Cycle of Healing

The cycle of healing is a naturopathic process of cleansing, activating, nourishing and relaxing the body into balance and health.

cycle of healing water cleansing

Why Healing is Required

Dis-ease occurs when there is an imbalance in the body in one or more of its systems. It may manifest as physical symptoms or emotional states, or both. There is a strong connection with the mind, emotions and the body, so they all must be viewed holistically.

The most important part of naturopathic care is to find the underlying cause of dis-ease. By identifying the root cause of dis-ease, the road map back to wellness is now a clear path forward.

From here, I look where balance is required to address health concerns and use natural health methods to support self-healing in the body. This includes fasting, prescription herbal medicine, detoxification supplements, clay therapy and more.

The cycle of healing is a step by step process for rebalancing the body into health and vitality. Each step is carried out in a particular order to optimise homeostasis and health by working with the body and its functions.

I like to compare the cycle of healing to paddling downstream. You are going with the flow, not against it. I work with the body to optimise its processes and getting real, lasting results of true health. Simply treating the symptoms of dis-ease is not healthcare, as it fails to solve the issue on a deeper level.

citrus fruits slice


Cleansing is the first step in the cycle of healing. Depending on the severity of dis-ease manifestation will determine the type and length of time required for cleansing.

For example, some people only require a gentle spring cleanse to kick start their body into action. For others, perhaps with a persistent health concern such as idiopathic infertility will need a deeper, longer cleanse.

I use iridology, comprehensive consultations and face/tongue/nails analysis to determine the best type of cleanse suitable.

Some examples of cleanses include:
-Heavy metal detox
-Pre-conception cleanse
-Parasite removal
-Gut cleanse
-Liver detox
-Lymphatic cleanse
-Gall bladder cleanse

As you can see, there is a huge range of cleanses that can help you to feel vibrant in physical health. It all depends on which cleanse is most suitable for you which is highly individual. Each type of cleanse or detox is customised for your unique body type and health goals.

It is important to note that cleansing is a powerful step in the cycle of healing. It takes courage to step onto the path of self-healing, and taking full responsibility for health. Cleansing is a purifying process – shedding the old patterns, thoughts, beliefs and ideas we have outgrown.

Often a lot of deeper, unaddressed issues can come to the surface that need to be resolved. It can be taxing energetically to have a lot of things come forth, so my advice is to take cleansing on the more gentle side at first. Easing into it is better than going full force.

I have also seen people who do too much cleansing at once and begin to feel tired and worn out. This is because they need to balance cleansing with the next steps in the cycle of healing; activating, nourishing and relaxing.


Activating is the second step in the cycle of healing. Clearing out the excess waste products in the body through cleansing paves the way for feeling energised again.

I suggest activating health protocols that support wellbeing by increasing circulation, improving nutrient assimilation, energising the brain and strengthening the immune system, to name a few.

If your circulatory system is flowing strongly, your body will be efficiently circulating nutrients and oxygen to your all cells. Can you imagine the amazing feeling of vitality where you are energised on a cellular level?

By improving your nutrient uptake through activating the digestive system, all the nutritious food you consume will be absorbed and used by your body. I think everyone wants glowing skin, glossy healthy hair, strong nails and clear eyes!

These are but a few examples of what activating will do in the cycle of healing. It is where you start to really feel good, and get visible results with your healing journey.

I think of the following words and feelings that activating brings:


Nourishing is one of my favourite steps in the cycle of healing. It is where I find a deep level of lasting health is attained, but only if this step is invested in properly.

I would suggest that nourishing is the most critical step in the cycle of healing, yet the most overlooked. The reason being, after doing a cleanse and getting activated most people feel amazing, healthier and think “that’s it”.

I will be honest here, it took time to get into a state of dis-ease and now it will take time and effort to get back into a healthy state of being. There are no quick fixes, and lasting solutions are built on daily habits repeated over the course of weeks and months.

This is why nourishing is so important to maintain this new sense of health and vitality. It is a space for cultivating deep self love, building healthy habits, and expanding our capacity for healing and growth.

When there is a need for deep tissue regeneration, adrenal support and/or hormonal balance, nourishing protocols are the way forward.

If there has been a history of inflammation, autoimmune disease, tissue damage or gut issues (to name a few examples!) then nourishing healthy new tissue growth is key.

Quite literally, rebuilding the body on a new healthy foundation is required. Otherwise, there may be a tendency to slip back into destructive patterns and dis-ease can easily flare up again.

How frustrating it feels to be right back at square one after all that work! This is because the body is still actively healing and renewing itself on a cellular level. Keep working hard at nourishing yourself and you will soon be in the next stage: relaxing.


Finally, you’ve made it! Relaxing is the final step in the cycle of healing. Here is where you get to enter into the peaceful state of maintenance. The essence of working through a full cycle of healing is to come to this state of equilibrium.

The idea of cleansing is to remove excess, unwanted waste products. We then heighten our energy levels and vitality through activating. Nourishing follows to enhance deep restoration. Finally relaxing is where we can enjoy a state of peace and bliss in our newfound level of health.

This is the feeling of a runners high, riding the wave to shore or feeling in flow with life. You have done the hard work and now it is time to embrace the good in life and enjoy your bliss, sinking into the feeling of peace and calm you have earned.

The main focus of relaxing at this step in the cycle of healing is maintenance. Continuing on with your daily health practices to maintain your well being is the key.


The only constant in life is change! In time, life happens and you will become aware of when another cycle of healing is to commence. Perhaps your energy levels begin to drop, or as the seasons change in nature you feel called to undergo a seasonal cleanse.

This is a natural and cyclical process and self-awareness of your body will indicate when you are ready to step into the cycle of healing again. There is no right or wrong answer, or exact time frame. Trust your body to communicate what it needs and follow through from a place of self love.

If you are interested to learn more about the cycle of healing, cleansing or any other natural health solutions, feel free to send me a message on my contact page. I always answer any questions you may have.

For ongoing support, visit my group on Facebook – Flourishing Feminine. I post here new videos on health, healing and herbal medicine every week.

With love and light to you on your health journey,

Natasha xx


Reiki, pronounced ‘ray-key’ is a Japanese energy medicine that promotes relaxation and self-healing.

How Does Reiki Work?

Reiki energy can be described as the subtle energy of sacredness. It is a highly refined energy that connects us (humans, animals, plants) with higher realms (the divine, heaven).

A practitioner calls upon reiki healing energy and is a channel for pure universal energy to flow through. It is one of the most powerful tools for healing, as reiki works on a soul level to clear trauma and release blockages.

Because reiki healing is an energy or vibrational medicine, it surpasses regular time and space. It can be sent across the world at distance and sent into the past to heal past experiences that are holding us back in the present.

Reiki is all about intention, and where intention goes, energy flows. We can use it in our daily lives to heal the past and clear the way for a bright, happy future.

It cannot harm, as it is only for our highest and greatest good.

Reiki is Relaxing

Experiencing reiki allows the body to drop into a state of deep relaxation for healing to naturally occur.

The body has two main divisions in the autonomic nervous system: the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system.

The parasympathetic nervous system is commonly known as ‘rest and digest’, while the fight or flight response is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system.

For optimal health and wellness, we want to promote an active parasympathetic nervous system more than our sympathetic. This helps relaxation, aids in normal digestion and facilitates self-healing.

There are many pressures we all face in the world today, individually and collectively. It is an important part of self-care to engage in hobbies or activities which help us destress.

Reiki is an excellent way to take time out for yourself to relax. Allow it to guide you towards peace within the day to day. It can be used as a powerful tool on your self-healing journey.

Work With Me

If what I have written today has spoken true to you, then answer your inner knowing and get in touch today.

I offer a free 15 minute discovery call. Here we can start to make a plan for your journey to wellness. A link to my contact page is here.

Women who are seeking support to attain inner balance and harmony with vibrant physical health are invited to join my Facebook group: Flourishing Feminine.

Lots of love,

Natasha xx

Herbal Medicine

“Herbal Medicine is the therapeutic use of plant preparations to prevent disease, enhance health and alleviate suffering.” – New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists.

Plants (and plant medicine) have innate intelligence. They offer a beautiful gift to the inhabitants of Earth. Medicinal plants are used by medical herbalists for the sole purpose of assisting with the healing and recovery process from dis-ease or injury and to enhance wellbeing.

What Do Herbalists Do?

The approach for herbalists is one of unity, working together to achieve balance and harmony. Herbal medicine is a gentle, supportive aid to bring your body back in to balance.

My role as a medical herbalist is to identify and remove the obstacles impeding health. I use herbs to provide support to your body as it regenerates and self heals. During a client consultation, I see signs which indicate areas in need of balance or support.

For example, a client presents with asthma triggered by dust and animal dander. I would look to herbs that offer anti-allergic actions, support the airways and reduce inflammation.

In herbal medicine, there are many different herbs that could be suitable for someone. However, each herb is specially chosen based on the clients individuality. There are safety considerations, taste preferences and the overall strength of the body I weigh up when prescribing herbs.

Prescribing Herbal Medicine

As a medical herbalist, I am formally trained in the prescribing and dispensing of therapeutic plant medicine. Herbalists prescribe herbs for internal use like dried tea blends, powders or herbal liquid extracts. Herbal creams and balms for external use are another treatment option.

The magic is in the dose! Each herb has a therapeutic range. This is the amount of herb required to offer it’s healing gift for you. Some herbs may be better suited than others. Herbalists look for ‘indications’ of which herb is best for the client.

For example, you tend to run a little cold in body temperature – cooling herbs like globe artichoke might be too chilly for you. A warmer herb like cinnamon is better for digestive support in this case.

Safety when using herbal medicine is important, so always consult a qualified herbalist before taking herbs medicinally at home.

I always check for allergies and potential medication interactions when preparing your unique herbal formula. I also consider if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or trying to conceive. Some herbs are safe, while others are best avoided.

You can be assured that when herbal medicine is given and taken correctly, it is a safe treatment option.

Benefits of Herbal Medicine

Medicinal plants when used safely can offer many health benefits. Herbs are powerful, this cannot be underestimated.

Herbal medicine may help with digestive support, restorative sleep, enhanced immunity, improved cognition and more. Further, they also contain nutrients like minerals and vitamins which aid in improving your overall wellbeing.

I use different herbs to target different health concerns. For example, echinacea for immunity or chamomile for calming the nervous system, and ashwagandha for adrenal support.

Acute issues like flu, coughs and colds are especially well suited for herbal formulas. I have dispensed many flu formulas over the winter months and every client has been happy with the result.

There are endless options and variety within herbal medicine. This is what I love the most about herbal medicine – there is something suitable for anyone that can offer support and benefit.

Work With Me

If what I have written today has spoken true to you, then answer your inner knowing and get in touch today.

I offer a free 15 minute discovery call where we can start to make a plan for your journey to wellness. A link to my contact page is here.

Women who are seeking support to attain inner balance and harmony with vibrant physical health are invited to join my Facebook group: Flourishing Feminine.

Lots of love,

Natasha xx

What Is Naturopathy?

You’ve heard of natural health clinics and perhaps you have met a natural health practitioner aka a naturopath, but what is naturopathy?

Naturopathy is a traditional healthcare system that encompasses the concept of self-healing.

Naturopaths believe that our body has the innate ability to heal itself. The power of healing is within you.

The natural state of the body is to be full of health and vitality, and your body continuously strives for balance and harmony of all its systems.

What Does a Naturopath Practitioner Do?

A practicing naturopath seeks to identify and remove the barriers which are impeding your ability to heal. They work with you, to help achieve your goals for improved health and wellness.

Naturopaths use natural and gentle therapies which are evidence based, as well as traditional naturopathic treatments. This includes adding dietary and lifestyle changes, safe and effective herbal medicine and flower essences to your health protocol.

Other therapies naturopaths may use are cleanses, detoxes, clay therapy, hydrotherapy and/or enemas to name a few.

Naturopaths also use a range of physical assessments to determine your health status such as blood pressure checks, iridology, tongue and nail analysis and more.

Together, these changes all work to support your mind, body and spirit. Holistic health of all areas in your life is the naturopath’s perspective for your wellbeing.

what is naturopathy herbal medicine echinacea

Naturopath Practitioner Safety

As a registered naturopath, I work within my scope of practice. I do not diagnose diseases or prescribe pharmaceutical drugs.

However, I do check for herbal treatments and supplement interactions for any prescription medications you are taking. This ensures your safety when following a naturopathic treatment plan.

Sometimes I may see something that needs further investigation by a doctor. I may refer you to see your general practitioner doctor (GP) for relevant testing or check ups.

I work alongside you and your current medical team as a complementary medicine practitioner and take into consideration your current healthcare plan.

We all work together to help you feel your best and achieve optimal health and wellness.

Naturopath Philosophy

There are six principles of naturopathy:

1. Vis Medicatrix Naturae: The Healing Power of Nature – All life (including you!) has divine intelligence which seeks balance and harmony. This innate intelligence has the ability to regenerate and self-heal.

2. Primum Non Nocere: First Do No Harm – Natural therapies utilise safe and appropriate treatment options. This is achieved with consideration to your unique constitution, vitality and disposition.

3. Tolle Totum: Treat the Whole Person – A practicing naturopath does not ‘treat the disease’ but you, the person as a whole. Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects all comprise the holistic picture of your wellbeing.

4. Tolle Causam: Treat the Cause – Seeking the underlying cause of your presenting health concern for the most effective and safe treatment.

5. Docere: Naturopath as Teacher – Providing valuable knowledge to empower you to make positive choices. Use this knowledge to take back control over your life and health journey.

6. Preventare: Prevention – Build life enhancing habits that promote your health wellness with a focus on disease prevention.

what is naturopathy herbal medicine

Benefits of Naturopathic Care

There are many benefits to receiving naturopathic treatment. It is safe, gentle healthcare based on natural and holistic principles. Naturopathy is where you as the client are the focus, not your ‘dis-ease’.

Naturopaths use safe, effective and gentle treatment options. These are suitable for the whole family, from children to the elderly.

You may wish to explore natural, gentle treatments. Or maybe you just feel pulled towards trying a holistic approach that feels right for you.

