‘Real believers’ in the power of herbal medicine
Herbal medicine has been running in Bermudian Melody Rouseau’s family for generations.
Her great-grandmother Marian Swan “didn’t like going to see doctors” and would use natural remedies involving plants, herbs and rest, to get her body back up to speed. She ended up living to the ripe old age of 104.
Ms Rouseau currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, but offers her services three times a year from her sister’s naturopath shop in St George’s, Healthy Living Herbal. She is currently offering reflexology, computerised health readings, detoxing footbaths and ear candling [a technique used to remove excess wax, yeast and mucous from the ears], until next Wednesday.
Ms Rouseau has nearly 27 years of experience under her belt; she was first exposed to natural remedies as a small child.
“I have always been interested in natural medicines. I think it’s just an Island thing because we were kind of brought up where mom and dad would teach us how to boil herbs and things.”
Her sister Deedra Nanette opened Healthy Living Herbal in January and has a growing list of clients. She said many people see extraordinary benefits when combining herbs with healthy lifestyle changes increased energy, improved sleep and a stronger immune system.
“Most people that come, they don’t want to take medications because they don’t want the side effects. I always encourage them to talk to their doctors and find out what is going on and if they choose to use herbal medications I gladly help them, because the doctors are equipped and we need them.
“I am not a doctor. I do not diagnose, but I help them dig deeper so they can get to the root of the problem.”
Her store operates under the philosophy that “prevention is better than cure”.
Ms Nanette said she became fascinated with herbal medicines when she was in her teens or early 20s. But her interest peaked further once her dad had a stroke. “He was supposed to die the next day, but they brought him back around with herbs and live food [fruits and vegetables]. “He lived in a wheelchair, but for 11 more years. That made me a real believer in taking herbs because these herbs and live foods really saved him.”
She learned about the trade from her sister and started offering at-home services. “It just grew from there,” she said.
At one point she had over 100 clients coming to see her and she decided to open a shop in the heart of St George’s on Duke of Clarence Street. The 43-year-old said some clients could see results in two or three days after taking herbal vitamins. In other circumstances it takes months “to get to where you want to be”.
“It depends on what you are working on,” she added.
Ms Nanette said many others in her immediate family were pursuing a related field, including her nephew Seth Pearman who is planning to study reflexology overseas next year.
“As it grows I look at it as a family business. All of us have some gift in the holistic world and maybe one day we will develop [the business] further.”
According to Ms Rouseau, 53, some people are still hesitant to try natural medicine. “It wasn’t believable to a lot of people, but I think that is because they weren’t educated enough.”
She said people were often quick to take pills for every ailment, but needed to also be taught to eat properly and take care of their bodies naturally.
Ms Rouseau is to host a seminar, ‘Taking Charge of Your Body’, at her sister’s shop tomorrow from 5.30pm until 7.30pm.
She will discuss simple changes that can be made to improve quality of life.
Contact Healthy Living Herbal on 297-3682.