All posts tagged: natural medicine

Start unknown. Finish unforgettable.

After 3 months on the road, 11 countries, 1000’s wonderful people and learning a million new things my Global Garden journey has come to an end. Or maybe that’s just another word for a new beginning.When I started this journey, people asked me what my expectations were for the trip. My reply, was that honestly, I only had one. And that was to grow. A lot. It’s the things I found unimaginable, that have now become unforgettable. Sydney/Australia – Beeing the solution In Sydney, I met with the incredible Alyson from Bee Ecology and together we made a bee hotel – a safe zone to welcome native bees into any backyard, balcony or farm. As we worked Alyson taught me about the importance of pollinators. If pollinators disappear, we will all get stung. Pollination is vital to plants, to pollinators, to humans. Without it plants can’t reproduce. If we don’t give bees a safe home in a biodiverse environment, they can’t give one back to us. The lessons Alyson taught me was something I was …

Benefits of wild birch

There’s a life lesson we can learn from the wild cultivated birch forest in South Bohemia – that all good things should be left to grow wild and free. I toured the natural Birch forests of South Bohemia in the Czech Republic with Leonard Taraba, the head of the family-run company that focuses on the wild collection of the young Birch leaves. These are used for the production of high quality extracts used worldwide in Weleda’s natural cosmetics and juices. The reason why Leonard and his team are able to extract such high quality raw materials is by their ecologically- friendly processing methods, environmentally clean localities and to healthy respect for nature. Their motto “in harmony with nature”. Benefits of Birch Birch is a silvery barked, leafy tree which is well-known for its restorative properties. Soviet countries have had a long appreciation for the medicinal power of this plant and folk healers used Birch for centuries for its diuretic effects, to assist the dissolving of kidney stones and also to treat gout and rheumatoid arthritis. …

Wandering the Weleda garden of Bouxwiller, France

If you want to be happy for a lifetime, be a gardener. Seems to be the case for Pierre Kappler, Head Gardener for Weleda France and Switzerland. He has worked in the 1.5 hectare biodynamic gardens in Bouxwiller, France for over 17 years. Pierre grew up in gardens. As a third-generation gardener, he grew up in a greenhouse operation and was even born in the farmhouse on the private garden he manages today. He completed his apprenticeship in biodynamic agriculture 17 years ago in collaboration with Weleda and the Goetheanum. 4 gardeners assist Pierre to tend the gardens where over 40-60 medicinal plants are grown. These are harvested in the morning then delivered to Weleda where the production laboratories process the plants by the afternoon. This is why Weleda has its own gardens. To make sure high quality raw materials are close to their production sites to guarantee the quality of the products. As we walked through the gardens I interviewed Pierre for a green gardening book that is in the pipeline. I enjoyed talking …

The human being at the heart of homeopathy

Learning about the unique homeopathy production in France with Jean-Michel Libion Weleda France has been making over 1200 prescription and over the counter medicines for more than 25 years – including granules, oils, creams, suppositories, ampules, oral drops, ointments, eye drops and injectable solutions. They are all produced in France in the Huningue laboratory through a mix of automation and human processes and are adapted to the individual needs of patients. The plant to production process Weleda’s approach to natural medicine remains the same today as it did in 1921  Jean-Michel, Dr. Pharmacy and Prescription Medicine Development Manager at Weleda France. He is a trained pharmacist who has worked at Weleda for over 30 years, the perfect person to show me around the Weleda laboratory and share what makes homeopathy in France so unique. There is a permanent search to find a balance between humans and nature – between what we can expect in terms of health and benefits and what nature can help us with. From the fields where the plants grow, the dynamisation of mother …

Nothing superficial here – Arlesheim, Switzerland

This week in Arlesheim, Switzerland team has taught me that nothing is superficial at Weleda – It’s with purpose. Or not at all. My week in Switzerland, the birthplace of Weleda and Anthroposophy – which helps guide the principles of Weleda, has helped me discover the deeper reasons behind why Weleda do the things they do. If it doesn’t work to strengthen the balance of the body, mind and spirit it has no place here. From people to plants to purpose – nothing happens by accident here. My wonderful guide the week was Christoph Lüthi. He has been with the company for many years and you would be hard pressed to find a person with more well-rounded knowledge of the Weleda products, philosophy and the region around Arlesheim, Switzerland. Anything I have learnt this week, I owe it to his calm explanations and wealth of wisdom. Where it all began Together we took a tour of the Goetheanum, built by Weleda’s founder, Rudolf Steiner, as a center for the anthroposophic movement and its various activities …