As a naturopath, I use a range of options to assist you from flower essences, herbal medicines, dietary and lifestyle recommendations and more. I look holistically and take into consideration the whole picture of you and your situation.

My role is to gently guide you towards making informed decisions towards better health choices. I give you the tools to thrive in your daily life, so you can radiate with inner and outer beauty.

Work With Me

If what I have written today has spoken true to you, then answer your inner knowing and get in touch today.

I offer a free 15 minute discovery call where we can start to make a plan for your journey to wellness. A link to my contact page is here.

Women who are seeking support to attain inner balance and harmony with vibrant physical health are invited to join my Facebook group: Flourishing Feminine.

Lots of love,

Natasha xx

Benefits of Self Care

In this post I outline the benefits of a daily practice of self care. I share ideas on different self care practices and how to stay motivated. Self care is paramount to health and wellbeing. However, it is an area we usually drop first when times are busy. Finding a self care practice that you enjoy is key. I have written this from my experience as a qualified naturopath and intuitive healer.

self care flower nature

Self Care Daily Practice

There are so many benefits for starting a daily practice. Endless benefits in fact! I believe self care all comes down to our relationship with ourselves. In order to truly be present and show up in the world, we have to be grounded and centred.

Self care daily practices are the best method to keep ourselves grounded and centred. Nobody else can do that for us directly. Therefore, it is essential to take the time on a daily basis to align our mind, body and spirit with our heart centre.

When we connect with our heart centre, we connect with our purpose. To fill our own cup first is to nourish ourselves so we can show up in the world. Being able to offer our full amazing self at each moment is beautiful! Being present for ourselves and our offerings is what life is all about.

This is why daily self care is vital. Without a daily practice of self care, we can easily lose focus and direction. Our energy becomes scattered, we give too much of ourselves away. We start to feel our life force drain and feel cranky or upset.

Worst of all, when we stumble or hit a few road blocks we easily feel discouraged. Life becomes hard and a not so joyful space to be. It’s a bit like going on a road trip, but forgetting to fill up the car with gas. We won’t get far in life without self-care!

Nourishing Ourselves

How do you best relax? For me, I love taking a long walk outside with my dog. When I walk for an hour I feel like I’m able to process my thoughts and ‘dump’ out the negativity.

My head clears and by the end of my walk I feel refreshed and ready for life again. I can be reminded of the beauty of life when I witness nature on my walks. I feel the fresh air cleansing my system. The is sunlight shining and the birds are chirping, even in winter this is uplifting!

Self-Care Exercise

If you struggle to find what works best for you try this exercise:

Sitting in a quiet place, give yourself 5-10 minutes to tune out. Switch off the phone and computer or any other devices and screens.

Grab a pen and paper and write your name in the centre. Add key descriptive words that express your positive traits: happy, open, fun, relaxed, joyful are some examples. Really connect with those feelings and feel your heart open and joyful.

Now around your name, draw at least 4 circles with arrows pointing from the circles into the centre. Keeping those high vibes in place, consider what activities activate your happiness.

Inside each circle, write one activity you know is guaranteed to get you feeling happy, open or joyful. For me one circle would be nature walks. Another would be gardening. Another might be spending time with loved ones, and so on.

Add as many circles with activities you need. Some more ideas might include getting a massage, applying a face mask, taking a bath, or going shopping for a new outfit.

It will look different for everyone, but the point is you are doing this exercise to remind yourself what makes you happy. When you see all the wonderful things you know that you love to do, it reminds you that you are worth taking care of.

shallow photography of life is short enjoy your coffee signage
Self-Care Vision Board

You might even want to create a vision board with pictures of all the fun hobbies you enjoy. Especially do this if you find you don’t have time for self-care!

A vision board of your self-care joy is a constant reminder to you to let loose and have fun. It’s interesting how life will arrange opportunities for you to enjoy self-care when we are thinking of it more often.

Display it in an area like your work desk where you will see it the most often. When you get a free minute, take the time to sink into the feeling of bliss you get from your chosen self-care activities.

The key to manifesting your vision board is to really feel it from the heart.

Self-Care – Short and Sweet

Self-care doesn’t need to be a big lengthy exercise. You’re better off topping up your cup with small moments throughout the day and week.

Rather than waiting to feel upset and tired to begin your self-care, use self-care to prevent bad moods in the first place.

Being Present

My favourite way to integrate self care into my daily life is by being present and tuning into my awareness. Allow me to explain further.

I know that as a mother and business owner, I have a busy schedule at times. I also know that self-care is vital for me to show up in the world for my clients and my family. However, the time crunch can really play on my mind with ‘allowing’ myself time alone.

So my trick to overcoming this hurdle is to be present. If I am choosing work, I fully engage in work with my awareness. When I choose self-care, I fully immerse myself in the experience.

No more feeling like a split personality with my mind elsewhere than the task at hand!

Is this a familiar feeling for you? It’s quite common for mothers or parents to have ‘guilt’ for having alone time. It’s okay to now release that guilt because you deserve to have time for yourself.

self care alone freedom

Attitude of Gratitude

Self-care is all about appreciation for yourself. Even if you only have a small window of time for a wonderful activity, you can still love yourself at each moment during the day.

Integrate your self-care and self-love into each moment through gratitude. When you do your morning routine, sink into the enjoyment of the experience! Thank yourself for taking the time to do those small things that you appreciate.

Slowly over time, your self-care bank account begins to grow and accumulates good vibes. In time, this begins to overflow into abundance in all areas of your life. For example, better working relationships, happier family, relaxed energy at home and so on.

Remember, self-care is about loving yourself so you can love the journey of life.

Affirmations for Self-Care

Affirmations are a beautiful way to speak your self-care good vibes into reality. They help ground your self-care practice and solidify the effort you are making for yourself.

Try these affirmations; you can speak them out loud in front of a mirror or write them down in a journal.

  • I love myself and I am worthy of time alone to recharge.
  • The time I take for myself is loving and free from any guilt.
  • I feel incredible, recharged and ready for life when I take the time to care for myself.

Summary – Benefits of Self-Care

Self-care is an ongoing process. The more we put into ourselves, the more fulfilment and joy we will get out of life. The benefits really are endless, if we are centred and happy, life becomes easier in all respects.

I really encourage you to take the time for yourself today in the pockets of time you have available. You won’t regret it!

If you are interested in learning more about my work as an intuitive healer, visit my consultations page. I offer intuitive guidance tarot readings and reiki healing to clients worldwide.

For New Zealand based clients, I also offer naturopath and herbalist consultations. Visit my booking page to see my range of services.

Have a wonderful time, until next time.

Love and light,

Natasha xx

Thyroid Disease; A Holistic Perspective

In today’s post I am opening up the conversation to discuss thyroid disease – a holistic perspective. This is a really broad topic as the thyroid has many actions in the body. The thyroid when imbalanced also displays many different symptoms. Plus it can become imbalanced in a range of ways. Phew! This post is written from my experience as a registered and qualified naturopath and herbalist. I am also a reiki healer and tarot card reader. I will also share my experience on the energetics of thyroid disease.

*Disclaimer – All content provided by Sage Intuition is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have concerns about your health, please consult your doctor or another suitably qualified healthcare professional.

Thyroid Disease – Introduction

We have a beautiful butterfly shaped gland in our throat area called the thyroid. The thyroid takes care of many functions in the body. It produces thyroid hormones that aid in;

  • Energy metabolism
  • Growth
  • Development

When the thyroid becomes imbalanced, it can display in different ways:

  • Under active or hypothyroidism
  • Over active or hyperthyroidism
  • Post natal or postpartum thyroiditis
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Autoimmune Graves’ disease
  • Goitre or an enlarged thyroid gland
  • Thyroid cancer

Thyroid Disease; A Holistic Perspective

The issue with thyroid disease I have found as a natural health practitioner is that it is so common. It seems to affect women more commonly than men, however men still do get thyroid issues.

Not only this, but it is often sub-clinical. This means there may be thyroid imbalance but it doesn’t show on blood tests. This could be for a range of reasons like the reference ranges used and more.

For clients that may have subclinical thyroid imbalances, I hear you and I see you. I feel these clients can really suffer because it feels like they aren’t being heard when they talk about their symptoms. Further investigation is required. As a naturopath, I use additional clinical assessments along with blood work to see if a thyroid imbalance is part of the picture.

Another issue with thyroid disease I have seen is that it can be silent. Everyday symptoms are common, but easily mistaken for other issues. Or it’s only when thyroid disease progresses in severity that it gets picked up by the doctor, blood work or the client themselves.

By then it becomes a more difficult condition to manage and often medication is required. However, there are plenty of natural health solutions to support healing of thyroid imbalances.

Thyroid Disease – Symptoms

I will briefly outline the more common thyroid disease presentations and their symptoms. This is by no means a complete list. If you have concerns, speak to your medical team.

Hypothyroidism – Under Active

Common symptoms include:

  • Brain fog, poor cognition, difficulty concentrating
  • Weight gain, being overweight or hard to lose weight
  • Hair loss
  • Feeling tired
  • Low mood or depression
  • Puffy face
  • Sensitive to the cold
  • Heavy/irregular menstrual periods
  • Constipation

Hyperthyroidism – Over Active

Common symptoms include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Racing heart beat, heart palpitations
  • Feeling hot, sensitive to heat, sweating
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Irritable, angry, high strung/anxious emotions
  • Hair loss, thin hair
  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Tremor in hands
  • Enlarged thyroid gland
  • If autoimmune Graves’ disease: tired, itchy (feels like grains of sand in eyes), or bulging eyes.

Postpartum Thyroiditis – After Giving Birth

This is a temporary thyroid condition. It begins either in the last few weeks of pregnancy or soon after giving birth. Typically, it presents has an overactive thyroid before dropping to low thyroid function before normalising. However, some women may develop permanent hypothyroidism and require ongoing treatment.

  • Over active thyroid symptoms at first. This can result in low breast milk supply due to increased metabolic demands.
  • Hair loss is also common, along with mood imbalances.
  • Under active thyroid symptoms may occur next.
  • Typical symptoms include feeling tired, low mood, weight gain and changes in bowel movements.

Often this condition is not picked up initially. I believe this is because the symptoms mimic many of common ups and downs of being a new mother. If you think this could be happening to you, persist for blood tests with your medical team.

Drivers of Thyroid Disease – A Holistic Perspective

So I have outlined a brief introduction to thyroid disease. Now I want to discuss what drives thyroid disease from a holistic perspective.

What are the underlying causes of thyroid disease? What steps can we take to prevent thyroid disease from occurring in the first place?

Gut Health

Gut health is one of the biggest drivers of thyroid disease. This might come across as an unrelated issue, but in holistic health care we see everything linked together. All systems are connected. If one system like the digestive tract is out of balance then it may affect other systems like the endocrine system (thyroid).

When I say gut health I’m talking about the following components:

  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Undiagnosed coeliac disease
  • Food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Gut microbiome imbalances
  • Weak digestion from low gastric secretions, impaired nutrient absorption, slow motility and elimination
  • Additives in food, processed foods and chemical exposure from food contributing to the above points

So what is the connection between gut health and thyroid health?

Leaky Gut

Let’s say we have an impaired digestive tract like leaky gut. Leaky gut is where the small intestine lining is damaged due to food intolerances, allergies and other factors. When the lining is damaged it creates hyper-permeability.

This means toxins and other particles pass through into the bloodstream, fuelling systemic inflammation. Normally toxins are filtered out by the small intestine and only nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream.

Balanced thyroid function is highly dependant on nutrient availability. If there is nutrient depletion from inflammation, the thyroid may suffer.

Specific nutrients are required to make thyroid hormones. Without nutrients from diet and good absorption, the thyroid may be impacted. I will detail nutrients for thyroid function further below.

The essential takeaway here is this: If the body is in a state of inflammation and has impaired nutrient absorption, it can really affect optimal thyroid function.

Coeliac Disease

Another issue with gut health fuelling thyroid imbalances is undiagnosed coeliac disease.

Again coming back to the point detailed above of nutrient absorption and inflammation. Coeliac disease affects the small intestine. It is an autoimmune disease where gluten is the trigger for the body to attack itself.

The villi (small finger-like projections) in the small intestine flatten and atrophy due to the autoimmune attack. This significantly impairs nutrient absorption, but also leads to high levels of inflammation.

If you suspect or have been diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease, I suggest to seek advice from your doctor to test for coeliac disease also.

Food Intolerances, Allergies and Sensitivities

Similar to the point above regarding leaky gut and coeliac disease. Consuming foods that we may knowingly or unknowingly be allergic to or have a sensitivity/intolerance to will trigger an inflammation reaction.

Chronic inflammation will deplete the body of vital nutrients. Nutrient stores are required to bring the body into balance after an inflammatory response. Think of anti-oxidants to combat free radicals.

If we have impaired digestion, food intolerances and on top of that taking in a high chemical load with poor nutrition, it’s no wonder things can become imbalanced!

In autoimmune thyroid disease foods can be triggers for flare ups. It may be best to have food sensitivity testing done and eliminate trigger foods.

High Chemical Load

Eating fruits and vegetables is essential for health! But if possible, I suggest to grow your own produce. Or if that isn’t an option, source from organic stores or farmers markets. Support growers who use spray free or organic growing methods.

Why is this important? If we are ingesting a high chemical load through our food, our body has to use nutrients and energy to detoxify and eliminate these chemicals. We overload the body with chemicals through food (pesticides) and environmental toxins like plastics, household cleaners and beauty products.

Further, environmental toxins interfere with the thyroid and endocrine system directly. They can block iodine uptake which inhibits thyroid hormone production. Other heavy metals may trigger goitre and even thyroid nodules.

It is really worthwhile to minimise your chemical exposure wherever possible:

  • Use natural cleaning products for the home
  • Use natural beauty products for skin, hair and nails
  • Support local organic growers by purchasing their fresh produce
  • Choose organic food at the store for cooking whole foods meals
  • No processed food! Sorry, but I have to be harsh here. Processed food like prepackaged cakes, breads, frozen meals and more are not going to benefit you. It will increase your chemical exposure and just isn’t worth it.


