Bergitte or Bee – my nickname Bee came into existence for two reasons:
1. Because it’s way easier to pronounce than Bergitte and…
2. because of my love for plants and being outside in nature (I am sometimes referred to as Buzz-Bee or Bumble-Bee!)
I am passionate about reconnecting people and plants – our lives absolutely depend on plants. Plants also enable us to thrive at a whole new level when we open ourselves up to them (science is only just catching up on this). I qualified as a Medical Herbalist in 2006 and herbal medicine has been my family’s primary form of healthcare for over 20 years. During my training as a herbalist I also trained in Holistic Massage and Aromatherapy, developing an appreciation for the power of touch and the power of essential oils. Aromatherapy formed an active part of my practice for over 15 years. The pandemic changed the way I worked, and I found my herbal practice grew and consolidated. Essential oils still feature, but I no longer offer hands-on massage. I am a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH), which is the oldest professional body of its kind and dates back to 1864. As part of my professional registration I actively engage with ongoing Continued Professional Development. I am also a Clinical Trainer for student herbalists undergoing professional training as Medical Herbalists via Heartwood Education, and a NIMH Mentor for newly qualified herbalists, who are setting up in practice.
My journey has also lead me to deepen my understanding of our own innate nature and wellbeing, via the exploration of the three principles. This has resulted in profounds shifts in my own state of wellbeing and resulted in a radical improvement in my quality of life. An understanding of the three principles answered my call for a simpler way of being, where we can reside in a greater state of connectivity and wellness, that is underpinned by doing less! An understanding of the three principles occurs through gaining insights into our innate nature, and how our experience of life consists of an interplay between thoughts, mind and consciousness. Realisations around this result in internal shifts, enabling us to operate from a place of greater ease, clarity and wellbeing. We find that we have a tendency to naturally slow down and become more present. As I have shifted, so has my practice and this beautiful connection is rippling outwards through my work. My calling to delve deeper is strong and as a result I am currently taking part in ‘The Foundations of Impact Practitioners Programme’ with One Thought.
My love affair with plants started as a child growing up in South Africa with a glorious garden where I spent most of my childhood outdoors – observing, playing and communing. Nature was my teacher, healer and friend and still is today. It was only later in life that I realised what a profound impact this had on me. Grounding me, rooting me, providing a sense of calm and connection. The earth under my feet, the sky overhead.
An interest in nutrition was ignited in high school – food science got me really fired up! How cooking altered the chemical structure of food, how food could be prepared, the effect of processing and
how the nutritional status of food could be altered by these factors. I have been a keen cook ever since and loved the nutritional training we received as herbalists. My understanding of nutrition has continued to develop and grow over the years.
My general love of the natural world led me on to obtaining my first bachelor of science degree in botany and zoology from Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Deepening my understanding of the science of plants and animals, of ecology and of the complex web of life. It was a phenomenal journey and a great introduction to soil science, ethnobotany and ecology.
I moved over to London after completing my degree and wasn’t sure how I might survive working as a botanist, so I pursued a career in business. There were many interesting twists and turns in my journey and I learnt much along the way, working in various industry sectors from charities through to blue-chips. The tug of the plants was always tangible and eventually I couldn’t deny it any longer. Having experienced some health issues, which orthodox medicine did little to adequately address, I set out on a mission to explore other approaches to health and wellbeing, that would result in more sustainable and lasting change, and enable me to thrive again. During my research I stumbled across herbal medicine and as I regained great health I decided it was time to dive deep and learn more about plant medicine. It began with a ‘little’ correspondence course, to dip my toe in. I quickly found myself wanting to dive deep in! My family were wonderfully supportive and with that, I turned our world upside down and embarked on my second BSc, this time in herbal medicine! It’s a vocation and career that perfectly interweaves the things I am most passionate about!
We moved to Whitchurch, Shropshire, in 2008 and absolutely love living in the green! It has been a joy to raise our children in the countryside and support my family’s health with holistic natural medicine. I love running my herbal clinic from our home, with my medicine garden just outside the back door.