I spent five minutes with Barbara Dawson a Naturopath and Medical Herbalist to get an insight into her must have ingredients to ward off the flu, find out the best and worst bits of her job and see what's on her kitchen table for dinner tonight.
Barb is one of those people you feel instantly comfortable with. Her knowledge on Natural Medicine is second to none and she has helped me to understand how incredibly interconnected each and every part of our bodies are.
Here's what she had to say:
Winter; Love it or hate it?
Love it! It’s my cosy season – we get to enjoy our jackets, boots, scarves, comfy sweaters, PJ’s (aka lounge suits). I also love winter food. The slow cooker comes into its own for soups, stews, curries and roasts. I enjoy reading so much more when I am snuggled up with a cup of tea on a cold wet winters day. Winter is great bed weather - I sleep the best and the longest, and enjoy reading in bed while listening to the wind or rain outside.
What’s your go to tonic/ recipe/ elixir for when you feel cold and flu coming on?
Echinacea! For me, Echinacea is my fav go-to herb. I often take it by itself or use it as my base in a tonic. My family know that’s what to reach for if they notice a sniffle or sore throat.
Echinacea is a wonderful tonic for the immune system because of its ability to enhance, and modulate. It is antibacterial, antiviral, and stimulates the lymphatic system. Echinacea is perfect for upper respiratory tract infections. You know you’ve got a good quality Echinacea when you feel the alkylamides dancing on your tongue when you take it. I also increase my garlic intake, take Liposomal Vitamin C and always enjoy hot lemon and Manuka honey drinks!
How would you explain your job to someone who’s never heard of it before?
My job is all about helping my clients reach their personal health goals. Naturopathic practitioners believe that, given the right support, our body can heal itself. So essentially my role is to understand what is driving the body toward dis-ease so we can assist and support it back to wellness. Herbal medicine plays an important role in how I do this as well as improving nutrition, lifestyle, physical activity and environment.
Biggest frustration about your job?
The lack of government support for the natural health industry with respect to services and prescription items is a personal frustration. I look forward to the day when both conventional and natural healthcare receive the same financial benefits so we can truly offer complimentary healthcare. Our aim is to become a valued part of our client’s healthcare team by collaborating and contributing for the best possible outcome.
...and what about the best parts?
The best part of my job is that I get to do what I absolutely love and believe in. It doesn’t feel like a job at all. I enjoy working with my clients, great relationships are formed over time. Their goals are my goals and there is nothing better than seeing them being achieved.
What’s a book I should read over winter that’s going to help me take better care of myself?
Dr Libby would be hard to beat if you want to understand how your body works and find out what practical steps to help you take better care of yourself.
I think she has achieved a perfect balance of writing so the reader can understand a complex topic or condition, and feel empowered enough to step out on their own wellness journey.
Dr Caroline Leaf, author of Switch On Your Brain and Think and Eat Yourself Smart, also has a wonderful way of communicating the complex issues of our brain and how we can have a healthier mind and body.
Last but definitely not least, what’s on the menu at your house for dinner tonight?
A delicious free range organic chicken with roasted vegetable medley with green beans – perfect for a cold autumn evening in Auckland.
You can find Barb most days at The Herb Clinc - Integrated Natural Health Care in Howick contact her here
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