Stress is another big factor in thyroid disease. In my time of taking client case histories I have noticed a pattern. Thyroid disease tends towards the common factor of stress.

Either the client has had chronic stress for some time, or they had a stressful event which coincided with the beginning of a thyroid issue.

The relationship between stress and thyroid disease, especially autoimmune thyroid issues is simple:

  • Stress hormones are released in response to a stressor
  • Chronic stress changes the immune system
  • Immune system changes may contribute to autoimmune thyroid disease

I feel it is also important to mention the adrenal glands. The thyroid work in connection with the adrenal glands in the body. The adrenals help buffer stress responses.

Chronic or acute stress may alter thyroid hormone production and lead to imbalances in the thyroid. High glucocorticoids levels cause a decrease of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). This is commonly seen in hypothyroidism.

Thyroid Disease – Holistic Solutions

I have briefly covered the symptoms of common thyroid diseases. I have also explained in depth what drives thyroid disease from a holistic perspective. Now I want to discuss holistic solutions!

Naturopath Support

As a qualified naturopath, I have holistic solutions to support clients with thyroid disease, or suspected thyroid imbalances. First I begin with taking a full case history. I look to see areas of health that may be impacting upon the thyroid.

For example, looking at gut health, lifestyle, stress and diet. These factors all play a role in overall thyroid health. I also look at previous antibiotic use (gut health), stressful life events in the past and more.

The type of Wellness Plan I provide will depend on the individual. If they have suspected thyroid disease, I may refer them for blood tests from their doctor. Their unique case history will also give clues as to the best direction to take.

Client F – Wellness Plan Example

For example, Client F (fictional) has been through a difficult time recently. She has recently lost her job and has struggled to find a new one. She has been questioning the big changes in her life and her way forward. Client F feels overwhelmed at the turn of events.

During the time of her job loss, she initially felt panicked and scared. It took her a few days of shock for the news to fully sink in. Not long after she has had a low mood, experienced some weight gain and feels tired all the time.

Client F has been to her doctor for blood tests, but they have come back normal. Client F does not have clinical thyroid disease, but from her case history I may suspect a thyroid imbalance due to her stress.

She is seeking natural health support to feel better so she can move forward in life. As a naturopath, I don’t diagnose diseases, but I look at overall health to find holistic solutions.

For Client F, I may suggest the following recommendations:

  • Unique flower essence formula for emotional support
  • Dietary assessment with a focus on increasing B vitamins and antioxidants
  • Reduce stress levels through exercise and meditation
  • Affirmations and journalling for emotional expression and release
  • Herbal medicine formula based on her unique case history

These are but a few of the ideas which come to mind. It really is dependant on the exact type of thyroid disease and possible factors driving the imbalance, along with the client’s goals they have in mind.

assorted vegetables on brown wooden table

Nutrients and Nutrition for Thyroid Disease

I previously mentioned how thyroid function is dependant on nutrients. I will go into further detail about this now.


Nutrients help produce thyroid hormones. In addition to this, when the metabolism is increased in autoimmune thyroid disease (Graves’ for example), oxidative stress occurs at a higher rate. To combat this, we need high levels of anti-oxidants.

Further nutrients required for general optimal thyroid function include:

  • Essential fatty acids – Omega-3 from oily fish like salmon, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hemp and chia seeds or supplements.
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • Querticin
  • Bioflavonoids
  • Selenium
  • Vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Iodine – A controversial nutrient to suggest as excessive supplementation is suggested to trigger onset of thyroid issues. However, iodine deficiency can lead to thyroid imbalances. Check with your medical team first before supplementing.

Nutrition recommendations for thyroid disease will depend on the type of thyroid disease at hand.

For example, for autoimmune thyroid disease a focus on foods rich in anti-oxidants are key. Colourful fruits and vegetables, oily fish, cold pressed oils, whole foods and whole grains with nuts and seeds.

It is also important to eliminate any foods which may be triggering an immune response, fuelling thyroid symptoms. Common food triggers in autoimmune thyroid disease are wheat and dairy, along with caffeine from coffee and even eggs.

A food sensitivity test can determine which foods may need to be eliminated temporarily until symptoms subside.

In hypothyroidism, it is important to limit raw foods from the Brassica family and soy as these may inhibit thyroid hormone production. These foods are known as goitrogens.

For hyperthyroidism, it is particularly important to avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol and other foods which trigger inflammation. Inflammation in hyperthyroidism is already high and needs high levels of anti-oxidants to prevent cell damage.

Hyperthyroid clients need to keep iodine consumption to a minimum, while goitrogen foods are encouraged. It is also important for them to focus on higher protein intake to minimise weight loss and keep hunger at bay.

General Recommendations for Thyroid Disease

For general support of thyroid health, I suggest the following:

  • Mediterranean diet. Whole foods, plant based with a high intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • Minimal refined carbohydrates, sugars, alcohol and caffeine.
  • Reduce stress, increase relaxation
  • Sleep at least 8 hours per night
  • Regular movement and fresh air with natural sunlight
  • Hydration – 2L of pure drinking water per day
  • Reduce chemical load from food, pesticides, household cleaning products etc.
blue abstract painting

Energetics of Thyroid Disease; A Holistic Perspective

So far I have discussed thyroid disease from a holistic perspective with a focus on the physical body. Now I want to talk about the energetics of thyroid disease. I feel this is one of the biggest factors about thyroid disease which is not given enough attention.

Throat Chakra

The throat chakra is all about expression and communication. I feel on an intuitive level that if we are unable to express our emotions they can get caught in our throat. This creates a blockage in the energy flow of the throat chakra.

Have you ever had that feeling where there is a tight lump in your throat when you wanted to cry but couldn’t? This is exactly the feeling that describes a blocked throat chakra.

My belief about physical disease is that it all starts on the level of thought and emotions. The thoughts we think over and over again, for years eventually manifest as physical ailments or symptoms.

What kinds of thoughts would reinforce a blocked throat chakra? How would this relate to thyroid disease?

Creative Expression

Perhaps you were raised in a home where emotions were not freely expressed. Or if you tried to say how you were feeling, you were shut down.

This type of emotional stagnation can really affect the throat chakra. The thoughts that go through the mind when these situations happen are ‘I don’t deserve to express myself, my emotions don’t matter’.

Imagine these thoughts being reinforced on a daily basis by others, and ourselves for years. I feel this is a big factor in the physical manifestation of thyroid disease.

Ignoring our emotional expression doesn’t make the emotions go away. In fact, emotional expression in a healthy way is the best method for processing emotions. Processing emotions allows them to be released. When emotions are released we are kept in tune with the flow of life.

If we are unable to express our emotions through speech, journalling, or creative outlets they can get stuck in the throat. Over time, the negative energy put into this area accumulates into disease.

Because the thyroid is located in the throat, it relates to the throat chakra. The thyroid governs energy metabolism in the body. I feel that the thyroid gland helps us connect with and be in tune with the flow of life.


Affirmations – Hypothyroidism

For hypothyroidism (under active), there is a reduced level of energetic input into life. Perhaps there is a sense of not wanting to participate in life. This may come from fear of being rejected and being seen.

I feel this also relates to feeling deserving of good things and asking for what is needed. Keeping oneself small is a protective mechanism from being rejected. Why does this happen?

Perhaps as a child you were scolded or shamed for asking for something. This could have occurred in adult years also. Louise Hay suggests that thyroid issues relate to humiliation.

Shutting yourself down from the flow of life due to fear only limits your interactions to what is ‘safe’. But this is a closed off energy and doesn’t allow good things to flow your way.

The following affirmations may help you learn to trust the flow of life again:

  • I am safe to express my emotions. I express my emotions with ease.
  • Life sends good things my way and I receive openly. I am open to the flow of life.
  • I release the fear of being seen and warmly welcome new energy into my life.

Affirmations – Hyperthyroidism

For hyperthyroidism (over active), there is too much energy being forced into life. I feel this relates to being desperate to prove yourself in a situation. Perhaps there is an element of seeking validation others too.

Life may be demanding too much from you. You may be busy with many different high priority tasks. It becomes difficult for you to balance it all.

As a result, the body speeds up the metabolism by manifesting an over active thyroid. Forcing ourselves to over expend our energy to keep up with everyone else’s expectations is harmful. We can only live life at the right pace for us.

The following affirmations may help you find peace within yourself and find your own pace again:

  • I lovingly release all expectations of myself. I am good enough just as I am right now.
  • My own pace of life is right for me. I love myself unconditionally.
  • I set my own positive and realistic expectations of myself.


This was a really big article! If you’ve made it to the end, thank you so much for reading. I hope what I shared here today was helpful for your situation.

If you feel you would like additional support for your health, visit my bookings page. I offer a free 15 minute discovery call to discuss your health journey.

This article covered thyroid disease from a holistic perspective. If you have any questions from this post, please comment below or send me a message on my contact page. I would love to hear from you!

Love and light to you on your healing journey,

Natasha xx

Meditations on Winter

In this post I share my musings on the season of winter. In New Zealand we are officially in winter. I like to meditate on what each unique season can bring in for us. Energetically, in winter there is much to see and reflect upon in our daily lives. This meditations on winter post is written from my experience as a naturopath, herbalist, gardener and intuitive healer.

clear glass sphere

Winter in New Zealand

In the upper/central north island in Waikato, we don’t tend to get snow during winter. However, with plenty of frosts we still feel the chill. Coming into winter, some may feel a slow growing sense of dread! Are you this way about the cooler seasons?

It’s understandable. Not everyone enjoys rain, snow, hail or frost! Extreme weather patterns give unpredictable forecasts too. Here in New Zealand, you can easily get all four seasons in one day any time of year.

However, I feel there is actually a lot worthwhile to embrace in winter. Allow me explain further.

scenic view of the mountains

Rest and Slowing Down

I love to reflect on how nature affects us as humans as the seasons change.

Even though we may not be forest and cave dwellers any longer, I believe humans and nature share an unbreakable connection. I feel nature gives us prompts and cues with the change of season that help us align with natural cycles in our body.

Meditations on Winter

For example, spring is a time of new growth, beginnings and fast moving upwards energy. While autumn tends to be a time of abundance, harvest, and inward directed fast moving energy.

Winter on the hand, is a time where everything, including us are prompted to slow down and rest. The diminishing daylight hours mean growth in the garden slows down.

This also affects animals and their productivity too. Winter slows grass growth for milking cows, and the shorter days cause hens to moult feathers and cease laying eggs until spring. Think of bears hibernating for winter. This means winter is a time for a long, well earned rest from our hard work.

We are wholeheartedly reliant on what our beautiful Mother Earth provides for us. I like to see us as the stewards of the planet, working to co-create harmony between us and other species in nature.

I feel when we consciously choose to tune into these natural rhythms, we can benefit greatly from the change of pace.

green grass on forest

Tuning In To Winter Rhythms

What does slowing down and rest mean for you? During winter, do you feel like you just want to stay home and cozy up?

For you, it might mean doing the bare minimum around socialising or going out. I feel like time at home during winter is the best! Do what needs to be done, but the time for being outdoors in the sun will come again soon.

Spring energy can often feel a bit exhausting at times as it is non-stop. Likewise, you may also be feeling particularly fatigued from a long, hot endless summer. Now is the time in winter to recuperate and nourish yourself so you are ready to embrace the sun again soon.

Build up your nutrient stores with wholesome, hearty meals. Drink warming broths and herbal cups of tea. Give yourself the gift of time to put your feet up and soak up the fruits of your hard work over summer!

Meditations on Winter -Inner Healing

For us sun-loving folks, winter can bring on a case of the moody blues. If you live in a climate with a particularly long and harsh winter, it can seem never-ending. Will the sun ever return?

Try not to despair! Know that this is a time to focus on yourself and your inner healing. Whether that be physical rest and rejuvenation, or emotional and spiritual healing. I feel that winter is a time where time slows down, activity slows down and our minds can slow down.

This ceasing of action creates space for us to actually focus on those details and process our healing. If we are in a state of constantly being too busy, we may neglect our own healing and health.

I feel that this may manifest as a negative state of mind if we are choosing not to see where we need to heal.

Reflect on what habits or activities need to be put to rest in your life. What new, beneficial habits would you like to cultivate over this time instead? Habits we take to now in this state of turn around and rest can transform and bear fruits in the busier seasons of spring and summer.

Winter is a wonderful time to do inner work, look at ourselves honestly and change ourselves for the better.

selective focus of herbal medicine on a wooden spoon

Embrace the Season

The best advice I can offer for dealing with winter is to truly embrace the season. Continue to go outside for fresh air and sunshine to keep some movement going. At the same time, when you feel called to rest or have an early night, go for it.

On the days when you are feeling low from the rain and bad weather, make yourself a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy a good novel.

Meditations on Winter – Summary

The winter season may feel like a long time where you live. But the sun will always come back around. Even if you have a shorter winter season like here in New Zealand, it can still be tough to cope with.

Take the time you need to process your healing, embrace the slower pace of life. Rest and recharge your mind, body and soul. Spring will be around the corner before you know it!

If you are needing immune support or mood support over the winter months, get in touch today. I offer a free 15 minute discovery call to discuss how my range of services may assist you on your health and healing journey.

Health Benefits of Citrus

Here in New Zealand, we are entering into the cooler months of late autumn and winter. With this brings us a bounty of seasonal produce to enjoy. Some of my favourite seasonal fruits are citrus. The health benefits of citrus are plentiful. A rich source of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, why wouldn’t you want to enjoy these tasty, colourful fruits! This post is written from my experience as a qualified naturopath based in New Zealand.

Growing Citrus

Citrus fruits are generally seasonal here in New Zealand throughout winter. Some crops like mandarins may be early producers, but some varieties are late season.

This is great because you can extend the harvest throughout all of winter to ensure a constant supply of delicious fruit!

Another brilliant thing about growing citrus is how well they store. The best way to store lemons is to actually keep them on the tree, and pick each one as you need it! They won’t dry up until much later on, but if you picked them all at once they may spoil much faster.

If you are keen to give growing citrus a go, try small dwarf varieties. They can be grown in big pots like half wine barrels. In my home garden I have 4 dwarf citrus trees; mandarin, lemon, lime and orange.

