Hi, I’m Claire…
Gardening and Medicinal Plants have been ‘my thing’, my entire life. I was the child who was fascinated with the way plants looked, smelt, grew, and interacted with their environment. I would listen with keen ears when my grandmother would tell me about the remedies she used to make, and every chance I got, I was in a home remedy book and learning about which herbs were traditionally used for each ailment. Still to this day, you will see me either walking (or driving) along with my eyes fixed on the roadside plants, gardens and ‘wastelands’, scouring for precious herbs. Yes, obsessed is probably a good word for it!
To me, there is nothing better than being able to step outside and snap off a few leaves or flowers to make an effective brew.. To be able to pull out a balm you made from your own garden, with love, and help your child feel soothed… or to be able to plant a garden patch and then teach your family how to use those plants to enrich their lives.
As a mother I feel truly blessed to have this knowledge, because it enables me to help my family stay healthy and happy in an affordable, sustainable way. I also love being able to pass this knowledge on to my children, knowing that one day they too will reach for the herbs.
I work as a Clinical Herbalist and Naturopath, so my knowledge of herbs and their traditional uses is sound, and it was here that stemmed my desire to go one step further and teach others how to ‘do it themselves’, how to grow and use herbs in the home.
I hope that by sharing this information with you, I can inspire you too, to grow your own plot of Medicinal Herbs, and begin to use them in the simplest of ways around your home and family.
I first (tried) planting out a garden around my cubbyhouse at the age of 3, and can always remember having a fascination with all things self-sufficient, namely the idea of walking into a garden or forest and knowing what the plants can do for you.
Fuelled by an obsession with The Bush Tucker Man series by Les Hiddens in the 80s, I began collecting books and plants and learning how what could be done with them. It was a skill I was hellbent on mastering!
Fast forward at least 30years of fascination, and today I run a busy practice.
I’ve had nearly 20years in clinic, and I honestly have to say that about 4years ago I began to be disheartened with the notion of prescribing ‘standardised herbal tablets’, which in actual fact had the tiniest amount of actives in them, surrounded by a zillion stabilisers and fillers!
As the mother of two (and two fur babies), ive always made a point of growing or harvesting fresh plants for home remedies- one proud moment was my then-5yr old daughter plucking sage leaves and infusing them in water to cure her own Conjunctivitits!
Yes, I am experienced at this, but I decided that I wanted to find a way to bridge this gap, and teach those who seek it. I also wanted to find a way to reduce our consumerism and throw-away packaging… I almost feel obligated to do this in a way. Our planet needs help, and this is the best way I know how.
Of course, simple home remedies don’t usually negate the need for good quality professional healthcare.. but there are SO many simple things that be applied in order to sustain good health in an affordable way!
In many ways ive become disheartened with the money grab in the natural therapies industry, and after reading a study by the Blackmores Institute, stating that Medicinal plants are disappearing at a rate 10-100x faster than the expected rate (due to mass harvesting missions by licenced product companies) I absolutely felt as though it was time to teach what I know, to those who will listen.
There is too much marketing and pretty packaging in this industry, and I can hand-on-heart say that often it will be at the deficit of good quality ingredients!
I can also tell you that exotic plants are usually just a marketing angle! For every amazing plant, there are usually a few growing almost underfoot that can replicate the desired actions.
What it takes is a little faith and curiosity, and the ability to diplomatically look at who it is that might be telling you ‘it doesn’t work, or theres no evidence for this’.. Chances are they are usually under-educated on the matter, or have vested interest.
Herbal medicine is not rocket science- it is ‘folk medicine’, the people’s medicine.. I hope you enjoy my page.. Claire 🙂