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What do we get from Canterbury?

What do we get from Canterbury?

What do we get from Canterbury?

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About the Author

Asti Renaut

Asti Renaut (BHSc. Comp Med, BA, Adv Dip Nat, Adv Dip Herb Med, MNZAMH)

Asti Renaut is a degree-qualified medical herbalist and naturopath with over ten years clinical experience. Asti practices in Christchurch, New Zealand, treating a wide range of health issues. She especially enjoys working with infants and children, and finally has one of her own to practice on! One of the cornerstones of Asti's practice and philosophy is the importance of education and sharing information. She believes that empowering clients to understand their own bodies and health, and giving practical tips and tools to use from the garden and kitchen are just as important for wellness as qualified professional care. 

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Regional De-brief: What do we get from Canterbury?

Canterbury, in New Zealand’s South Island, is a region characterised by vast plains and braided rivers. It is framed by the Pacific coast on one side and the mountains of the Southern Alps on the other. Canterbury has always been an area with a strong history of agriculture and horticulture, and this is where many of Kiwiherb’s medicinal herbs are grown. Two particular growers provide a significant portion of our raw herbal material, all of which is certified organic.

One farm in Leeston specialises in growing certified organic Echinacea purpurea root. Click here to watchan interview with Tim Chamberlain, organic farmer, about the specifics of growing and harvesting this exceptional immune-enhancing plant.

Another organic farm in Lincoln provides us with an astonishing array of medicinal plants. It is a thing of beauty to visit this farm and see great swathes of Mullein in bright yellow flower against the open blue skies. I once had the pleasure of helping with the Hyssop harvest, and was astonished by the numbers of bees who were enjoying the Hyssops’ abundant purple flowers.

Some of the herbs Golden Fields grows for us are:

  • Mullein - specifically good for all manner of coughs
  • Meadowsweet - our herbal antacid for digestive support
  • Comfrey leaf and root - healing in so very many ways
  • Globe Artichoke - a liver tonic that lowers cholesterol
  • Valerian - nature’s best sleep support
  • Hyssop - calming for coughs, especially for children
  • Marshmallow - soothing for coughs and tummies
  • Thyme - antibacterial and useful for all kinds of coughs
  • Licorice - reduces inflammation and helps soothe tissues in the lungs and stomach
  • Dandelion Root - gentle liver support
  • Burdock - for healing skin and to soothe itches
  • Elecampane - a powerful antibacterial cough remedy
  • Lemon Balm - gentle calming for reducing stress and tension
  • White Horehound - for deep lung and chest conditions
  • Sage - an antibacterial that also is antihidrotic (stopping sweats), used for menopausal symptoms

Of course these herbs are capable of doing many many more things than what I have briefly given them credit for! But just so you can get a taste of what we use them for in our formulas.

As you can see from this extensive list, Canterbury provides us with an astonishing number of our medicinal plants. In an age of globalisation , where it is often impossible to trace the origins of anything you buy, it is increasingly important to know what your consumer dollars are supporting. In this case, we know we are supporting certified organic farming practices, organic farming families, and local economies. Traceability also means you can have an understanding of the quality of a product too- using locally grown herbal materials means you know about the climate, the water quality, and the number of miles it has travelled.

Buying and supporting local means you can rest easy knowing that you have a premium quality product that will do its best for your health, and in choosing it you are contributing to the health of your environment.

Having seen the grand fields of Echinacea, and the extensive patchwork of herbal planting with broad strokes of Marshmallow pink and frothy white Meadowsweet, I can also say that in choosing these herbs and supporting local growers, we are making the world a more beautiful place!