Although they are still young plants, they are starting to fruit well already!

lemon tree health benefits citrus

Health Benefits of Citrus

There are so many different types of citrus available to us.

  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Tangelo
  • Mandarin
  • Pomelo

I’m sure I’m missing a few more! Each citrus fruit will have a different array of nutrients. However, there are many overlapping health benefits of citrus that I will now outline.


Grapefruits are said to be an excellent source of pectin. Pectin is commonly known as the thickening agent found naturally in fruits, that is used in setting jams and jellies.

However, when consumed as a whole food like in grapefruit, pectin offers many health benefits. There is some research to show that consuming grapefruit (containing pectin) offers cholesterol lowering properties.

Although if you aren’t a fan of grapefruit then many other fruits also contain pectin!

Please note: You must also be careful to not consume grapefruit if your medication is contraindicated. Grapefruit contains a flavonoid called naringin that reduces liver enzyme activity. So if you’re taking medication and eating grapefruit, it can lead to toxic build up.

cut oranges citrus health benefits


Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds found in plant foods that provide a range of health benefits. Typically, flavonoids are responsible for the bright, cheerful colours in rainbow fruits and vegetables. Another bonus is that brightly coloured foods are powerhouses of nutrition.

Flavonoids are a type of anti-oxidant which are important for fighting inflammation and disease in the body. Many preventable and chronic diseases in society today can be remedied through an anti-inflammatory diet. An anti-inflammatory diet is one based on whole plant foods, rich in colourful fruits and vegetables.

Citrus like limes and lemons contain phytochemicals and flavonoids, which are high in anti-oxidants, along with anti cancer properties.

close up of fruits in bowl citrus


The most obvious vitamin citrus is known for is vitamin C! All citrus fruits have appreciable levels of vitamin C. I believe this is of the most important nutrients on the planet.

Vitamin C is another powerful anti-oxidant. It is essential for wound repair and collagen production. It also helps to scavenge free radicals which would otherwise lead to inflammation throughout the body. Vitamin C has been shown to boost immunity. It also protects against environmental pollutions.

There’s no excuse! Get your daily dose of vitamin C by having an orange or mandarin for your morning snack today. There are plenty of other plant foods that contain vitamin C so shop around for your favourite choice.


I love to look at foods from a holistic view. For me, a holistic views looks at the energetics of food and how this affects the body. For example, citrus are bright, vibrant and full of flavour. This to me relates to the sacral and solar plexus chakras.

These chakras are considered to be orange and yellow in colour. The sacral chakra governs our creative energy centre, our passions and our emotions. To me, consuming zesty, flavourful and juicy citrus feels invigorating and encourages the flow of energy. I feel that citrus fruits vibrate at a level which is associated with fun, joy and creativity.

The solar plexus chakra relates to our ability to move forward in life and taking inspired action on our ideas. It also gives us confidence and healthy self-esteem. With this yellow coloured chakra, I feel that it certainly relates to the digestive organs too and their ability to assimilate nutrients. Citrus is filled with vitamin C helps us absorb nutrients, and fibre helps us have healthy digestion and elimination.

If you are interested in learning more about the connection with foods and the chakras, let me know in the comments below and I will write more on this topic!

sun fire hot solar plexus chakra

Ways To Enjoy The Health Benefits of Citrus

There are endless ways to enjoy the health benefits of citrus!

  • Fresh squeezed orange juice. Delicious! Try juice oranges with cucumber, ginger and kale for a slightly sweet green juice.
  • Fruit salad. Add mandarin pieces with mango, pineapple and berries. Serve with yogurt and a handful of nuts.
  • As a snack any time of day; orange, grapefruit or mandarin.
  • I enjoy using lemons in my cooking. I always add the juice right at the end before serving. It gives acidity and lifts the whole dish.
  • Limes are great with spicy food like Mexican beans and rice. I always make guacamole with fresh lime juice. Limes are one of my most favourite fragrances!
sliced lime citrus

Health Benefits of Citrus Summary

So far we have covered a few of the health benefits of citrus. I’ve shared my tips for growing your own citrus and how to enjoy citrus in your favourite savoury or sweet dishes. Finally, we also addressed the health benefits of citrus with their array of nutrients!

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and feel inspired to try out a few of these delicious fruits in your week ahead.

If you are interested in receiving a natural health consultation from me, visit my bookings page and my consultations page to learn more.

All the best for you in journey to health and wellness

Natasha xx

Herbs for Winter Wellness

Winter is a season where all the bugs come out in full force! Not only have we been dealing with a global pandemic, but in the southern hemisphere we are entering into winter. This means all the typical flu’s and colds will be returning. I have a range of herbs I use to support the immune system as a medical herbalist. Herbs for winter wellness may assist in strengthening immunity. This post is written by my experience and knowledge as a qualified and registered NZ medical herbalist.

Bring on winter! If you’ve had a long, hot summer that was truly endless then I’m sure you’ll be looking forward to a break from the heat. For us in central New Zealand in the north island, it felt like summer wouldn’t give up.

The garden was suffering as we hadn’t had rain for months. Finally, the heat has broken! We have rain! I can breathe a sigh of relief, and we’ve even had a few snap frosts too.

All of this winter talk brings me to my topic of today, herbs for winter wellness.

Immunity During Winter

Throughout winter, the typical flu and coughs/colds run rampant. Usually it’s the children who bring home the bugs from daycare or school. Then the parents get sick too.

It’s difficult to manage time off work, especially for those nasty lingering bugs. It’s also no fun being sick, or having to see little ones not feeling their best either.

Feeling the cold weather and with more bugs floating around is a recipe for getting sick.

Wouldn’t it be better to have a way to stop these bugs from knocking us back in the first place? Or just lessening the severity if we do happen to fall ill.

Allow me to share my strategy for strengthening the immune system during the winter months.

winter snowflake

Holistic Health Care for Winter

As a qualified and registered naturopath, I have a holistic approach to health care.

My focus is always on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health of each individual. Everyone is so unique and has a different health history. However, in a general sense, I believe this strategy for winter wellness can apply to nearly everyone.

Seasonal Food

During winter the temperatures drop considerably. There is a sense of wanting to slow down, withdraw and rest. Seasonal food for winter needs to reflect weather. I feel drawn to attuning my body with seasonal foods according to the external weather seasons.

Warming soups and stews, broth, cups of herbal tea and more.

When you buy in season food, it is often cheaper and possibly more nutritious. The crops won’t be strained to grow in environments that aren’t best suited for them. As a result, healthier crops means more nutrients!

We all know how important a balanced diet is for our health and our immune system greatly benefits from good food.

Here are some ideas for seasonal foods for winter wellness:

  • Warming spices in soups like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cayenne
  • Bone broth as a soup base for added gut health benefits
  • Leafy greens like kale and spinach
  • Brassica vegetables; cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts
  • Root vegetables; potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, parsnips, swedes
orange carrots on brown woven basket

Lifestyle Adjustments

Winter is a time of slowing down and hibernation. It’s ok to take things on a slower pace than you did in summer time. I know for myself, in winter I tend to sleep a little more. This is perfectly normal and natural.

Listen to your body and go with the flow. When you bring yourself into balance, your immune system will naturally be robust against illness.

It’s also a good time for self-reflection. The slower pace of life means we have time for introspection. You could ask yourself the following questions:

  • What needs putting to rest in my life?
  • Am I forcing myself to work too hard when I just need to be still?
  • What changes could I make to align with my higher self?

Herbs for Winter Wellness

Herbal support is a wonderful way to boost the immune system. There are many options for the whole family. However, I find the easiest way to support the immune system during winter is with herbal tincture.

Herbal tincture is an ethanol based extract from raw plant matter. In New Zealand, usually only qualified herbalists have access to high quality prescription herbs. If you are interested in a herbal tonic, contact me today to get in touch. I am happy to arrange a prescription for you.

echinacea herb

If you are simply interested in herbal ideas for your own herbal medicine first aid kit then read on!

  • Echinacea – look for high quality Echinacea purpurea or angustifolia, preferably from the root. Remember to check the dose! Sometimes the dried herb doesn’t contain a lot of active constituents at all, which won’t help boost immunity. A good quality echinacea tincture will help regulate the immune system and keep the bugs at bay.
  • Thyme – thyme tincture is a brilliant anti-bacterial and anti-viral herb to have on hand. You can easily use fresh thyme in cooking for its health benefits too.
  • Withania/Ashwagandha – supports immune deficiency, especially in autoimmune disease which can make people more susceptible to infections
  • Manuka – A New Zealand native herb. The leaves have a range of properties: anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and more. It also helps to reduce fever too.
manuka herb for winter wellness


There are so many different and wonderful herbs out there to support the immune system. Some herbs will be indicated for coughs, others for sore throats, fever or phlegm.

As a herbalist I access to have a range of herbs to suit your unique situation. If you’re interested in learning more about a herbal consultation, visit my bookings page to book your free 15 minute discovery call.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to use my contact page or you can find me on Facebook to message me there too.

All the best for the upcoming winter months if you are in the southern hemisphere.

Love and light,

Natasha xx

What Are Flower Essences?

You may have heard of Bach Flower Remedies, but what are flower essences exactly? In this post I take you through how flower essences are made and what they are. I also share how they can be used for holistic healing in any situation. This post is written from my experience as a trained naturopath and herbalist based in New Zealand.

butterfly on flower ii

All About Flower Essences

Flower essences are well known today as a healing tool. Homeopathic physician, Dr Bach developed flower essences in the 1930’s into Bach Flower Remedies of today.

Other natural medicine visionary’s such as Hildegard of Bingen have used flower essences, as far back as the 12th century. As we can see, flower essences were first made available by the wisdom of ancient healers.

However, I believe that everyone has access to intuition and knowledge about the natural world. We only need to take the time to connect with nature.

selective focus of white daisy flower

How Are Flower Essences Made?

Flower essences are completely natural and are made using simply sunlight, water and flowers. When making flower essences, I feel that each individual will have a unique connection with each plant. Use your intuition to guide which flowers to work with for your healing journey.

How Do Flower Essences Work?

First it is important that I explain how flower essences work.

Everything in life has a frequency, or a vibration, including humans! Flowers in bloom have a pure crystalline vibration. They can help uplift and correct a range of negative emotions, energetically speaking.

I believe, like Dr Bach that each unique flower corresponds with a particular emotion. As a result, flowers have powerful healing properties. They help gently tune us back into our positive emotional expression.

For example, Dr Bach’s Centaury is for for those who have the inability to say ‘no’. Centaury is said to support courage and self-determination.

colorful gentle petals in water in bowl

Resonance Transfer

I’ve described how flower essences work, now I will explain how flower essences are made.

The energetic vibration of flowers is imprinted or transferred into water through the sun, which is known as resonance transfer.

The process for this is simple and easy. In the early morning (around 8AM-10AM), take a quiet walk around the garden.

  • Collect your flowers that still have the morning dew on them.
  • Place them into a crystal or glass bowl.
  • Choose flower species you know to be safe and non-poisonous.
  • Use a different bowl for each flower species to keep the imprints separate.
  • The variety of flowers you choose will depend on your location; in my garden I have New Zealand native flowers.

Now that you have collected your flowers, all that is left to do is steep them in water.

  • Fill your crystal bowl containing your picked flowers with pure spring water.
  • Place it in a spot of direct sunlight.
  • Allow the sun to work its magic for several hours.
  • Bring the bowl and remove the flowers and any debris.

The remaining water left behind is your flower essence!

Preservation and Storage

The flower essence you have made is considered to be a potent concentrate. Although no harm will come to take the medicine as is, you can certainly dilute the dose to store. I will explain this process further.

First you will need the following equipment:

  • Glass amber bottles with droppers – 50ml size
  • Labels
  • Brandy
  • Your flower essence solution

Fill your clean bottles up halfway. Top off with brandy to the shoulder of the bottle. Tighten the cap and label with the name and date. Brandy helps to ground the vibration in the solution and preserve the remedy.

Now all that is required is to succuss (shake) the solution around 40 times and your remedy is complete. This final solution is known as the ‘mother essence’. I will detail further how to use this as a healing tool.

dropper glass bottle on linen beside lavender stems

What Are Flower Essences?

So far I have explained what flower essences are and how they are made. I will now discuss how to use them along with safety considerations.

Applications and Use

As previously mentioned, the mother essence is what was initially created using fresh blooms and resonance transfer.

From here we can begin to make ‘stock’ bottles from the mother essence.

  • A 10ml dropper bottle is filled to the shoulder with brandy.
  • Two drops of the mother essence are added.
  • Seal, label and date the stock bottle.

This stock bottle can now be used to formulate a treatment bottle for carrying with you or for specific remedies. To make a treatment bottle from a stock bottle complete the following steps:

  • Use a 25ml dropper bottle and add 5ml of brandy or apple cider vinegar.
  • Add 20ml of pure spring water.
  • Choose your selection of stock bottles – up to 6 different stock bottle flower essences.
  • Add 2 drops of each stock bottle into your treatment bottle.
  • Seal, label and date the treatment bottle.

For this treatment bottle, the instructions for use are to take 4 drops, four times per day under the tongue or mixed with a glass of water.

Safety of Flower Essences

As flower essences are an energy medicine, they do not contain any physical components of the flowers. Therefore, they are incredibly safe and non-toxic to use with a range of many different ailments and allopathic medicines.

However, if you are considering to prepare your own flower essences then it is important to always ensure a clean workstation. Also remember to choose only flowers that you know to be safe and non-toxic.


Flower essences are a remarkable healing tool. They are natural, safe and gentle to use for all ages and life stages.

They are easily sourced online, or through your local healthcare store. If you are feeling called to, you can easily make your own remedies using the method I detailed above.

My favourite sources for New Zealand natives are First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand and Dr Bach’s Remedies.

There are also companies that are local to Canada, Australia and the U.S. so check out what is available in your area. They will most likely use plants native/local to the area which is an added benefit of environmental sustainability.

In my natural healthcare practice, I use flower essences to balance a range of emotional states with great results. If you are seeking assistance on your health and healing journey, get in touch today. I offer a free 15 minute discovery call to see how my services as a naturopath, herbalist and intuitive can assist you.

