So there I was, laid out on the couch with chills and a chesty cough - yes, natural health practitioners are human too! Once they got over their surprise at seeing a prone mother, my two daughters, aged 7 and 4, got into action making me a variety of effective herbal medicines. These included both a cold infusion and fresh paste of garlic, lemon juice and seeds, honey and freshly picked Kawa kawa leaves. These natural foods and herbs contain powerful active constituents to warm the body, stimulate it's natural healing response, directly kill off infection, and aid the removal of mucus from the lungs. I could feel the impact of these preparations almost immediately, with my body finally managing to warm up into a productive fever and being able to effectively clear congestion on my lungs.
It is so rewarding to see these skills become integrated into my childrens approach to health and wellness at a young age, rather than them learning to reach for pharmaceutical medications as their first line of defence. From the outset they are learning that nature provides an abundance of medicinal plants, many of which are commonly found in the pantry and garden. While medications can be life saving, they are often over prescribed. One of the actions of cold and flu products is to block aspects of the immune response. While this alleviates symptoms, such as a runny nose, it can lead to chronic infection. In the case of antibiotics, it is now well known that they kill off the good bacteria that play such an important part of our body's immune defence, among their many other functions. In contrast, herbs such as garlic have powerful antimicrobial effects as well as actually feeding beneficial bacteria as a prebiotic. Medicinal herbs often have multiple actions, derived from the multitude of active constituents they contain, with one action supporting another. Pharmaceutical medicines, however, tend to be made from a single ingredient and have narrow action. Even where drugs are based on nature (and many drugs still are) they are used separated from the very constituents that would have supported their healing effect if whole plant extracts were used.
Coming back to my children, they will take the skills and knowledge they are learning with them into their adult life and to care for their own families one day. As a parent and Naturopath this is a great inspiration and reward. A key focus of A Bountiful Life is this sharing of knowledge, so that people are empowered to take charge of their own well-being in a natural way. Along this theme, bookings are now available for our first workshop: Herbal Medicine Making – Summer. Checkout the Workshops page for details.