Forever Yours

 
    My love affair with all things botanical reaches back to my earliest childhood memories of exploring the fields behind our    
   house where the wild things grew. Predictably, I liked bringing hand-picked bouquets home to my mother, and she liked
   putting them in a jar of water to brighten the window sill. Sometimes I was okay with this, but most of the time I wanted her
   to tie my bouquets with string and hang them upside down to dry.

   This odd request was both amusing and disconcerting for my parents, because they were unable to explain where I had  
   learned this age-old method of preservation at such a tender age, in a rural, television-less home, with no books on the
   particular subject. Perhaps, simply, it is what we now call "ancestral DNA memory," activated by the circumstances of my
   environment. Why not? All living things/beings have it, even plants. Did you know we share 60% of our human DNA with
   bananas! Fortunately, my parents were able to move past the strangeness of my behavior and took cue, keeping me in
   constant supply of books on every subject concerning plants, which I consumed voraciously, and I still do!

   By the time adolescence arrived, my interests had become more focused on the healing properties of herbs and their beautiful, therapeutic aromas, and I was ready to embark on my journey as a "healer," offering my services (for free!) to friends and family and their friends and family. But I had to catch them first! It soon became clear that college held the key to the credibility I needed to heal a village, and promised myself I would go just as soon as I graduated from high school. Life doesn't always unfold exactly as we plan, however, especially in linear time.

Instead, I fell in love, married and had two terrific kids. Now, they were the recipients of my “medicine” without much say in the matter. Thankfully they rarely complained, and were/are living proof of what I had known by faith for years: Mother Nature can make and keep us well if only we give her a chance. Watching my family respond to her wisdom deepened my appreciation for her and led me to keep the promise I had made to myself nearly 2 decades earlier and began formal studies. Though I never practiced clinically, I continued to use what I knew to help keep my family healthy and happily shared my knowledge freely with anyone who asked.

When my children were grown, I remarried. Two months into our marriage, my husband was diagnosed with a serious disease we were told by mainstream doctors would take his life sooner or later, and the best we could hope for was later. We were heartbroken, but not broken, and we rolled up our sleeves, determined to take back his life.

The first course of action involved "taking out," as in toxins, anything that would distract his immune system from focusing on his disease. The second, simultaneous course involved "putting in," as in clean, abundant nourishment, fresh, unpolluted air and water and appropriate herbs and essential oils selected to bring balance, support to his immune system and diminish the harmful effects of illness-- not an easy task when the patient is feeling so unwell. But I had a great idea!

Knowing our skin, the largest of our bodies' organs, is highly absorbent, and understanding wholeheartedly my husband's biggest complaint, the confiscation of his favorite (chemical ridden) toiletries—this would be ALL of them: soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, shaving cream, you name it-- I decided to make them myself! This way I knew for absolute certain that we were keeping his bloodstream clean while making his skin comfortable and healthy. The pampering didn't hurt either. Just as important to my mission was using these items as uplifting, enjoyable mediums to put lots of good stuff in!

During one of my weekly shopping trips to our local herb shop and natural pharmacy, the proprietress, Rosemary Cascio, an iconic herbalist and intuitive in our community, asked what I was doing with such quantities of herbs and essential oils? When I told her, she said, “I knew you were an alchemist the first time I saw you!” and asked if she could carry my handmade soap? I went home, looked up the word alchemist, liked that she called me one and decided to make Rosemary all the soap she wanted.

Despite how unattractive and homely my first bars were, they were mysteriously an instant and unexpected success, remedying all kinds of problematic skin conditions. This led to requests for a salve for shingles; a pure, effective, naturally fragrant lotion; an anti-aging face cream that really works. And so it went, request by request and word-of-mouth advertising, one satisfied customer at a time. Thirty two businesses, 54 products, and a dedicated Board of Advisers later, my village grows. The rest is history, I suppose, although ever evolving.

Oh! You may be wondering how my husband is? He’s doing just fine and received a clean bill of health six years ago and counting. He's a big fan of mine. And a keeper!

Thank you for visiting my website and taking a moment to get to know me. I hope this is the beginning of a relationship that is a keeper, too!


Speaking of keepers, I would like to introduce my apprentice, Sumi Junge, the one I hope will carry on, both with me and one day without me, so we may serve you forever! Sumi brings so much to the table: knowledge, integrity, an astounding work ethic and so much talent for a young woman her age. Best of all, we share such similar stories we're sure it's fated!, including a deep respect for Mother Nature and an abiding desire to share her wisdom with others.


...Board of Advisers...

Listed Alphabetically

Rosemary Cascio, Certified Herbologist, well versed in many modalities of herbal wellness, including Chinese and Ayurvedic balancing principles.

Ibeth de Hamilton, Aesthetician and Cosmetologist for more than a decade; research; public relations; educator and advocator of organic skin care and owner of West Toronto, Ontario's first all organic & vegan spa.

Yvonne Hutchinson-Saldin, CEO; owner and creator of Madlyn Rose Ultimate Skin Nutrition; aromatherapist; herbalist; alchemist; life-long student, advocate and educator of nature as our healer and source and author of numerous publications on health and beauty care.

Sumi Junge, Apprentice, aromatherapist, research, art and web design

Dr. Gerald Whitefoot Sinclair, Research; educator; herbalist and aromatherapist.

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