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Case Study Issue 106: Tribute to Mrs Ann Warren Davis

by Joanne Masters(more info)

listed in case studies, originally published in issue 106 - December 2004

It was to be on that fateful day in March 1962 that my health status was to change forever. During that month I experienced a massive haemorrhage three months after giving birth to a baby boy in December 1962. I later discovered that the main artery from the heart to the womb had burst, and although my surgeon spent eight hours pumping back the blood by hand she eventually had to resort to giving me a hysterectomy in order for me to continue my life's journey. Before I had this experience I was an energetic, strong and sensitive individual, but this ordeal left me weakened and extremely tired physically, emotionally and mentally. After the hysterectomy I was put on hormone replacement therapy, but receiving no aftercare I went back to looking after my family. The degree of physical strength I had was minimal and I was warned that if I lifted anything heavy there was a risk that the artery could burst again. Lifting a kettle was hard for me, so looking after a home and young baby was really too much for one woman to cope with unaided.

At forty-six years of age I found that I reached a point where I felt physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted. My GP at the time tried me on a number of anti-depressants until he finally left me on Amitriptyline until I was fifty-one years of age. What I did not realize at the time was that this tricyclic anti-depressant only works for six weeks; however I took them religiously for five years. Once you are on a drug like this you dare not come off it, as the withdrawals can be horrendous. During these five years I also smoked and drank socially in order to try and deal with the life I had.

At age fifty-one I finally realized that after a trip to Germany my energy levels were so low and I felt so unwell that I needed to try and find out if there was anything physiologically wrong. My body was grinding to a halt. I went to my GP and he arranged for me to have a full spectrum of blood tests, which I did. The results came back negative and so my GP felt there was nothing he could do. He did say that there was a chance that a complementary practitioner may be able to provide some answers and help me regenerate my depleted system.

At first I did not know where to turn until the words of my astrologer came into my head. Three years prior to this moment she had told me of a remarkable woman called Mrs Ann Warren Davis who was a herbalist. She had a practice in Battersea, London at the time. I rang my astrologer and told her that I was going to see Mrs Warren Davis and her reply was "At last!"

When I saw Mrs Warren Davis for the first time I felt at if my whole being had shut down. I asked myself at the time where has the old Joanne Masters gone? Mrs Warren Davis took a full case history and then laid out the plan of action for the next six months. She kept me on hormone replacement therapy, told me not to stop smoking and kept me on the Amitriptyline for the time being. Mrs Warren Davis prepared a herbal prescription for me to take three times a day. As well as the medicine, I had to eat raw vegetables, minimal fruit, no wheat or dairy, no coffee or tea and instead drink herbal teas. The fact that she did not want me consuming wheat was the fact that she felt there was a strong link between eating wheat and depression. The water intake was kept to around one litre as she felt that drinking more would over time put too much stress on the kidneys. The aim of this dietary regime was to detoxify the system gradually. Mrs Warren Davis felt that my body was like an engine that had become coked up with a toxic film that was preventing my organs from functioning effectively. She did say to me at the time that the residue that was there coating my organs was a consequence of the drug intake over the years. Mrs Warren Davis said the first time I met her that she could do so much for me, but it was unlikely she could remove the entire drug residue that was present on my organs.

During the next six months I followed Mrs Warren Davis's advice to the letter and managed to wean myself off the Amitriptyline and stop smoking. Before the next consultation with Mrs Warren Davis, I had also enrolled with my local college for two counselling courses. When I went to see Mrs Warren Davis for the second time, I told her what I hoped to do at college and her response was that I was possibly being too optimistic considering my drug history. On this occasion I did not take any notice of what she said and attended the two courses and then went on to complete a four year diploma in counselling. I can remember Mrs Warren Davis's words of doubt at my attending college at the end of the first day when I sat in my car before leaving the college car park. I did not know what to do with my head. I had such a headache. I stuck with the educational routine and gradually I became used to the whole process and I went from strength to strength. Having qualified I ran my own private counselling practice for ten years.

I continued to take Mrs Warren Davis's medicine for twelve years, but did not actually see her unless my symptoms had changed. I felt marvellous on the herbal prescriptions she devised for me and was able to enjoy a more varied diet and energetic lifestyle. I would like to close this article by paying a tribute to a woman who I believe was a pioneer in herbal medicine; not only for me but for others she has helped during her career.


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About Joanne Masters

Mrs Joanne Masters is a professional and experienced counsellor who has run her own private practice for ten years. In addition to her profession she has written articles for various publications and poetry, a collection of which was included in a published compilation entitled Life Through My Eyes. She can be contacted on

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