How To Make White Sage Smudge Sticks

In this post I share my process on how to make white sage smudge sticks from scratch using freshly harvested white sage. I outline the traditional uses of white sage and how to use your white sage smudge sticks for energy cleansing. I have written this post from my experience as a herbalist, naturopath, intuitive healer and reiki practitioner.

white sage smudge sticks

All About White Sage

White sage (Salvia apiana) is a beautiful plant to grow in the home garden if your climate allows. It is native to North America but readily grows all year round in warm, dry climates where it is protected from frosts and heavy rain.

I grow white sage in my garden. It is a highly aromatic plant. If you brush your hand over the foliage the scent is released into the air. It has a strong, pungent odour when freshly picked. White sage when freshly harvested reminds me of a herbaceous and camphorous fragrance.

Its white-green leaves are also beautiful to observe in the garden. It grows readily during the summer months, which allows me to pick several harvests for drying over the growing season.

My preferred method of propagation of white sage is to buy seedlings, as the seed is often quite tricky to germinate. It also can take several years for white sage to become established enough to allow for regular harvests.

The best time of day to harvest white sage is in the mid-morning after any overnight dew has fully evaporated. The terpene levels (compounds which give the aroma and medicinal qualities of white sage) are generally highest during the middle of the day.

fresh white sage

Traditional Uses of White Sage

White sage is native to North America. It has long been used by Native American culture for ritual purposes and for ceremonial energy cleansing.

Traditionally, white sage was also used in Native American culture for treating ill health. An infusion of the fresh leaves has been said to treat the common cold and a range of respiratory and immune ailments.

In my practice as a herbalist, white sage is not a herb we typically use in this manner. I prefer to use regular sage (Salvia officinalis) for its similar anti-bacterial properties.

White sage however does contain strong anti-bacterial properties. When white sage is burned as a smudge stick to cleanse and clear stagnant energy, it can also purify the air from bacteria as the terpenes are released into the atmosphere.

When harvesting white sage, I am mindful to respect the plant and ask for permission first. I also am sure to leave enough for the plant to continue growing easily and not over-harvest.

white sage smudge stick energy cleanse

Energy Cleansing with White Sage

Have you ever walked into a room and the energy just felt off? A feeling of heaviness, weighed down vibes, or stale air? This is a good sign the room needs the energy cleansed and cleared. White sage is a wonderful ally to have for this practice.

How to Cleanse Energy with White Sage

I make my own white sage bundles from my own homegrown plants, in which I will detail the process further below. For now, let’s focus on how to cleanse a room with white sage.

I always give thanks to my white sage for her wonderful energy clearing properties before beginning my cleansing practicing. Next, I open up all the doors and windows, including the cupboards, closets and wardrobes. It is important to open up the windows because as you stir up all the stagnant energy, it needs an exit point to leave.

I usually light my white sage smudge stick from a lit candle, but you can use matches or a lighter. Remember that white sage can often emit a lot of smoke, so pause the smoke detectors before beginning and turn them back on afterwards.

I also carry my sage stick underneath a small ceramic bowl or plate to catch the ashes. You can use a feather to fan the embers to create a stronger burn, but I find just walking around is sufficient to keep the stick burning well.

I carry my sage stick to every corner in the room and I ask out loud to the universe and my guides: “I ask that any stagnant and unhelpful energy is lifted up and released. I ask that this old energy exits the room completely and new bright energy takes its place now”.

If you are familiar with the reiki symbols, you can use these at the same time. I often give the power symbol with the healing symbol to seal in the new energy in the room. You can also draw the symbols with your burning sage stick and walk through the smoke symbol to supercharge your energy cleanse.

How To Make White Sage Smudge Sticks

The method for making smudge sticks will vary slightly depending on your climate and humidity levels.

Drying the Herb – Before or After?

In my climate, it can be quite humid and muggy over the summer months. I find that even if it is really warm with 25 degrees + temperatures, if it is humid and muggy, my herbs don’t tend to dry very well.

They can often take a long time to fully dry or go off/spoil from mould before they dry properly. My strategy to combat this issue is to do the following:

  • I first harvest all my fresh herb. For white sage smudge sticks all you need is fresh white sage. But if you like, you can harvest other aromatic herbs like lavender and rosemary to add to your smudge sticks.
  • After harvesting, I dry my herbs hanging up in my garden shed, or in my office where they have plenty of air flow to dry. I don’t pile them on top of one another, they need room to breathe to dry uniformly.
  • I also dry them flat on a piece of cloth placed on a table or the floor. This way it’s easy to turn the herbs over every day or two to dry the other side.
  • Once the herbs are almost completely dry (80% approximately), I then wrap the dried herbs with cotton thread into smudge sticks.

Normally this process is done the other way around. Harvest your fresh herbs, wrap them into smudge sticks then hang them to dry. But as I mentioned before, in my climate this is a no go. I’ve tried doing it this way and the smudge sticks didn’t dry well and spoiled.

If you live in a really dry climate, or you have a dry room with a dehumidifier, you could probably get away with this method, as it is much quicker.

Wrapping the Sage Smudge Sticks

For this part, all you need is a good quality hemp or cotton twine. Preferably one that is organic or natural (not polyester) as when it burns, you don’t want to be releasing toxic fumes into your room.

I start by sorting my dried herb into piles of similar lengths. Then I take the biggest piece and collect smaller pieces around it. I make sure the stems at the bottom are neatly even and I begin to wrap my thread around the base of the stems. You can tie a knot if you have thicker twine but with my cotton thread, it is secure enough to wrap around itself without unravelling.

I continue to wrap the thread all the way up the smudge stick and back down again. I tie it off somewhere around the middle and it’s all done! Usually I leave my smudge sticks out in the open for a week or so to completely dry. Then I store them in an open box in a drawer away from direct sunlight.

dried white sage smudge sticks

Summary – How To Make White Sage Smudge Sticks

White sage is such a wonderful plant to grow in your garden. I really recommend you give it a go next growing season as the flowers and foliage are stunning. If you live in New Zealand, I purchased my white sage plants from Awapuni Nursery last summer.

The herb when dried is a powerful energy cleansing tool to have in your home. Whenever the energy feels off, you can burn white sage and feel the vibe transform into a higher vibration. It’s also a great way to bless a new home before moving in, to re-set the energy field of the house.

If you have any experiences working with white sage you would like to share, write them in the comments box below!

If you are interested in receiving a reiki session or an intuitive reading, visit my bookings page.

Happy energy clearing xx

Reiki for Self-Love

In this post I share my tips for cultivating a healthy connection and love for one’s self. I also share my method for practicing reiki for self-love. This is written from my perspective as a naturopath, herbalist, reiki practitioner and intuitive healer. If you have any concerns about your mental health or general wellbeing, please consult your doctor.

brown sand love text on seashore

What is Self-Love?

Self-love seems to be the new-age talk of the town lately! But it’s for a good reason. Long gone are the days of self-deprecation. It’s time to step into our personal power and authenticity with self-love.

Love is the highest vibration of all, it is the most purest connection available in this world. I believe love is the language of the universe. Once we to attune ourselves to this frequency of love, we are open to receive all the abundance that life has to offer.

I’m not talking about romantic love by the way! I’m talking about genuine open heart, pure expressive love that is completely unconditional. This is the language of Spirit and it is available to everyone.

So I have described love, but what is self-love? Self-love is where we allow the divinity of universal love into our own hearts, so we can mirror this vibration out into the world. Self-love is where we see ourselves for who we really are, pure spiritual beings having a human existence.

candles meditation reiki for self love

Depths of Self-Love

There are many layers to self-love. Let’s discuss physical, emotional and spiritual self-love.


Self-love on the physical plane means loving every part of your wonderful body and thanking your body for all it’s work. It means expressing gratitude for the body being a vehicle for your activities.

One way to practice this form of self-love is quite literally thanking yourself out loud: “Thank you! I love my wonderful body which helps me carry out all my activities with ease and flow”.

I believe self-love on the physical plane also means to treat your body with respect. This could be achieved by eating a healthy diet and getting regular rest, relaxation, exercise and sunshine.


Self-love on the emotional plane could look like choosing loving thoughts about yourself, and to forgive yourself for any mistakes made in the past. Allowing yourself to move on from past hurts is an act of self-love.

Emotional self-love is where you are truly feeling a sense of genuine love for yourself. This could be expressed through speaking positive affirmations, acknowledging your strengths, appreciating your own wonderful talents and unique personalities.

You could also write down in a journal three things each day that you appreciate about yourself, and say it out loud for added emphasis.

I love my caring nature and how I direct this towards myself when I need it.
Thank you! I appreciate my easy-going personality where I allow myself a break without guilt.
I am grateful for choosing to think positive, encouraging thoughts about my self


Self-love on the spiritual plane is allowing yourself to connect with your inner world and journey within. By giving yourself time to self-reflect and check in, you create space for love to flow easily.

This could look like taking regular time out to check in with your higher self, your intuition and your spirit by practicing meditation or yoga. Perhaps you enjoy walking on the beach or your local nature park.

Maybe for you it means spending time with your pet, or even doing a creative project like drawing or sewing. Spiritual self-love is giving yourself the time to connect to your heart centre, letting your inner child free and allowing love to flow.

reiki for self-love

How Can We Practice Self-Love?

I previously discussed several ways to practice self-love. This can be done through creative expression, positive affirmations, journaling, and through healthy diet and lifestyle. Here are a few additional methods for practicing self-love.

Self-Love Crystals

I love using crystals in my daily spiritual practice. There are several amazing crystals that work especially well for the heart chakra and cultivating self-love.

  • Adventurine – A calming stone which heals and helps you connect with your heart centre.
  • Amazonite – Transforms negative energy into positive vibes, bringing you into your heart space with joy.
  • Rose Quartz – Releases fears and worries, past hurts and emotional traumas. Attracts love and abundance towards you.
  • Rhodochrosite – The best stone for self-love. Encourages love directed towards oneself and helps release emotional blockages.
  • Strawberry Quartz – Facilitates an attitude of gratitude!
crystals for self-love

Reiki for Self-Love

Finally we make it to the most powerful method for encouraging self-love, practicing self reiki.
Reiki is a wonderful modality for healing others, but healers and practitioners also need self-healing too.

Everyone who practices reiki, or is familiar with reiki principles will have a different approach for their self-reiki practice. This point is for those who aren’t familiar with reiki and would like to know a method for practicing reiki for self-love.

There are so many ways to do this but let’s keep it simple. First, you’ll need to search for a meditation track on YouTube that you like. There are many reiki healing meditation music tracks to listen to available for free.

meditation for self-love
Reiki for Self-Love Meditation

Seat yourself in a comfortable position, or lie down if you prefer. Play your meditation track softly in the background and begin your self reiki session for self-love. Now is a great time to set your intention for the healing. You can ask your guides, helpful spirits and the universe to send you positive healing energy.

Take a deep breath in, and exhale fully. Repeat this several times until you feel any tension and stress slowly dissolve away with each exhale. Now, place your hands gently upon your chest area, where the heart chakra is located.

Tune into the energy of your heart space. Does it feel warm and open? Or is it closed off from fear or stress? There is no need to judge, but quietly observe the heart space. Begin to relax and feel safe to allow your heart space to open.

When you feel your heart opening up, ask reiki healing energy to flow into your heart space. Envision your beautiful heart filling up like a cup with wonderful reiki healing energy. Visualise your heart overflowing with love and healing energy.

Hold this vision, and feel the warmth of your heart space filling the whole room with love. Allow the love you feel to fill the whole house, the whole street, the whole town and country, and even the whole world.

At some point, after 20-30 minutes (maybe more, or less time) you may intuitively feel that the healing session is complete. You can slowly get up and send a prayer of gratitude to the universe and reiki for the healing session. Remember to thank yourself, for giving yourself the time to relax and recharge your heart.

Closing Thoughts

Practicing self-love is an ongoing process. Enjoy the journey and connect with yourself on a regular basis. Always remember to be kind to yourself and take time out to rest and recharge when you need it.

If you’re interested in receiving a reiki healing session from me, visit my bookings page.

If this article helped you in some small way, please let me know in the comments section below.

All the best to you on your healing journey towards self-love xx

Natural Hair Loss Treatment

In my previous post I discussed possible underlying causes of hair loss. I promised a follow-on post and here it is! Here I explain different natural hair loss treatment options available. This post is written from my knowledge of natural medicine. I’m Natasha, a registered naturopath and medical herbalist based in Waikato, New Zealand.

Hair Loss Causes

In my previous post, I outlined the different possible underlying causes of hair loss. I mentioned the following health issues:

  • Thyroid imbalances – An over or under-active thyroid, along with postpartum thyroiditis.
  • Hormone imbalances – Polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Gut health – Poor nutrient absorption from food intolerances.
  • Nutrition – Poor nutrient intake from a restrictive diet.

Natural Hair Loss Treatment Options

Everyone has a unique health history. This means that each approach to treating hair loss will be individual. Treatment options are based on the client’s own health journey.

This is my general approach as a naturopath and medical herbalist:

  • Identify why hair loss is occurring.
  • Remove the current barriers to healthy hair growth.
  • Support general healing of the body using natural methods.
  • Additional support for healthy hair growth and renewal.

Hair Loss Client Case Example

Client S has been slowly losing hair for months. She now has noticed that her hair is much thinner than it used to be. Client S has a history of crash dieting and not eating regular meals. She also gets bloating after large meals, especially those with wheat and dairy.

Identify the ‘Why’

I’m looking to find out why my client is experiencing hair loss. As naturopaths, we treat the cause and the whole person – not symptom management.

Based on the example above, I would start my investigation with the following areas:

  • 3-5 day food intake and symptom diary.
  • Gut health investigation with appropriate testing for microbiome imbalances.
  • Food sensitivity testing.
  • Nutrition analysis to pick up on any gaps in nutrients.
  • Relevant blood testing to rule out any other possible underlying causes of hair loss.

In this case, I would also be looking at stress levels and cosmetic/hair care products too, just to be certain that these areas are covered.

Remember, each case is unique. If the client was experiencing hair loss due to hormonal or thyroid imbalances, then the treatment plan would tailored according to these conditions and their unique health history.

