2018

Tobyn G. ‘The changing names of the apothecary’s colleague in Tudor and Stuart England’, British Society for the History of Medicine 27th Congress, Surgeon’s Hall, Edinburgh, September 2017.