In Conversation With: Natasha Richardson
For the third installation of 'In Conversation With,' I invited herbalist Natasha Richardson, founder of Forage Botanicals to share her herbalist musings. In her own words, Natasha says, "I started Forage Botanicals to protect and propagate Herbal Medicine by bringing it's practice back to the people." One of the ways Natasha does this is by blogging and offering a PMS self-care course.
Read on to learn more.
How, when and why did you get in to herbal medicine?
I studied a herbal medicine degree from 2007 to 2010 at the university of Lincoln. I got interested in it whilst working for Neal's Yard Remedies in my gap year.
You uniquely offer a Happy Period course, which sounds amazing! What led you to create and offer it?
I've suffered with period pains for many years and although I have yet to find a cure for it I have found lots of things which improve the situation. Through discovering those tips and tricks for myself I've come to realise how incredibly rubbish sex education really is in school. We are only taught about a quarter of our monthly cycle and are left to discover everything aside from menstrual hygiene for ourselves. I hope to take my #happyperiodhacks to schools at some point. Everyone should know how to deal with a painful period, what your mood swings mean, how to lessen a really heavy period or what to do when your periods get really irregular!
What are your views on how the cosmetics and personal care products we use contribute to hormonal imbalances? Do you have any advice for people that might be concerned about this?
Most women don't realise what's really in their cosmetics. Sadly a lot of the commonly used preservatives and foaming agents can disrupt your hormones because they act similarly to oestrogen in your body. While using just one product with a tiny amount in may be fine, it is the compounded effect of using a toothpaste, shampoo, moisturiser, make-up, cleaning product and eating food from plastics that seems to be contributing to ever-increasing hormonal problems in the population.
Can you describe the day in the life of a herbalist?
There are so many different days in the life of a herbalist! That's why I like it so much.
One day I might spend at home in my pyjamas writing blogs and taking photos. Another day I might actually get dressed and go to the park to pick Lime blossom or some other seasonal treat. Then I'd come home and create something special with it and document it for social media. Once a week I see patients in the flesh and twice a week I see them on skype. I also work part time at Middlesex University where I help the students there learn how to dispense medicines for their patients. A varied life is that of a herbalist :p
What are your tips for anyone wanting to introduce small herbal rituals in their day to day?
Start with a walk through the park to find and greet your local stinging nettle plant. If it's somewhere free from contaminants and is easy to pick then bring a few leaves home and pour boiling water on it. Fresh nettle tea every day keeps the doctor away. At least that's how the saying should really go.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care is about not waiting for someone else to give you what you want. Self-care doesn't have to be about being healthy but I find that when people really love and respect themselves they naturally gravitate to the healthy options in life. It's hard to say "hey body, I love you" with McDonalds every day. I think self-care is an intention which manifests in myriad ways and if it's truly heart-led each individual will find something different works for them. For me, it's all about time in nature, or in my bath.
I've really enjoyed sharing a little of Natasha's story and aspirations. For more of Natasha's musings, head over to her blog.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read! To share your thoughts or to ask a question, leave us a comment below!