As a child I loved growing plants. I enjoyed planting a tiny seed and watching it push through the soil, open up its leaves and grow towards the sun. I was also fascinated by folkloric stories of plants and trees, so plants were always somewhat magical and wise to me.
If I were sick with an acute condition, such as a cold or stomach upset, my mother would always whip up a natural remedy for me. There wasn’t much that a hot drink of cloves, honey, ginger, lemon and garlic couldn’t sort out.
While I was at university I developed digestive issues, with painful cramping, bloating, acid reflux, vomiting and diarrhoea. My GP failed to take me seriously, fobbing me off with it being down to exam stress and even suggesting that I was making up an illness to get out of exams. In the end I just learnt to live with the condition.
I started work in the City in the finance sector. I know too well the endless hours, tight deadlines, high pressure, how demanding the pace can be, how easy it is to not look after yourself properly and for stress to rule your life.
Needless to say, I became ill with chronic fatigue. I struggled to get out of bed in the mornings, snoozing on the tube and in the ladies cubicles if I got the chance during the day. I experienced constant brain fog, slow thinking, my digestive issues worsened, and my hormones became imbalanced creating severe menstrual problems.
When conventional medicine repeatedly failed to help I decided to go back to basics and look at what I was eating. An independent health shop introduced me to a herbalist. I had no idea that people like this existed – I thought natural medicine was only for simple acute conditions, not more serious chronic conditions.
Under guidance from this herbalist I made simple nutritional changes to feed my body the nutrients it craved. I implemented stress reduction techniques and took bespoke herbal medicine formulas to rebalance my body and correct the underlying root cause of all of my symptoms.
After experiencing how simple changes and plant-based medicines can lead to huge health improvements without any horrible side effects, I knew I wanted to learn more, to understand and use this knowledge to help other people take control of their health, vitality and happiness.
I enrolled on a 5-year Herbal Medicine and Naturopathy course at the College of Naturopathic Medicine. This course involved in-depth study of biochemistry, anatomy, pathology, plant sciences, diagnostic skills, therapeutic formulation and prescription of Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs in more than 500 hours of clinical training.
My naturopathic training consisted of iridology, detoxification, nutrition, Bach flower remedies and tissue salts.
I am also a qualified Ayurveda Consultant (diet, lifestyle and herbs). Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) is the oldest healthcare system in the world. I am very drawn to its principles of living in harmony with nature and how health is achieved through establishing balance between the body, mind and spirit. Something that I know is possible to achieve even living in fast paced, chaotic cities such as London. I apply many Ayurvedic principles in my herbal medicine practice.
I adore travelling and have spent considerable time in India, Central America and South America in the Amazon, the Pantanal and the Andes, learning about traditional medicinal plants from local people who use these as their main system of healthcare.