Removing Barriers to Health

The body has the ability to self-heal. When we remove the barriers to health, the body automatically begins the process of healing.

In this case example, there may be several barriers to health and self-healing.

Let’s say that testing and the food diary showed client S has intolerances to wheat and dairy, and this led to a leaky gut.

The leaky gut was creating issues with nutrient absorption and digestion. So, in combination with a history of crash dieting, poor diet and gut health has been identified as the main cause for her hair loss.

Temporarily removing these foods is now important for client S to heal.

dried herbs natural hair loss treatment

Support General Health and Healing

Here, I would introduce a wellness plan for client S. It would include the following elements:

  • Details of how to follow an elimination diet.
  • Gut healing protocol using herbal medicine. Some examples of gut healing herbs include slippery elm, marshmallow, turmeric, chamomile, peppermint, ginger and more.
    Please note: a personalised herbal formula all depends on the unique case of the client, their medications and constitution.
  • Healthy balanced diet and nutrition recommendations. This includes recipes and meal plans if required.
  • Additional supplements to support gut health as required.
  • Lifestyle recommendations. For example, use natural hair care products and reduce stress levels if these are relevant to the case.

Healthy Hair Growth and Renewal Support

This is where I can use targeted nutrition, herbs and supplements to support healthy hair growth.

At this point, we have covered the true underlying cause for the client’s hair loss. We have also removed the barriers to self-healing. And finally, we have supported the body towards a state of healing and optimal health.

What’s next, then? Support healthy hair growth and renewal!

This part is often the part people want to jump straight into at the beginning. However, we have to go through all the previous phases first.

We must build a strong foundation of health. This how we set ourselves up for success. Otherwise, the recommendations in this section won’t be nearly as effective!

lavender natural hair loss treatment

Natural Hair Loss Treatment Options

When looking to promote hair growth, we can look to the following areas:


These can be found in a range of food sources, or supplementation. I recommend choosing whole food sources first. Supplements can be really tricky to get right, and often the vitamins in the grocery store aren’t high quality.

  • Biotin
  • Silica
  • Protein
  • Iron
  • B12


These can be taken as tincture, herbal teas or used topically in a range of ways. There are many different herbs that offer help with hair growth. This is a short list of the possible options.

  • Nettle – Rich in silica and used as a hair rinse, hair oil or herbal tea and tincture.
  • Rosemary – Used topically on the scalp as essential oil form with a suitable carrier oil.
  • Fenugreek – Seeds made into a paste and applied topically as a hair mask.
  • Peppermint – Used topically on the scalp as essential oil form with a suitable carrier oil.
  • Lavender – Used topically on the scalp as essential oil form with a suitable carrier oil.
  • Aloe Vera – The inner leaf gel made into a paste and applied topically as a hair masque.

General Wellbeing:

  • Reduce stress levels through mindfulness, breathing exercises or meditation.
  • Exercise for at least 45 minutes each day.
  • Eat in a mindful manner without screens or stress during meal times.
  • Drink plenty of clean water, around 2L per day.
  • Minimise coffee/black tea intake (1-2 cups per day maximum!), especially after midday.
  • Eat a whole foods, plant based diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
  • If you choose to eat animal protein, opt for grass fed, free range and organic.
  • Choose natural beauty and household products to reduce daily chemical load.

Natural Hair Loss Treatment Summary

As you can see, this is a comprehensive approach to hair loss treatment from a natural health perspective.

We have investigated the true underlying cause of hair loss and based our treatment plan on this true cause. This may vary from individual to individual.

We have also removed the barriers to health and wellness. Further, we have supported the body toward its natural state of healing and balance.

Finally, we looked at additional hair growth and renewal natural treatment options. This gives a targeted approach to restoring hair loss. Each person may find a certain approach to treatment works better for them. For example, they may prefer to take a herbal tincture daily than to prepare a hair mask.

Holistic Health Consultations

I work with each client based on their own health goals. In this way, I create realistic and successful treatment plans based on my clients current day to day lifestyle.

I love seeing my clients succeed and thrive in health and well being. If you have any questions, please feel free to write a comment below, or use my contact form.

If you are interested in a consultation with me, visit my bookings page here. I offer a free 15 minute discovery call so we can discuss your health goals.

Spicy Green Chilli Pickle

This recipe for spicy green chilli pickle is a hit with spice lovers. My friends who love spicy food can’t get enough of this and are always asking for another jar. Each year my chilli plants are overflowing with fruit. I harvest the chillies green to make this pickle in bulk batches. It lasts me the entire year when stored in the fridge.

spicy green chilli pickle

Cooking Inspiration

This recipe for spicy green chilli pickle is inspired by Yamuna Devi’s original recipe. I have tweaked it slightly to make it easier to prepare. I also have used more readily available ingredients.

A little bit about Yamuna Devi: She was an American practitioner of Bhakti Yoga and was well known for her singing and cooking. Yamuna created many recipes as she travelled around India.

To me, Yamuna was a very inspirational person as she was such a dedicated cook of traditional and authentic Indian cuisine. I never knew her personally, but I still cook from her recipe books each week.

Here are the cookbooks of hers I have used and recommend:

I have travelled to India and I absolutely love the culture and the country (and the food). It is such an interesting place, and so different from my home country New Zealand. I have hope that we will be able to travel again soon.

What new places have inspired you in your cooking adventures?

overhead shot spicy green chilli pickle

Spicy Green Chilli Pickle Recipe

For this recipe, the main ingredient has to be green chillies! You can use whichever type of green chilli you have available. Jalapeño, cayenne, Anaheim or anything else.

My only recommendation is that you use chilli with heat that you can handle. Otherwise you won’t be able to eat the pickle! Another tip is when preparing this you can remove the seeds from the chillies to lessen the spice.

Ingredients for Spicy Green Chilli Pickle

  • Green chillies – Seeded or with seeds and thinly sliced into rounds.
  • Vegetable oil – I used olive oil for my recent batch, but you can use a cold pressed sunflower oil too. Use a good quality oil and this pickle will taste better for it. The original recipe calls for mustard seed oil but I find this too expensive and difficult to source.
  • Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best.
  • Spices – Cumin seed, fenugreek seed, garam masala, turmeric and more.


If your chillies are really spicy or you have sensitive skin, I strongly suggest wearing gloves! You can also oil your hand which is touching the chillies. The oil creates a protective barrier from the capsaicin (the spicy compound in chillies). Just be careful with sharp knives and oily hands.

Thinly slice the chillies, removing the seeds if you prefer. I simply break the top stalk off the chilli and then slice. I put the sliced chilli straight into my clean glass jars.

Assemble your spices and dry toast the whole seeds. Using an electric spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind the spices to a coarse powder. I add them to the top of the chillies but I don’t mix it in yet.

This is the fun but slightly dangerous part. Heat your oil to just below smoking point. You’ll see the oil shimmer slightly when it is warm enough. Pour the oil on top of the chillies. It will fry the spices and the chillies as you pour it on. Watching the spices sizzle like this is pretty satisfying! Don’t you love cooking?

Storing Your Spicy Green Chilli Pickle

Now all that’s left to do is add the lemon juice and seal the jar with a lid. I give it a really good mix at this point, shaking the jar.

In the original recipe, it calls to keep the jar outside in the sun during the day. This helps ‘cook’ the pickle and improve the flavour. I don’t do this but I will add the option in the recipe notes if you want to.

This spicy green chilli pickle is stored in the fridge as it is not shelf stable. I find that if the oil isn’t covering the chilli slices, it can make this spoil quicker. All you need to do is top off the pickle with a little extra oil as needed.

Recipe Notes

  • You can easily double or triple this recipe if you have a lot of chillies to use up.
  • If you want to follow the exact original recipe, substitute the vegetable oil for equal parts food grade mustard seed oil.
  • The original recipe says to keep the stem cap on. Then slice jalapeño chillies lengthwise and spread the spice mixture inside. I prefer to keep it simple by removing the stem cap entirely and slicing the chillies into rounds.
  • Optional: If you like you can set the sealed jar of chilli pickle outside in the sun every day for 5 days. Bring the jar inside each night and give it a shake 2-3 times per day. After this, the pickle is ready for use.
  • I simply finish making the pickle and shake it all up, then keep it in the fridge. I don’t usually take the extra step of ‘cooking’ it in the sun.

Serving the Spicy Green Chilli Pickle

I serve this in a variety of ways.

  • With avocado toast for a spicy kick.
  • On top of kitchari or congee.
  • With my vegetable frittata.
  • Mixed through roasted potatoes or grilled vegetables.
  • Chopping it up finely and using it as a marinade/sauce before cooking protein or vegetables.

Spicy Green Chilli Pickle

A fiery hot green chilli pickle with spices preserved in oil and lemon juice. Tasty with everything, for serious chilli lovers only!
Course Condiment
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Pickle
Prep Time 20 minutes


  • 1 500ml glass jar with lid


  • 1 ¾ cups green chillies, packed around 420ml
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tbsp sea salt
  • 120 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  • Remove stem cap from chillies. Slice lengthwise to remove seeds (optional). Slice thinly into rounds. Pack into your clean glass jar.
  • Combine the black mustard seed, cumin and fenugreek seeds and dry toast until just golden brown. Mill into a coarse powder and add the salt, turmeric and garam masala. Mix well.
  • Add the spice powder on top of the chillies. Heat your oil to just before smoking point, it should be well warm to fry in but not smoking. Carefully pour the oil on top of the chillies and spices.
  • Add the lemon juice. Seal the jar with a lid and shake to combine. Store in the fridge and this will keep without spoiling for months.

Underlying Causes of Hair Loss

In this post I highlight the different possible underlying causes of hair loss. This is a post written from my experience as a registered naturopath and my knowledge of natural, holistic medicine. I will continue with a follow up on this post with natural options for treating hair loss next.

*Disclaimer – All content provided by Sage Intuition is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have concerns about your health, please consult your doctor or another suitably qualified healthcare professional.

What Causes Hair Loss?

First of all, let’s talk about typical hair loss. Losing hair is a normal part of life, we naturally shed hair throughout the day. On average we lose around 90 scalp hair strands per day. However, there is continual growth of hair from the scalp as part of the hair life cycle.

Each hair follicle goes through a growth cycle: active growth, the regressive phase and the resting phase. In active growth, hair can grow around 2.5mm per week and this phase can last weeks or years. In the regressive phase the hair matrix cells die, preventing further growth. The resting phase lasts for 1-3 months, and after the cycle begins again. The hair follicle regenerates and begins to produce new hair, and shedding the old hair.

Abnormal or excessive hair loss is when the amount of hair loss is exceeding hair growth. It can become noticeable and a cause for concern. There are several different causes of hair loss which I will outline below.

It is important to listen to our body. If we are noticing a lot more hair in our brush than usual or our hair seems thinner, this could be a sign of hair loss. Our body is telling us that something isn’t quite right. There may be an underlying cause which requires investigating and treating.

I also want to share that I have personally experienced serious hair loss. I understand that it can be a sensitive topic and can really affect confidence and self esteem. It is reassuring to know however, that there are effective options available for treating this issue naturally.

Stay tuned, in my next post I will outline my holistic recommendations for treating hair loss naturally.

For now, let’s continue on with discussing the different underlying causes of hair loss.

Different Underlying Causes of Hair Loss

Hormonal Causes

The endocrine system looks after the hormones in our body. Chronic stress, poor nutrition, sleep issues and more can all upset the delicate balance of our hormones.

The health issues outlined below are possible underlying causes for excessive hair loss.

But don’t automatically assume that your hair loss is caused by these conditions. It is always advised to seek testing and professional advice. This is the best way to determine the true cause of hair loss in any situation.

Thyroid Imbalances

Thyroid imbalances are so common today. Both under and over-active thyroid function can result in hair loss.

There are many different symptoms that are also associated with thyroid imbalances, not just hair loss. However, hair loss can be a key sign. Especially if it is a significant amount all of a sudden.

Remember, hair loss in thyroid issues will be diffuse. This means the hair is evenly thinning all over the scalp. Your hair may also be quite dry and brittle or breaks easily.

If you suspect thyroid imbalances could be contributing to your hair loss, please seek out a healthcare professional for advice.

As a naturopath, I look to why thyroid issues are occurring in the first place. Usually stress and gut health play a big role in thyroid function. These areas will be the focus for any holistic health recommendations.

Thankfully, hair will regrow easily once any possible thyroid issues have been resolved. If you are interested in more posts on thyroid disease I am happy to write on this subject. Let me know in the comments below.

Postpartum Thyroiditis

In my personal experience after having my son, I developed postpartum thyroiditis. This is a condition that develops in women after they give birth, where the thyroid becomes inflamed.

Postpartum thyroiditis is a complex condition that isn’t well known. I will be sure to write on this topic because I know many women will be unknowingly experiencing this issue.

For me, I had noticed over the course of several weeks that my hair was shedding very fast. Initially, I put this down to normal postpartum hair loss that happens with breastfeeding.

But at one point I got scared and wondered if it would ever stop. I had thick hair before, and now it was noticeably thinner. I saw my doctor who sent me off for blood tests which showed thyroid disease.

It was devastating at the time, but I was grateful to have a clear answer for why my hair loss was happening. I was able to treat my thyroid issue completely naturally with dietary changes and herbal medicine.

I did this with the support and oversight of my specialist doctors at the hospital. They were pleased that my natural methods gave me successful results. And thankfully my hair has grown in again.

PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Hair loss can also be due to a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS.

This is a hormonal condition that affects women. It is characterised by irregular periods and an excess of male (androgen) hormones. When there is an excess of male hormones circulating in the body, it can cause thinning hair in women. This is also known as androgenic alopecia.

Hair loss due to PCOS may have a distinctive triangle pattern. The midline of the front of the scalp begins thinning, and spreads to the sides of the scalp. PCOS also has many key symptoms so if you have been experiencing hair loss along with menstrual irregularities, please see your health care professional.

Herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle changes can work wonders for helping issues like PCOS. Hair growth will return once the underlying causes are identified and treated.

Nutrition and Gut Health

Let’s briefly discuss how nutrition and gut health can impact hair loss.

