For the next few days, I will be sharing the answers to an interview I originally did for Live to the Beat. Here’s question #1.
1. How did you become interested in making tea?
For years, I’ve had the romantic vision of my own herbal apothecary: a quaint studio amongst ancient knarled trees with rows stacked upon rows of herbs to heal, to protect and to inspire. I dreamt of creating potions to change lives, potions that were so much greater than the sum of their parts; an alchemy of plants.
In 2007, I lived at a health and wellness resort and detox center at Thailand, interning under the Naturopath. I fasted for seven days, using a program of herbs, plant fibers, clays and essential oils to assist my body in the detox process. Meanwhile, I became fully engaged in holistic therapies such as massage, reikki, raw foods and yoga. I woke up every morning with the sun, springing into the light with vigor. Once I grasped good health after years of sub-par nutrition, inadequate sleep, low activity levels, poor digestion and acne, I knew that I wanted to help others also achieve better health. It’s not just about looking better and feeling better, it’s about living better and loving better.
Every herb and every molecule in the human body is made up of something inherent on this earth. These organic products of nature possess an innate intelligence beyond human understanding and medical science, encouraging the body to heal itself, easing pain as well as eliminating the underlying condition. Physically, herbs assist in releasing toxins and provide missing elements, such as vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals. On a deeper level, herbs commune with the soul, filling each human cell with nature’s balancing life-force and helping to achieve harmony of body, mind and spirit.
Man’s departure from herbal medicine was sparked in 1500 AD by Paracelsus, a German-Swiss renaissance physician, who believed that the body could be chemically purified. Accordingly, the modern pharmacopeia was built with medicine made by man rather than by nature. These remedies from laboratories were patented and prescribed by doctors, making the pharmaceutical companies a lot of money, regardless of whether Mother Nature offers a gentler, safer remedy for the same affliction. While I still believe in the genius of modern medicine, I think we’ve taken it a step too far. We spend about 17% of our GDP on healthcare in America, and yet we’re the sickest we’ve ever been. Something is not right. We need more plants in our life, and less isolated chemical compounds. We need balance.
To return to the question, I ultimately started making herbal tea because I felt called to reintroduce the daily practice of taking herbs for better health in the form of fragrant teas that are a pleasure to drink.