Dragana Vilinac, who died on 6 March at the age of 56 was one of the leading herbalists of her generation whose influence transformed the use of herbs in both Bhutan and the UK. Born in Sarajevo, Dragana was the fourth generation of her family to become a herbalist, although rather than choosing to study in what was then Yugoslavia, she came to the School of Herbal Medicine in Tunbridge Wells, graduating with a Dip. Phyt., in 1986.
Following further study at the College of Traditional Medicine in Guangzhou, Dragana established a practice in Leicester as well as developing the tincture department at East West Herbs – a major supplier of Chinese herbal products in the 1980s/90s. In 1994 Dragana joined an EU project to establish the Research and Pharmaceutical Units of Bhutan’s Department of Traditional Medicine Services. The six years she spent in the country left her with a deep love of all things Bhutanese and her contribution was highly valued by all involved as a letter, sent to her shortly before her death well demonstrated.
On her return to the UK, Dragana joined Neal’s Yard Remedies as Head Herbalist developing a range of products for the company. Always a great believer in the value of good nutrition – as well as being an excellent cook – Dragana was a major contributor to “The Chinese Herbal Cookbook: Healing Foods from East and West” (pub Kyle Cathie 2000) as well as“Neal’s Yard Remedies: Cook, Brew and Blend your own Herbs “ (pub. Dorling Kindersley 2011) and “Neal’s Yard Remedies: “Healing Foods”(pub. Dorling Kindersley, 2013). Her last contribution was to develop Neal’s Yard Remedies’ new herbal tea range – a set of products which bear her name and of which she was rightly proud.
Dragana was a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists since she graduated in 1986, and an active member of the NIMH Accreditation Board for many years.
Always stylish, welcoming, generous, with a profound knowledge of her subject, but notoriously self-effacing, Dragana was much loved by a wide circle of friends and lives on in the hearts of all who knew her.
Details of her funeral will be available shortly “If you would like to know details of her funeral please contact Alice Lyon (email@example.com)
It is with profound regret that we must inform members that John D Hyde, former Principal at Hydes Herbal Clinic and former President of the NIMH 1979 – 1981 passed away after a short illness on Sunday 2nd February 2014.
Serene Foster, MNIMH of Hyde’s Herbal clinic writes:
“With John’s passing not only have we have lost a very good personal friend and a selfless mentor, but Herbal Medicine has lost a leading practitioner, a giant in his field, and a tireless campaigner on behalf of our profession. In this moment it is hard to see beyond the loss but we should also remember warmly his many achievements in a long career, not only with Hydes Herbal Clinic but also in his impact on the NIMH, the establishment of the training college and the development of our institute. In an appropriate time we will celebrate John’s many and important contributions in life, in science and in Herbalism.
However, at this time our thoughts are principally with immediate family; his wife Linda, children Mark, Jane and Rachael, and his grandchildren. Linda has asked us to inform you that John’s funeral has been arranged for 3pm on 13th February 2014, and those friends and colleagues who wish to pay their respects are welcome to join with the family at the Gilroes Crematorium, Leicester.”