The best of Brazil

Today, I am leaving the vibrant country of Brazil. A place as warm as the people themselves. A s I wait at the airport I can’t help but reflect on the week that was, and want to share the experiences that it brought me. Here’s my best of Brazil. Monte Azul – A favela built with opportunity The experience that will stay with me forever is seeing power of community working together to build the São Paulo favela of Monte Azul. I’m not just talking about bricks and mortar… they did that too. But the more important thing that they have built is a community that wants to make sure that all its inhabitants can overcome the odds. I spent the day wandering where it all began with Hully, a volunteer now full-time employee of Monte Azul. She explained to me that a high proportion of the Monte Azul population was unemployed, so the community put them to use, to build natural birthing clinics, woodwork centers, medical centers, libraries, recycling plants, gardens and nature reserves, …

The ‘Care Crops’ of Chacara Garden

There’s ‘Cash Crops’ and then there is ‘Care Crops’. W hen you see Moacyr Copani, Gardener at Chacara Garden, Weleda Brazil tending his gardens of over 40 of medicinal plants it’s easy to spot the difference. This level of care doesn’t stem from greed… but something much deeper and personal than that. This garden is his life – from the very moment he was born, in the simple brick house on the property. Moacyr tends to the land with his brother Paulo with as much care as their father – the first gardener who planted these very gardens himself. Even though Moacyr Snr is now in this 80’s, the three men still harvest together, it’s tradition. How it all began. As you know, I love ‘meaningful coincidences’. This garden has another great story that will give you goose-bumps for sure. Weleda Brazil was founded in 1959 by Dr. Gudrun Burkard and her husband Pedro Schmidt. They moved to the now famous wine region on San Roque, São Paulo and laid down their roots with a …

Planted with care. Sourced with respect.

‘Lead plants’ are the heart of Weleda’s plant-rich skin care and natural medicines. Today I went to the Veraloe gardens in São Paulo Brazil, just one of Weleda’s local suppliers of the lead plant Bryophyllum. People call it ‘The Life Plant’ or ‘The Miracle leaf’ due to its wide range of medicinal uses and also the wonderous way it self-reproduces, even without soil. That’s miracle enough! Weleda aims to unlock the inner benefits of Bryophyllum, and each unique lead plant so it can work in harmony with our bodies and our own restorative abilities. It’s nature helping nature. This relationship between nature and people is the key to understanding the plant’s beauty, balance and restorative benefits. To make these products, Weleda sources top quality medicinal plants from all over the world. These precious raw ingredients or ‘lead plants’ come from the Weleda gardens, longstanding partner farms and certified wild collection. Sourcing ethically since 1921. Since the beginning Weleda has respected the environment and our natural resources. It’s not just a bandwagon they have jumped on …

Healing the BODY – MIND – SPIRIT

It’s no secret the human beings are unique and complicated creatures. Our life influences, our experiences, our personality and our upbringing are just some of the factors that make us all as individual as we are. And also impact on our health. I have been learning about Anthroposophic Medicine… tough word to say isn’t it! Luckily the philosophies behind it are a lot easier to grasp than the pronunciation. It’s a holistic way of looking at the health of human beings. Think of it more of as an extension to traditional medicine rather than an alternative to it. It doesn’t aim to replace conventional medicine but to take things a step further – to use the power of the body to heal itself. To heal an illness one must treat the body, mind and spirit not just the physical symptoms. This integrated way of looking at human health was founded by Austrian scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner (founder of Biodynamic Farming and Weleda) and developed with Dutch physician Ita Wegman. It takes on many of …

The growing interest in ‘el natural’ lifestyle

Argentina has a history long associated with natural medicines. One that is only growing in popularity with so many Argentinian’s seeking out a more natural lifestyle. ‘People want to know where our raw materials come from.’ Stefan Niewind, Managing Director of Weleda Argentina. I went on a journey find out when the ingredients come from for you. To find this natural treasure trove I left the vibrant city of Buenos Aires 800 kilometres behind to visit Jorge Gusto – the manager of Weleda medicinal garden in the quiet mountains of Córdoba. ‘The soil in the Córdoba mountains is rich in quartz crystals which provide the plants with a lot of energy to grow.’ Jorge Gusto Jorge is the ‘green hands’ that tends the 3.5 hectares of land, 1280 meters above sea level. These gardens cultivate almost all of the plants Weleda needs for the manufacture of their anthroposophic pharmaceuticals and cosmetics in Buenos Aires. The gardens themselves are a picture of health. Bees are buzzing, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing… ‘Here we …