It’s fairly straight forward. In times of famine, disease, extreme stress or malnourishment the body simply won’t be prioritising hair growth and renewal.

nutrients for healthy hair

If we are under-eating our daily energy requirements due to a restrictive diet, we may experience hair loss. There are certain nutrients essential for healthy hair. Without these nutrients, hair loss is more likely to occur:

  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Protein
  • Selenium
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Vitamin B12
Gut Health

“You are what you digest” has now been changed to “you are what you absorb”!

The small intestine is where nutrients from our digested food is absorbed. Many factors can negatively impact the small intestine.

If the small intestine is damaged, we may not be absorbing our food and nutrients properly. This could then lead to nutrient deficiencies and be a possible underlying cause of hair loss.

For example, gluten can be a trigger food for many people. There is gluten sensitivity and coeliac disease which are commonly seen today. In coeliac disease, the small intestine is damaged when gluten is consumed, which then impairs nutrient absorption.

Again, as soon as the underlying cause of hair loss is identified, a treatment plan can be put into place. For clients with poor nutrient absorption, a gut healing protocol and dietary changes can be really beneficial.


We have covered a range of possible underlying causes of hair loss. There are many different reasons why hair loss could be happening.

This is why is important to seek a professional opinion. A healthcare professional will look at your symptoms of hair loss against other symptoms you may be experiencing to determine the true cause.

Naturopathic Consultations

If you have been experiencing hair loss and want help, get in touch today. I offer holistic health consultations for New Zealand based clients.

My consultations are comprehensive and you receive a uniquely created treatment plan. I work with you to achieve your health goals.

Get in touch today to book your free discovery call. I discuss how my services as a registered naturopath and medical herbalist can help you with your health. I also offer distance reiki sessions to clients worldwide.

How To Make Calendula Healing Salve

I recently posted a herbal medicine tutorial on how to make your own calendula infused oil. You can use calendula oil in a range of home made natural beauty products. It works especially well for a healing salve or balm. Learn how to make calendula healing salve today. Stock it in your medicine cabinet for cuts, grazes and other skin issues.

dried calendula petals

Make Your Own Herbal Medicine

Have you tried making your own herbal medicine before? It doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. It is a lot of fun to create your own natural health and beauty products. They are toxin free, eco-friendly and safe for the whole family.

What is a Salve?

A salve is simply an external use healing mixture. It is made of fats like plant oils that have been infused with herbs. Salves can be used for cuts and grazes, pain relief and more!

It all depends on the different herbs incorporated into the mixture. The oils are easily absorbed into the body, providing a nourishing and healing effect.

I love making my own calendula healing salve. This is my go-to herbal medicine for a range of issues. It started out as making this salve for a mild case of nappy rash for my baby. I didn’t like the barrier creams that were available at the store.

There were too many additives or chemical ingredients. And I found some of the eco friendly ones to be a bit expensive. So I decided I would try make my own and I ended up with a huge batch that has lasted me over a year!

It worked brilliantly, too. I have used the extra salve for my cuts and grazes (so common being a gardener!). I also used the leftover calendula oil as a base for a hair and scalp oil for hair loss (more on that to come in another post).

calendula healing salve freshly poured
Freshly poured salve, it is still liquid and hasn’t cooled or set. But look at the golden colour from the calendula oil!

Equipment and Ingredients

For this herbal medicine tutorial you will need the following equipment and ingredients:

  • A double boiler – a pot of simmering water with a glass bowl on top. The glass bowl doesn’t touch the water underneath and no water gets mixed into the glass bowl.
  • Measuring jugs, cups and stirring spoon.
  • A clean, dry glass container with a lid and labels for storing your final product.
  • Beeswax pellets – preferably organic and unrefined.
  • Calendula infused oil – homemade or store bought.
  • Essential oil for fragrance (optional) – if you are using this salve for nappy rash, only chamomile or lavender essential oils are safe for babies when used externally.

Method for Preparing Calendula Healing Salve

The method for preparing calendula healing salve is simple:

  • Decide on the amount of salve you wish to prepare. A suitable ratio to create a salve is 1 cup of calendula infused oil to 1 oz. (28.34 grams) of beeswax pellets.
  • Measure and weigh your oil and beeswax and add to the double boiler.
  • Warm gently until the beeswax has fully melted and is fully mixed with the oil. Remove from the heat.
  • At this point you can add a few drops of essential oils to the mixture. 5-10 drops per 150ml of salve is a perfect amount.
  • Perform the spoon test: dip a metal teaspoon into the mixture and place into the freezer. Once set, you can test the final consistency of your salve.
  • If you prefer a more loose you can add more oil and repeat the spoon test until you are happy with the final consistency. For a more solid salve, add more beeswax.
  • Pour your product into your chosen container: stainless steel or glass both work well. Allow it to cool and set and seal with a lid.
  • Remember to label your beautiful salve and date it! This is best used within 1 year.

Benefits and Uses of Calendula

Calendula officinalis, or commonly known as pot marigold is a wonderful healing plant. It offers such a wide range of benefits and uses.

When planted in the garden, it easily self seeds and puts on huge displays of bright orange to yellow coloured flowers (depending on the variety). It also repels pests in the garden when interplanted between vegetable crops.

fresh calendula flower

Benefits of Calendula Healing Salve

Calendula has so many benefits, it would require a whole post on its own to list them all! However, for this section I will keep it simple.

I primarily use calendula externally for its wound healing benefits. Medical Herbalist Carole Fisher states this is because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It helps prevent bacteria and fungal growth which can lead to skin infections.

Calendula when taken internally also has benefits for the immune, lymphatic and cardiovascular systems. Perhaps I will need to do a full research-style post on the benefits of calendula after all!

Other Uses of Calendula

As a trained medical herbalist, I use calendula both internally and externally for treating health conditions.

When used internally, dried calendula flowers can be used as a herbal tea or as liquid tincture in a herbal formula. In a liquid tincture, calendula flowers are steeped in high-proof, food-grade ethanol.

After some time, the ethanol is filtered off from the herb. This liquid tincture that remains is used in appropriate quantities for treating health conditions. I have described a general overview of the process. In reality, all of this is a calculated and measured process to ensure that a safe and therapeutic product results.

I also use calendula petals in salads, as they are edible and show a bright pop of colour.

Calendula is also used externally. When infused into a cold pressed oil like sweet almond or sesame, it becomes a beautiful medicinal oil to add into your health and beauty recipes. I use it for nappy rash cream, hair oil, creams and lotions.

final product calendula healing salve
Final product – Calendula healing salve

Calendula Healing Salve Tutorial

Using homemade calendula infused oil to create a beautiful healing salve. This salve is wonderful for using on cuts and grazes.
Active Time20 minutes
Keyword: Tutorial


  • 1 double boiler simmering with water


  • 1 cup calendula infused oil
  • 1 oz beeswax pellets (28 grams)
  • 5-10 drops lavender or chamomile essential oil
  • glass or stainless steel containers 50-150ml sizes or any size you prefer


  • Set up your double boiler, ensuring the bottom of the glass bowl is not touching the water below.
  • Add your calendula infused oil and beeswax pellets to the glass bowl. Melt gently over low heat until the beeswax is fully melted.
  • Add your chosen essential oils and mix well.
  • Perform the spoon test* to ensure your final consistency is to your liking. Adjust as required with more oil, or more beeswax.
  • Pour your final product into your storage containers. Allow to cool then label. This is best used within 1 year.


Yields approximately 250ml of healing salve. You can pour the product into 50ml containers or any size you like.
*The spoon test is where a metal spoon is dipped into the still liquid product, and then placed into the freezer to set. You can then test the final consistency of your product quickly, and adjust as required.

Tomato Sweet Chilli Relish

Whole foods, plant based and full of flavour. I use my own homegrown produce to make this tomato sweet chilli relish. You can use store bought tomatoes, but for the best flavour try grow your own or buy from your local farmers market.

basket of heirloom tomatoes

Summertime Produce

The summer heat here in New Zealand is relentless this time of year! We have been trying to take it easy. Luckily the main chores around the garden involve watering and harvesting.

I have found it far too hot in Waikato to plant anything. Even with constant watering, I see the seedlings shrivel up to a crisp! However, I am starting to make plans for garden bed rotations for autumn/winter planting.

It sounds strange to be thinking so far ahead, but as a gardener you need to be organised. You can miss out on having anything to harvest over winter otherwise. Especially in my garden, we only have a small area so planning is essential for success.

So far this summer we have harvested two beds of new potatoes, two beds of onions, a bed of carrots and a bunch of sweet corn. I have also harvested a lot of tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, chillies, capsicums and passionfruit too.

The onions were dried for storage and put the potatoes into wooden crates, covered from direct sunlight. I also chopped, blanched and froze all the carrots to add into soups for winter.

I feel so grateful to have an abundance of amazing food growing in this little garden of eden. It really is amazing what you can do with a small space and a pile of compost!

Homegrown Tomatoes

This year I grew a lot of different varieties. We moved to a new area a few years back and the first year in our new garden, my tried and trusted favourites just didn’t thrive anymore!

I have spoken to other gardeners who live an hours drive away, they can have a huge difference in climate to our garden here. This really affects what varieties they can grow without risk of blight or other diseases.

So I had to trial different varieties, and see which ones did well so I can grow them again next season. I’ll be sure to do an in-depth post for my 2022 spring preparations!

The Winner’s List:

First place: Big Rainbow. An indeterminate heritage variety which grows HUGE fruit! It needs staking and pruning for sure. I’ll admit that I let mine grow rogue and unfortunately that led to some getting blight. I had to pull a few plants to stop it spreading but the ones which survived the cull have blessed us with a bounty of massive tomatoes.

Second place: Money Maker. Another indeterminate heritage variety. Loads of fruit, perfect for sauces, slicing or salads. No disease issues so far either which is a bonus. I usually pick the fruit as they just start to turn red. I leave them to ripen inside on my dining table. This way the birds don’t peck at the fruit and ruin it before they are vine ripened.

Third place: Patio Choice Yellow F1. A hybrid cherry tomato which is determine. These would be great for pots or hanging baskets. I simply can’t keep up with watering requirements for potted plants. It gets too hot and dry here in summer and plants in pots tend to get really cooked. This is why I grow all my tomatoes in raised beds. I have grown this variety two years in a row and absolutely love it, plenty of tasty fruit and zero disease issues.

tomato sweet chilli relish jar overhead view

Tomato Sweet Chilli Relish Recipe

This recipe is a summer kiwi classic. It can really be adapted in endless ways. I’ve seen it with apple and onion or even red capsicum. If you don’t like intense spicy food, try using a mild chilli variety. I’ll speak more on this below.

Collect Your Ingredients

Tomatoes: As previously mentioned, I strongly recommend using fresh homegrown tomatoes! Either from your own garden, or from your local farmers market. Truly, the supermarket varieties are grown to maximise production and profit, not flavour. The beautiful heirloom tomatoes I grow are have the richest flavour and are supercharged with antioxidants too.

Chillies: This is a recipe for tomato chilli relish, so if you decide to forgo the chilli all together, I suspect it could be somewhat bland! However, these days you can get a huge range of chillies that are low in spice. You could try Anaheim or banana peppers for the chilli flavour without the kick. I am addicted to spicy food, so I had to use a really spicy chilli called Manzano (without the seeds of course) and a green cayenne.

Seasoning: I used a clove of garlic, salt, pepper, natural sweetener and lemon juice. That was all this tomato relish needs as I want the flavour of the tomatoes and the kick from the chilli to really shine.


I cored, scored and blanched the tomatoes so the skins would slip off easily. You don’t have to do this step but I find the final product has a better texture without the tomato skins.

I put all the tomatoes into a heavy bottomed pot and cooked them on low – no oil or frying required. I added the remaining ingredients and simply left it to reduce for 20-30 minutes. The relish thickens as the liquid from the tomatoes cooks off.

Tomato Sweet Chilli Relish Storage and Use

Simply spoon into clean glass jars and label! Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze this in containers and defrost as required. This relish goes great with breads and cheeses, on sandwiches or as a topping for pizza.

tomato sweet chilli relish jar

Tomato Sweet Chilli Relish

Savoury, sweet and spicy! This relish is a great way to use up your tomato harvest. It goes great with sandwiches, pizza, grilled vegetables and more.
Course Condiment
Keyword Relish
Prep Time 10 minutes


  • 8-10 medium sized tomatoes, skins removed roughly 5 cups of diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup natural sweetener raw honey, or dried cane sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 3 fresh hot seeded chillies, finely sliced


  • Score and core the tomatoes. Blanch for 1-2 minutes in boiling water. Remove with a slotted spoon and rinse under cold water to slip off the skins.
  • Dice the tomatoes and add to a heavy bottom pot along with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes then reduce to low heat for 30 minutes or until the relish thickens. Stir now and then to ensure the relish doesn't catch and burn.
  • Taste for salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning as required. Pour into a clean glass jar and label. This will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.


This makes approximately one 400ml jar of relish. Feel free to double or triple your recipe depending on how many tomatoes you have available.

I’d love to know if you tried this recipe and how it went and if you swapped any ingredients for a different flavour.

I am a registered naturopath, medical herbalist and reiki practitioner. If you’d like to know more about how holistic health can help you to achieve your health goals, get in touch today to book your free 15 minute discovery call.

How to Make Calendula Infused Oil

Learn how to make calendula infused oil in this simple herbal medicine tutorial for beginners. Some basic ingredients and kitchen equipment are all you need to start making your own herbal medicine.

dried calendula flowers

Making Your Own Herbal Products

I love making my own herbal medicine body and beauty products. There is a huge range of items to make at home. From soaps and lotions to salves and oils. Each product has a different use and benefits.

I like preparing my own products because it is an easy way to reduce plastic waste and save money. It also feels nice to know exactly what I’m putting on my skin, without any added toxic chemicals.

Calendula infused oil is something I make several times per year. Usually, at the peak of summer my calendula plants are flowering in full bloom. This is the perfect time to begin picking the flowers.

Calendula is widely known for its wound healing properties and for treating a range of skin conditions. As a herbalist I use calendula topically for skin issues like nappy rash and eczema, and internally for liver support.

fresh calendula flower

Picking the Flowers

When the calendula plants have fully embraced the heat of summer, the resin and active properties are in its highest concentration.

