Our Way of Life: What can we do to take care of ourselves?

“The ever-increasing pace that characterises our modern way of life is one of the worst poisons for our heart.” -Alfred Vogel

“As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul: -Anonymous

Wherever Nomfundo and I are, there are people wondering how they can deal with their stress levels. Our way of life insists that we have to be busy, so busy that even our rest time must be taken up with some activity. Taking time in each day to relax is unheard of, and so people rush from the time they wake up until the time they fall into bed. Or, even more problematic these days, we think that sitting in front of the TV, or playing games on our phones is rest and relaxation. The truth is that these activities overstimulate our brain which stresses our adrenals as they experience all this activity as adrenaline-inducing.

So what do we do about this? How is it possible to slow our pace when life insists that if we don’t keep ahead of the pack, we are going to lose?

Fields of Herbs

My reply to you is… What will you lose if you continue to live in this fast-paced way? Heart failure; Depression; Auto-immune diseases; Cancer… The list is long.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Take a break every day. Make sure that you take your full hour’s lunch and not in front of your desk. Instead, go and sit in the sunshine; Take a walk; Meditate, or just take time to eat your lunch mindfully.
  2. When your day off comes around, do something fun…Go on a fun run; Go to the beach; Read a book; Visit with friends.
  3. Watch less TV; Spend less time on social media platforms or electronic games. Unplug and Unwind.

Herbs that support our body when we are stressed and anxious:

  1. Adaptogens help our bodies, over time, to cope with stress. One such herb is Ashwaghanda. It is also called Indian Ginseng. It is known to reduce anxiety and bolster the immune system. It seems to enhance the body`s ability to cope with stress. The herb is also known as an Adrenal Gland Tonic as it gradually restores the health of these glands.
  2. Liver herbs are important to include as people are more likely to smoke, drink and overeat on the wrong foods when under stress. Including a herb such as Milk Thistle is important as it is known to help protect the liver and regenerate liver cells.
  3. Sedatives and Calmatives calm frayed nerves, settle anxiety and induce sleep. Valerian is one of the stronger herbal sedatives that can soothe away anxiety, relax tight muscles and relieve pain when given in low doses. St. John’s Wort helps to ease mild depression brought on by over-stress and anxiety. Passion Flower has been known to decrease anxiety and induce sleep. It is known as a toning and strengthening herb for the nervous system particularly when an overactive mind interferes with sleep. Chamomile, Lavender and Lemon Balm are also known to help calm the nerves and gently aid sleep. They are milder than their sisters which are mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph.

As Alfred Vogel states: “If you have been infected by a hurried pace of life that it becomes a habit…the end result will not be what you expect.” Things will not get done well, and people will become more isolated and addicted to opioids and pain killers.

“A steady, persistent and joyful pace of work, and shorter rest periods, are better for our life and our physical and mental health” -Alfred Vogel

With lots of love and times of rest…

Sue and Nomfundo

Emotional Healing and Multiple Myeloma

When we get sick, we most often focus on what can make us feel better again.
Most of us believe that if we just have the right type of medicine, we will feel so much better. Well, this is only part of our wellness, relying on medicine’s outside of ourselves to heal us. We know that medicine, whether allopathic or more natural, has an important part to play in our lives. For example, a person with Type 1 diabetes needs that life-giving insulin to keep them balanced and well. But with that, they also need to eat with care and make sure they get enough rest and so on.

Our bodies are not only well-tuned machines, but they are also organic and rely on emotions and thoughts for our well-being as well.

When I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, the first thing I needed to do was have a life-giving operation to save myself from becoming paralyzed. The second thing was to give myself time to understand what the hell had happened to me. What made this happen? Why me? Why now? What lifestyle choices contributed to my state of unhealth?

Well, firstly, I have an amazing family and group of friends who rallied around and covered me with love and emotional support. From visiting me in hospital to bringing food every time a vertebra collapsed, and I was incapacitated, to making me fresh green juices and strengthening bone broth. The list goes on and on. All my worries were halved because of this amazing support.

Secondly was looking at how and in what way my emotions may have played a part in my illness. Deb Shapiro wrote a book called “Your Body Speaks Your Mind”. It looks at what emotions are stored in every part of our body. For example, the backbone (Vertebrae) is our body’s support. Our skeleton holds us up. So, questions I have been asking myself and journaling about are questions like: “Where am I not feeling supported?” and “Do I feel unable to support Myself?” Looking in depth at these kinds of questions helped me to relieve some of the stress I was feeling and speak to someone about my feelings. If you haven’t tried this, it is truly a practice that I am so grateful for and would recommend it highly.

Third on my list of emotional healing was to use essential oils to reduce my anger, high anxiety and stress levels. Using a diffuser throughout the house has been a great addition to my healing regimen. Having a wide variety to choose from has also helped me to intuitively work out which oil is best for me on any given day. Some of my favourite oils that have really helped me cope with fear, anxiety and high levels of stress are:


Basil: Helps reduce anxiety, fear and sadness.

Bergamot: Helps reduce anxiety, stress and tension.

Cedarwood: Aids in reducing fear, anger and anxiety.

Clary Sage: Helps reduce stress, anxiety, stress-related headaches, and fear.

Geranium: Helps reduce agitation and anxiety.

Lavender: Helps reduces agitation, anxiety and tension.

Orange and Lemon: Reduces anxiety, stress and tension.

Patchouli: Anxiety, stress and stress-related headaches.

Petitgrain: Reduces tension, anxiety and stress.

Thyme: Helps reduce anxiety, stress, and stress-related headaches.

Ylang Ylang: Helps reduce feelings of anxiety, anger and fear.

My emotional healing continues because new things continuously present themselves and reassure me that I am not alone in this and that healing is a possibility. It gives me hope which I believe is an important ingredient in healing.

We are afraid of our emotions because there is the feeling that we may lose control and spin into madness. But my feelings now are that looking my fears in the eye has been so freeing and life-changing. It helps keep me in the moment, savouring each experience.