At our regular Sunday Market Stall last weekend at the iconic Port Douglas (yup its paradise alright), I got talking to a sweet mumma of two (hi, if you are reading this :) ) about a simple remedy of using Chamomile at home to soothe her daughters worrying skin irritation.
She is certainly not the first, nor the last, of people that are drawn to alkeme in search of a more natural product or method that can compliment their lifestyle.
What I have found over the years of working with ingredients and products, is that, as a culture, we have slowly forgotten about using our intuition as medicine, getting back to home grown remedies, and keeping it simple in our approach to health, wellbeing, sickness and disease in our bodies and that of our loved ones.
As the cleansing tropical rain storm hit (thanks cyclone Kimmi), we had some time to stop and talk in a bit more detail too. Which is always a blessing for me, as I learn just as much from the people I meet, and in turn, I get to share some pretty cool stuff too.
What I often witness (myself included) is that we sit, often with this niggle, an unrest, that we don't know what to do, we dont really want to give our power away to the drugs or the often single focused approach that modern medicine applies, but we dont quite know what else to do. But maybe its just that we have forgotten how....
We ask ourselves do herbs and natural alternatives really work?
In my experience, they are often more powerful in their raw form than we give them credit for. For example, garlic, taken raw (chopped), is one of the most antibacterial, natural antibiotics I have ever experienced myself for infections & virus. It clears up stuff, and fast, and the truly beautiful thing is that my body now craves garlic regularly, obviously when I need it, having built that innate connection with what heals it. So the funny thing is, that thing they tell us in story books about fending off evil with garlic, although twisted somewhat, is actually true.
Plant medicine is where modern medicine got it roots from (pardon the pun), and over time modern medicine has slowly replaced the natural ingredients for a cheaper, easier, more controllable synthetic version.
But where did this approach start? Who is responsible and how do we get our sense of control back?
As parents and caretakers, of our children, our furry friends, family and our selves, we often give away the power we hold in making our own decisions when it comes to our everyday wellness. Perhaps its the age of convenience, of segmented approach to health care or just a genuine disconnect when it comes to age old, home grown, "mum taught us" type medicine.
Nonetheless, what I am blessed with time and time again, is an instinctive pull in people to get back to knowing, to understanding, on a level that is comfortable for them, that there is so much more to health and wellbeing than just what others may subscribe for us. Dont get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of western medicine, and of specialists for what they can offer, but are they there to replace what we innately know, and what we pass down from generation to generation - in my experience, I don't think so. AND, from what I hear week to week many others feel the same.
So, back to the Chamomile. Its a goodie, its age old and its tried and tested time and time again for its ability to soothe, heal, clam, relax and nurture plus more. So why not utilise it at home? Here are a few of our fave ways to reap the rewards that chamomile has to offer:
Use the extract (tea) poured in the bath for a soothing calming aromatherapy & hydrotherapy session. Kid and pet friendly too :)
Make a bunch of icypoles for the kids (grown up and pet friendly too), just mix a brew (not too strong) with some raw honey and freeze off into icypole moulds or cubes. Works as an awesome summer treat, to calm our little ones and can even be a great option for soothing sore gums when teething. Try adding a berry or two for fun and colour.
As a cool and skin calming rinse for dogs with redness, itch, infection, sores - this is a whole other blog TBA, but our furry friends they need some natural TLC. Steep a strong brew, add a whole lot of cool water and pour all over pup for some immediate cooling relief and longer term reduction in swelling and soreness.
Chamomile tea is great hot or icy cold, and blended with other herbs, try a garden brew with some peppermint or basil. Best thing is that its kid friendly and tastes great too, so perhaps instead of that relaxing glass of wine at night, try a warm cup of chamomile instead. Just sayin.....
Some of the many benefits of chamomile include but not limited to are, calming (for anxiety), antiviral, soothing, treating skin conditions, reducing inflammation, lowering blood sugar, reducing menstrual pain, cancer treatment and prevention, reducing cold symptoms - WOW! This info is based on my own research, and we always say, please do your own, empower yourself with the wisdom of what herbs can do to support us. Most importantly trust your own instinct too. Often if something smells or feels good, chances are it is medicine for you in that moment. You will also get that inkling of what is good medicine for your kids too.
Just this morning I was pondering on how a lemonade (icy pole or drink hot or cold) was originally packed with powerful vitamin C (a master vitamin for our bodies, a known antioxidant, fights bacteria, increases healthy cell production, for vitality, for energy