This means it will have strong medicinal properties, which is ultimately what you want for your herbal products!

I pick the flower heads and leave them to dry on a rack for 4-5 days, or until completely dried. They really must be completely dry, you don’t want any mould spoiling your oil!

Now, if I’m being completely honest, my calendula plants are a little worse for wear this year. The ones that survived my neglect when we went away for a few days (in the middle of a heatwave!) are straggly and a bit scrawny.

Luckily, the easiest way around this is to buy dried calendula flowers from your local herbal store or online. Then all you need to do is infuse them in the oil yourself which is quick and easy.

dried calendula flower in glass jar

Infusing the Calendula Oil

Whether you chose to use your own homegrown dried flowers, or store bought flowers the result will be similar.

All you need to be sure of is that if you use store bought dried calendula is to try source organic or spray free. That way you won’t be getting any toxin residue in your herbal oil.

I place the dried flowers into a clean glass jar, usually 1 litre in size. I top off the flowers with a cold pressed oil like sunflower or sweet almond and seal it with a lid.

calendula infused oil

All that’s left to do is allow the flowers to infuse with the oil for 2-4 weeks. I store the jar away from direct sunlight and give it a shake every few days or so.

Soon you’ll see the bright orange-yellow colour seep into the oil and you will know it is ready to be used. I use a muslin cloth placed over a sieve to strain out the flower heads.

Now the oil is ready to be bottled, or used to make salves and lotion.

final product calendula infused oil

How To Make Calendula Infused Oil

Herbal medicine tutorial for beginners. Make your own home-made calendula infused oil. This is a great base ingredient to use in a range of natural body and beauty products.
Prep Time5 minutes
14 days
Course: Herbal Medicine
Keyword: Tutorial


  • 1 1 litre glass jar with lid


  • 750 ml cold pressed sweet almond or sunflower oil
  • 3 cups dried calendula flowers


  • Place dried calendula flowers into the glass jar.
  • Top off the flowers with cold pressed oil.
  • Seal with a lid and shake the disperse the contents.
  • Store in a cool area away from direct sunlight to infuse for 2-4 weeks.
  • Strain off the flowers using a sieve and muslin cloth.
  • Collect the oil and store in a sealed glass jar or bottle with a lid away from direct sunlight. Remember to label your final product with the name and date.


This will keep for 6 months if stored in a cool dark area away from direct sunlight. Use this as a base in your beauty and body products like salves or lotions.
how to make calendula infused oil pinterest

If you would like to know more about how herbal medicine can help your health, visit my herbal medicine page to learn more.

I offer holistic health consultations to New Zealand based clients. I also offer distance reiki healing to worldwide clients. Please visit my consultations page and my booking page to learn more.

Why Are Antioxidants Important?

What are antioxidants? Why are they important? In this blog post I share the facts on antioxidants and their importance in our daily life. I also share some simple tips for increasing your antioxidant intake throughout the day and week.

Antioxidants – Why Do We Need Them?

If you are interested in nutrition and health, at some point you may have come across the term antioxidants. So, what are they and why all the fuss?

Antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds found in food which combat free radicals when eaten. Free radicals are created within our body in response to environmental toxins or stressors.

When we have an excess of free radical buildup, this can cause oxidative stress and inflammation. Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation is a major driver of many diseases we see today like cancer, heart disease and more.

In other words, if I experience a lot of stress and I have exposure to nasty chemicals, along with eating a poor diet, I could be setting myself up for future disease. Many diseases are preventable with a healthy diet that is high in antioxidants.

This is why antioxidants are so important. They keep our bodies in a healthy state effortlessly! Luckily, it is easier than ever to get a daily dose of this protective nutrient.

Supplements or Food?

In the market today there are supplements for nearly every type of nutrient available. As a holistic nutritionist, I strongly recommend getting your nutrients from your diet first. We can start looking at supplements later to fill in any gaps.

The reason for this is because high doses of some supplements can cause negative effects on health. It is well known that high dose vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy is a big no-no because of known birth defect risk.

Also, when you eat plant foods that are naturally rich in antioxidants, you are getting a lot of other beneficial nutrients too, along with fibre. Further, whole foods contain the full nutritional and biochemical package which allows antioxidants to work their magic properly.

Unfortunately, isolating nutrients doesn’t always have the same beneficial effect in the body. This is why I always recommend a good diet first before supplementation!

green frill lettuce contains antioxidants

Food Sources of Antioxidants

We have several major food sources of antioxidants:

  • Fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin E
  • Minerals like selenium and zinc
  • Water soluble vitamins like vitamin C

These nutrients are all considered antioxidants. So it makes sense to choose whole foods which are rich sources of these nutrients.

We also have flavonoids, which are plant pigments that have antioxidant activity. Think of all the beautiful rainbow colours found in fruits and vegetables!

Flavonoids offer many other health benefits when it comes to using ‘food as medicine’ as they may contain anti-inflammatory properties which can be used to treat inflammatory based diseases.

rainbow silverbeet chard stems colourful from flavonoid antioxidants

Vitamin A

Food sources include:

  • Retinol: dairy products, eggs and liver
  • Beta-carotene: dark leafy greens, orange fruits and vegetables like apricots, mango, orange kumara (sweet potato), carrots, butternut squash and pumpkin.

Vitamin E

Food sources include:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Liver and egg yolks
  • Nuts and seeds like almonds and sunflower seeds


Food sources include (highly dependant on selenium quantities present in the soil):

  • Brazil nuts! Two Brazil nuts per day may help maintain selenium levels
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Seafood


Food sources include:

  • Oysters
  • Meat, poultry and dairy products like cheese and yogurt
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Tofu
  • Pinto beans

Vitamin C

Food sources include:

  • Colourful fruits and vegetables!
  • Citrus, red capsicums, strawberries, tomatoes, mango and melon
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli
bright red fresh strawberries


Flavonoids really deserve their own separate post because there is such a huge range of different flavonoids and their beneficial effects. The range of foods they cover is extensive so here is a ‘short’ list to get you started!

Food sources include:

  • Purple and blue: grapes, blackcurrants, blackberries, blueberries, plums and dark cherries
  • Red: strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and tomatoes
  • Orange: mandarins, oranges, mango, melon, apricot and peaches
  • Yellow: corn, banana, potato, lemon, pineapple and yellow capsicums
  • Green: all leafy greens, green vegetables and fruits like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, zucchini, olives, pears, peas, beans, avocado, apples, asparagus and so many more!
  • White/brown: cauliflower, potato, mushroom, garlic, onions, coffee, dark chocolate, ginger, tahini and more

Tips to Increase Your Antioxidant Intake

As you can see, it is truly amazing just how many foods these beneficial nutrients are in. If you are starting from scratch, I suggest including one serving at each snack or meal time. You don’t need to go overboard straight away. Start slow and gradually build the habit over time.

For example, say you normally have cereal and milk, or peanut butter toast for breakfast. Let’s add a handful of fresh berries or a sliced apple on the side.

At lunch with your sandwich try adding in sliced tomato, cucumber or a handful of broccoli sprouts. Again, just adding in one fruit or vegetable serving at each meal time and congratulate yourself!

Instead of cookies or chips for a snack, have a handful of unsalted mixed nuts with half a cup of grapes. Have a fresh squeezed juice instead of a soda/fizzy drink.

Soon your tastebuds will adjust to the new flavours and textures and you can increase the amount at each serving. Over the course of one day you had 3-5 servings of antioxidant rich foods!

Your body will be loving the goodness and will thank you for it with increased energy and improved mood.

misome garden greens

My Favourite Antioxidant Meal

My favourite way to get my antioxidant hit is to make a rainbow salad. Fresh salad greens like lettuce and rocket form the base. Next I add in diced cucumber, grated carrot and sliced red capsicum.

Sometimes I add in sliced strawberries, red onion or tomatoes too. I finish it off with a honey mustard or lemon tahini dressing. It’s fresh, crispy and crunchy and great to have as a light lunch with a side of protein like baked tofu and toasted almonds.

What are your favourite antioxidant rich meals or dishes to prepare? Let me know what your favourite rainbow coloured fruit and vegetable foods are and share your beautiful creations.

Interested in learning more about food as medicine and holistic nutrition?

Get in touch today to book your free 15 minute discovery call. I make nutritional plans tailored to you and your health goals.

Pea Coconut Chutney with Mint & Coriander

This pea coconut chutney with mint and coriander is out of this world delicious! We love the refreshing taste of mint which contrasts beautifully with the rich creaminess of coconut. Peas give a spring sweetness to this recipe, along with a boost of natural fibre and folate.

fresh herbs and garden peas for pea coconut chutney

I really need to talk up how good this chutney is. The flavour combinations will leave you hankering for more! You have the sweet spring flavour from fresh garden peas and the pungent herbal kick of fresh garlic chives. Creamy coconut with refreshing mint and tangy lemon.

The beauty of this chutney is you can serve it with anything you like. Homemade naan bread or chapatis. As an accompaniment with samosas or other savoury pastries. I even use it as a dip for vegetable sticks or spring rolls.

When I travelled to India a few years ago, nearly everything I ordered at restaurants was served with a coconut mint chutney. I loved the food there so much, I have been trying to recreate dishes ever since.

This recipe for pea coconut chutney with mint and coriander is a unique take on a classic chutney. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Ingredients for Pea Coconut Chutney with Mint & Coriander

Fresh Garden Peas

Who doesn’t love fresh garden peas? The perfect example of springs finest flavours. My garden peas were overflowing last week so I harvested them all to make this recipe. I froze my peas so they wouldn’t spoil and defrosted them with no issue. For this recipe, you may use fresh peas (unfrozen) or feel free to use defrosted peas from the freezer.

The only issue is that it may not be food-safe to eat store bought frozen vegetables raw. In this case, I recommend steaming your peas from frozen for 3-5 minutes or until fully cooked and bright green. Run them under cold water to stop the cooking process, then continue on with the rest of the recipe.

fresh peas and herbs for pea coconut chutney recipe


I used un-toasted desiccated coconut for this recipe. The coconut needs to be lightly toasted in the oven or in a cast iron pan until it turns a slightly darker shade. This releases the coconut aroma giving a rich coconut flavour to the chutney.

I also used coconut cream for this recipe to help thin the chutney to a smoother consistency. You may use coconut milk, cashew milk or another plant based milk for this step. I find that coconut cream works best however.


For this recipe I recommend using raw unsalted cashews. I lightly dry toasted the cashews in a cast iron pan before adding them to my food processor to blend. You can also dry toast them on an oven tray for 10 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius. Be careful, as they tend to burn very quickly.

Fresh Herbs – Mint, Coriander and Garlic Chives

The stars of the show! I grow a huge range of fresh herbs in my garden. My coriander was close to going to seed. I thought, best to harvest the lot before it goes to waste and use it in this chutney. Perfect timing with the garden peas being ready too, I might add!

Fresh mint really adds freshness, I would not recommend substituting it for anything else. The garlic chives could be swapped out for regular chives or spring onions if required.

bowl of chopped herbs for pea coconut chutney

Spices and Seasonings

I love using whole spices in my recipes. The trick with spices is to grind them in a spice grinder right before you need them, rather than buying powdered spices. The aroma and flavour will be much stronger this way.

This chutney calls for black pepper, cumin seed, mustard seed and garam masala. I make my own garam masala using whole spices. I also used fresh ginger and garlic, along with lemon juice for tartness and raw honey for sweetness.

Normally, I would add fresh green chilli to this too, but my chilli plants are not fruiting yet. You can always add chilli paste or powder or fresh diced chilli if you have them on hand. It tastes delicious without chilli but would be even better with a fiery kick.

Making the Pea Coconut Chutney Recipe

Prepare Your Ingredients

  • Dry toast cashews and desiccated coconut separately in a cast iron pan or in the oven on a tray.
  • Wash and chop the fresh herbs.
  • Mince garlic and ginger and fry in oil with cumin seed, mustard seed and garam masala.
cashews coconut and spices

Process and Store

  • In a food processor, blend cashews and coconut first to a fine powder crumb.
  • Add the cooked ginger garlic spice mix, along with the fresh garden peas and process.
  • Finally add the fresh herbs, lemon juice and honey, salt and coconut cream and blend smooth.
  • Transfer into a glass jar or container with a lid and store in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.
final product, a bowl of pea coconut chutney with mint and coriander

Pea Coconut Chutney with Mint & Coriander

A delicious unique take on a traditional coconut chutney classic. The refreshing flavours of mint contrast beautifully with the richness of coconut. Peas add a bright spring flavour and colour to this tasty chutney.
Course Condiment
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes


  • Food Processor


  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 2 cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 ¾ cup fresh peas
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 whole seeded fresh green chilli's, minced optional
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seed, whole
  • ½ tsp black mustard seed
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • cup fresh mint
  • ½ cup fresh coriander
  • ¼ cup fresh garlic chives
  • cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 400ml can coconut cream


  • In a cast iron pan dry toast the cashews and coconut separately until they darken a few shades. Add to the food processor and blend into a fine crumb.
  • Add the peas to the processor and blend smooth.
  • Mince garlic and ginger, and optional chilli. Heat oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add cumin and mustard seed. Wait for the cumin seed to darken and the mustard seed to crackle and pop. Now add the powdered garam masala and black pepper. Fry for a moment then add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and soft. Take off the heat and allow the mixture to cool before adding to the food processor.
  • Wash and finely chop all the fresh herbs. Add these to the food processor along with lemon juice, salt, honey and coconut cream. Blend smooth.
  • Adjust for seasoning as desired and transfer into a sealed glass container. Store in the fridge for 5-7 days.


You can use any type of oil for this recipe but I recommend a cold pressed oil like sunflower seed. 
You can also use any type of plant based milk for this recipe instead of coconut cream. I find the best flavour and texture for this chutney comes from using coconut cream or milk. 

Let me know how you get on with trying this recipe. I’d love to know if you swapped ingredients out and how it went, what you served it with or anything else!

If you’re interested in learning more about nutrition and how it can improve your health and well being, get in contact today for your free 15 minute discovery call.

pinterest graphic