The power of plants: A naturopath on the superherbs that can heal you

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We know, you’ve heard it a thousand times – plants are good for you. But even we had no idea they were this good. No.1 Botanicals is a range of natural, plant-based spring waters that work to support your wellbeing. Naturopath Rosemary Ferguson is working closely with the brand, and is passionate about spreading the word on the power of herbs. We had some questions for her…

Why did you decide to become a naturopath?

I have always loved using food to help heal – I have a huge respect for the power of what we put into our bodies, and after years of modelling and then wanting to bring up happy, healthy children I wanted to learn how food and nutrition actually worked.

I grew up surrounded by complementary medicine and my grandmother owned one of the first health food shops in the country, so you could say inspiring a general awareness of alternative therapies runs in the family.

As my interest grew and following many years of practicing on family and friends I qualified from the College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2012 and launched my Harley Street clinic.

What is No.1 Botanicals?

Plant-based waters in 10 flavours. Working in collaboration with the scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, each of the 10 extraordinary herbs have been chosen for their unique wellness properties and flavours. Some are sweet, some light, some earthy, but all of them are delicate, aromatic and completely natural.

How can we add herbs into our everyday life to support wellbeing?

The beauty of herbs is that they’re readily available all year round and they can be incorporated into our diet in so many different ways. They are great to add to your food as a way of super boosting a meal, and I love using them in my juices and tea too. I’m a big fan of tinctures, a very concentrated version of the herb created through extracts, which are an amazing therapeutic tool for so many ailments. The beauty of the No.1 Botanicals range is that they’re almost like delicious tinctures you can drink anytime, as the extraction process retains all the goodness of the herbal compounds – so we can all incorporate herbs easily and seamlessly into everyday life.

Which herbs are best for what?

Herbs benefit from their own powerful properties and it’s fascinating learning about each one’s long history of health and wellness benefits; from herbs you recognise from your dinner plate, like basil, fennel, thyme, or sage, to lesser known plants such as meadowsweet and even juniper.

Take meadowsweet, for example. The scientific name was once Spiraea and today, it’s where Aspirin gets its name. Aspirin was developed from the compound salicylic acid which was isolated from meadowsweet and white willow.

Rosemary has a wide range of traditional uses from helping to alleviate muscle pain, improving memory and the circulatory system and it has a beautiful soothing flavour and taste. Tales about its ability to enhance memory can actually be traced all the way back to Ancient Greece.

One of my favourites is lemon verbena which has a tingling, warming citrus flavour. Again it has many traditional uses and was taken to assist sleep and for the relief of common digestive complaints. For me, it’s the perfect drink to meditate with.

Should we be using herbs seasonally?

Absolutely. Herbs and remedies to keep in mind at this time of year are things like fennel, which has been traditionally taken to help boost the immune system to fight off colds and associated aches and pains – perfect for this time of year.

Olive leaf and beauty go hand in hand, it’s a great all-rounder to help improve the skin’s appearance. It’s fabulous in the winter for when our skin can look a little dull and great for the summer when we want to look glowing and fresh faced.

Are they best consumed through food or do you advise supplementing?

One of my biggest missions is to show how wonderful you can feel just by eating fresh, wholesome and less processed food. Now we can capture all the compounds and ingredients found in nature into the bottle, so there really is no excuse not to reap the benefits that we can get through herbs.

Supplements can be successfully incorporated into your diet too, providing they are used at the correct time and for the right reason. But when things are back in balance, let your food be your medicine!

Time to get sipping…

By Charlotte

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