New Zealand

Nature’s pharmacy

Weleda are pioneers in natural anthroposophical care, laying down their biodynamic roots in Havelock North, New Zealand.

The first week of the Global Garden journey was amazing. There’s was so many thought provoking experiences that I didn’t wasn’t to miss a moment. So much to see, so much to share. I couldn’t sleep I was so excited.

But I learnt a very valuable lesson from Rudolf Steiner – we must keep things in balance.

Weleda in Havelock North, New Zealand.

It was the perfect moment to begin the next chapter of the Global Garden journey in Havelock. It’s no wonder Weleda chose to plant their gardens in Havelock North, in the Hawke’s Bay region. But it wasn’t just the view that made it the perfect choice, the numerous orchards and vineyards also call it home because of the fertile soils.

The resident pharmacist quickly sorted me out with the Anthroposophical medicine for my ‘busy brain’ – Sleep and Relax Drops. Just one of over 2000 natural medicines in the Weleda pharmacy – the first Anthroposophical Pharmacy in New Zealand.

The first night I tried them I had an uninterrupted sleep for 8 hours. Previously I was getting 4 if I was lucky.

What is Anthroposophic medicine?

In the Weleda Pharmacy

Anthroposophic medicine is a form of natural medicine founded by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920’s. He was a busy guy, it was at this time he founded Weleda with medical doctor, Ita Wegman. His scientific and spiritual philosophies of ‘nature healing nature’ are the core principles of anthroposophic medicine and Weleda – of looking at health and wellness from the outside and understanding it from the inside.

‘Anthroposophic medicine integrates conventional medicine with the scientific and spiritual intention of healing the body, soul and spirit.’

It’s a holistic approach to health.

Just like any medicine, anthroposophic diagnosis starts with an assessment of the patient and the imbalances of the body. Then looks deeper at the mental and spiritual state before offering specific therapies.

Treatments then may use a selection of medicinal products along with other individualised therapies for the intention of ‘self-healing’, restoring balance and a healthy state in the patient.

Weleda Herb and Honey Chest Relief

The good news is that research shows that the anthroposophical medical approach an integrated complementary medical system that is safe and effective and leads to only sparing use of antibiotics.

They must know their stuff because Weleda is the world’s largest manufacturer of anthroposophical medicine.

Farm fresh Arnica ready for processing.

Farm-to-Pharmacy

Weleda believes to keep a person healthy on the inside and out you need the following recipe –

Knowledge of man, nature, substance and pharmaceutical processing combined with all natural minerals, plants and animal substance as ingredients.

Weleda’s anthroposophical recipe for health and wellness.

Step 1: The higher quality the ingredients. The higher quality the pharmaceuticals.

Most medicinal plants come from Weleda gardens.

Weleda only ever use raw materials of highest quality with a proven origin – in most cases from their own biodynamic gardens. This guarantees these ingredients are at their most ‘vital’ due to the biodynamic farming practices gone into growing and harvesting them.

Excellent quality, purity and authenticity are the highest priority.

Step 2: Harvesting plants at their most vital.

Plant harvest time is vital

Nature’s pharmacy

Just as important as planting seeds in-line with the correct lunar and astrological cycles the time of harvesting it equally important too. There’s isn’t an exact calendar date that has to be stuck to at all costs, Weleda believe harvesting time is fluid process. Constant monitoring of the plants means harvesting only happens when the crop – the leaf, flower, or fruit of the plant is at its most vital. Making sure that all the energy of the produce is at its highest tenancy as the time of harvest.

Step 2: Locking in the goodness right then and there.

The Calendula being pressed

Once the ingredients are harvested from the garden they are moved, generally only a few hundred meters to be processed, locking in all the vitality as quickly as possible.

But don’t for one moment imagine this is happening in some rustic, backyard shed. The processing labs are world class, complying with Medicine’s Act.

 Step 3: Potentizing the plant power

The ‘figure 8’ potentizing process

The rhythmic process potentizing Weleda products.

 Weleda potentizes the lead plant ingredient with the dilution liquids by a special rhythmic process to create products in a range of strengths for different ailments. This is done by hand by creating a ‘figure 8’ swirl. As the liquids swirl they fold like ribbons until both the active ingredient and the non-active ingredient combine evenly to great the most vital liquid source.

‘Something I found so interesting is that there is a human interaction at every point of the process – no robots here. Human interaction is vital – the energy of the growers, the potentizers, the pharmacists and the distributers all gets absorbed into every product.’

Stanton is Weleda’s longest serving employee.

Step 4: Packed by hand, not with preservatives.

The team at Weleda NZ seal the deal the whole way through – planting to packaging to pharmaceutical sales and distribution all happen on site. By packaging at the source of planting and poetizing, the medicines are sealed at their most vital and kept that way by their packaging, not by preservatives.

Health is a continuous process

I have learnt so much this week, a key outtake being that health is a continuous process – ideally one treated holistically.

Rather than wait for a symptom I am learning to support the body before it gets out of balance. And if it does to give it the support it needs to restore itself.

What ways do you keep your body in balance?