Did you know that inhaled compounds have lightning fast action in the body? Over 1000 times faster than chewing, over 300 times faster than eating and drinking, and more than 3 times faster than intravenous injection… not to mention being less painful! Inhalation is by far the fastest mode of delivery of volatile aromatic compounds and is useful when time is a factor, or as support while waiting for other treatments to take effect.
How does this fit into our commitment to protecting our natural environment? I have always regarded natural health and environmental responsibility as essentially one issue. The whole is influenced by the individual. Likewise we humans are a microcosm of the macrocosm. It was when we separated man from nature, I believe, that we lost the essential synergy and things went pear-shaped for all. Which is now costing us dearly.
If we keep ourselves naturally healthy, we also support the planet, as we are PART of her body. Thankfully, the main news media are finally waking up fast now – such a blessing! So there is more awareness of the contamination of our fish and sea creatures by the chemical medications consumed, half-digested, then dumped via the sewage systems into the environment and our oceans. You may also remember what happens to chemically contaminated bodies (think cosmetics also) buried after death. There is no away on this planet.
So HOW to live, clean and heal yourself naturally in support of your body/planet? How do we bring all the threads together in service of the greater good, which we form part of?
Learn from wise local aromatics alchemist
I was so excited to discover not just another inspiring natural health and cosmetic range, but a wise local aromatics alchemist and teacher, who connects the dots in a holistic and unique way. Meet Dr Sandi Nye, naturopath and one of SA’s early aromatherapists, who trained many of the best in this profession. Here is a wise woman who delights in formulating healing, cleaning, cosmetic and health preparations by working magic in her Pinelands lab.
But how did it all start and where does her special knowledge come from?
Dr Sandi Nye, believes in honouring the elders. Ma Foster and Ouma Welsh – her two grannies – were the humble starting points of her journey. These women inspired and inducted Sandi into the realm of natural answers to health issues. Living in the coastal town of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, they knew how to live with, and off, the land and sea.
Ma Foster shared her intimate knowledge of plants, natural medicine and metaphysics with her granddaughter Sandi, while both grandmothers instilled a strong work ethic in her – teaching by example. They indelibly epitomised and imprinted the essence of how strong women of their era survived, through thick and thin, relying on faith, humility and kindness – with a good dose of humour always close at hand. Making soap with home grown herbs was the first of many skills taught to the curious first-born grandchild, who started her soap making journey at the age of 12. Alongside that, great interest in the medicinal properties of herbs was seeded, only to bloom many years later.
After matriculating and studying nursing and naturopathy, Sandi left her home town, moving to Cape Town in the 70s. She found herself drawn to additional training in various complementary health practices. She has many qualifications in the health, wellness and personal care fields, and holds dual statutory registration with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa [AHPCSA] – both as a doctor of Naturopathic medicine, and as a Therapeutic Aromatherapist. Her fields of special interest are aromatic medicine/aromatology, aromachology, integrative medicine, and natural products formulation and development. She was in joint private practice with her beloved partner, Dr David Nye, for over 3 decades.
Some of Sandi’s many other accomplishments include running a well-respected professional aromatherapy training school for many years, successfully lobbying the government and getting Aromatherapy accepted as a registered profession within the AHPCSA, authoring and editing professional journals, serving on naturopathy and aromatherapy professional councils, boards and association committees, plus engaging in many community outreach programmes – besides her on-going fragrant passion with research and development work within the natural products arena.
From own to individual skin care prescriptions
Over the years, while consulting with patients, she would often be asked about what skin care products she used – as she always had such healthy-looking skin – only to admit that she made her own products. Patients asked her to make individual skin care prescriptions for them. While in the clinical setting she also developed many topical products for various skin conditions. And this then was the impetus for the amalgamation of several of her ranges under the own-label range called Foster & Welsh – named after the grandmothers.
So with a lifetime in healthcare and CAMS, Sandi is the wise woman behind this brand. She delights in formulating and manufacturing, bringing to the fusion her wealth of knowledge on all forms of ingredients, efficacy, safety and interactions – whether for her own brand products, or for national and international private label clients.
But despite all her many qualifications she also consults an exceptional team of experts from various fields, including: conventional medicine and plastic surgery, chemistry and pharmacy, as well as from the homeopathic, naturopathic, botanic/herbal, Ayurvedic and Unani-Tibb fields, plus from the cosmetic science and personal care industries.
From smell training to everyday cures
Starting off with the alchemy of natural and healthy soaps more than 50 years ago she is now focused on natural products development including aromatic nasal inhalers.
In 2010 Sandi started creating smell training kits for patients suffering from loss of smell – or anosmia – due to e.g. head trauma or other causes. This work was based on the research study findings of Professor Thomas Hummel from the Smell and Taste Clinic at the University of Dresden in Germany. These subsequently grew into a family of nasal inhalers for other conditions, with the first three Foster & Welsh inhalers being Study Buddy, Stress Busta and Flu Phyta. While they are not primarily intended for retraining a lost sense of smell, they do also impact on the neural plasticity aspect of the olfactory system.
Warding off the Bubonic Plague
Based on age-old herbal recipes that warded off Bubonic Plague back in the day, Flu Phyta is your modern go-to for relieving the discomfort of colds and ‘flu. The multi-action of this unique synergy of essential oils vanquishes lurgies, while decongesting and soothing irritable airways, and enhancing immune function.
This tiny remedy is so easy to keep in your pocket or bag and sniff at the first sniffle – and just to breathe in the goodness of the wisdom of old with ingredients like:
- Laurus Nobilis (Bay Leaf Tree)
- Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon)
- Eugenia Caryophyllus (Cloves)
- Eucalyptus Radiata (Narrow-leaved Peppermint)
- Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon)
- Myrtus Communis (Common Myrtle)
- Origanum Vulgare (Oregano)
- Cinnamomum Camphora CT Cinéole (Ravintsara)
- Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary)
- Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree)
Order these products and more online or call Sandi at 0826420022 for information about other products not on the site yet.
Next time we will discuss their other inhalers and share more knowledge from Sandi’s basket of natural medicine.
By Elma Pollard