The Humble Apothecary, Aromatherapy, Natural remedies, herbs, flower essences, essential oils, healing, home hygiene, personal care

Maxine Cook Entertaining motivational Public guest speaker available private and corporate functions.

Welcome to the Humble Apothecary!


Welcome to the Humble Apothecary!

For most of my life I have truly believed that the earth is self sustaining, that if we allow Mother Nature to speak to us, and truly listen to her, she can provide us with everything we need to survive and do it well. Mother Nature is capable of offering us food, clean air and water, and the means to make shelter and keep warm. I also believe she provides us with the cures for most of what ails us, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I am absolutely certain that everything we need to create, maintain and sustain good, healthy life is already right here on our planet and in our seas, in the form of plant and marine life, some of which we don't yet know the power of, in its ability to support our health. To me that's truly exciting - what we have yet to discover about what's already here to help us!

Mother Nature is an awesome power. We only have to look at what she's capable of when she flexes her muscles, with weather, sea and other atmospheric or earth-based conditions such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions capable of causing catastrophic damage with very little warning. We also see her gentle side - her ability to grow plants and flowers in the most unexpected, extraordinary, inhospitable or delightful places. We see hedgerows and wild trees bursting with an abundance of food at certain times of the year, and for carnivores there is a plethora of meat, fish and poultry to enjoy. Given all that she is capable of, does it not make sense then, that Mother Nature also provides the means to cure us of our ills, or at the very least, alleviate uncomfortable symptoms of illness and disease?

Everywhere we look, nature provides. One small example is that we seldom see a stinging nettle crop without a dock-leaf crop close by. The stinging substance in nettles is formic acid, and dock leaves contain an alkaline substance. Therefore, when the dock leaf is crushed to release its compounds and is rubbed on a patch of nettle-stung skin, the alkaline neutralises the acid. This, in its crudest form, is herbal medicine! It's just one of a great many examples of nature's ability to heal us with the essences from trees, plants and flowers.

Aromatherapy has been in existence for thousands of years. In its earliest form, aromatic fumigations were used in rituals such as funerals and religious ceremonies, back in the ancient world. The Egyptians were using aromatic medicine at least six thousand years ago. The ancient Greeks used plants and flowers for medicinal purposes and they went on to document the knowledge it gave them, much of which is still relevant to the use of aromatherapy today. We've come a long way from the dark days of disbelief, ignorance and fear when my ancestors, the so-called 'Pendle Witches', were taken to trial for witchcraft in the Lancashire Witch Trials - the most notorious in the country. Many so-called witches were marched through the streets of Lancashire and hanged for various trumped-up charges, including their attempts to heal with their herbal concoctions!

During the 19th and 20th centuries, when certain highly contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and yellow fever were rampant across many countries, scientists became aware that people who were working with plants and flowers appeared to have developed an immunity from disease. More research followed, by many more scientists, and by the middle of the twentieth century the scientific power of essential oils had become became much clearer. We now know, thanks to empirical evidence, that Mother Nature has indeed provided a vast range of trees, plants and flowers with the ability to address a wide variety of complaints, of mind, body and spirit. This holistic and beautiful selection of natural remedies has captivated my attention and my imagination.

As human beings with a delicate natural homeostatic balance to maintain, we are simply not designed to absorb great quantities of synthetic chemicals. That is not what Mother Nature intended for us. I'm not saying some illnesses don't require medication. Some definitely do, but to treat specific complaints in short-time. Over many years - decades in fact - my own illnesses have instilled in me a fundamental distrust of a great many pharmaceutical drugs, the appropriateness of their long term use, and the implications attached to that for long-term wellbeing. I am also fully aware that a great many other people are struggling to achieve or maintain wellness with mainstream medications, some of which have difficult side effects to manage, resulting in even more drugs being taken. It's a vicious cycle which I believe, in many cases, can be stopped and more appropriately treated with more natural interventions.

Natural remedies are now being incorporated into mainstream medical practice, particularly in hospitals, in various parts of the world. The United Kingdom is slow to catch up in this regard, but increasing scientific evidence is becoming harder to ignore. I believe therefore, that many of what are currently referred to as 'alternative therapies' will eventually be regarded as significant and valuable supportive treatments for what we currently refer to as 'mainstream medical practice'. Until that time, I and other holistic therapists who aim to treat the entire body and not just the presenting symptom, will continue to offer more gentle and less invasive solutions to a wide variety of complaints. The use of aromatherapy and herbalism is a powerful weapon I will use towards that aim.



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Skin Complaints


Skin Complaints

Do you suffer from acne, psoriasis, eczema or rosacea? These are just some examples of the kind of conditions that aromatherapy can successfully treat and help manage. Certain blends of oils work synergistically; that is, each provides not only its own powerful healing properties but also works to enhance the therapeutic benefits of each of the others. The whole becomes more than the sum of its parts, and what that produces is a treatment product that can significantly improve the condition of your skin from the inside out.

Essential oils enter the bloodstream which carries them directly to where they are most needed, and as they are nature-based products, unless you have a specific allergy, they will work to provide you with a gentle, natural process of healing.

Each product is tailor-made to the individual after a dedicated consultation and assessment process which will identify what specific oils will be of the most benefit to address issues other than the presenting skin complaint. For example, if stress or a digestive issue is also identified as a significant factor, specific oils can be included in the blend for the skin complaint that will also work to alleviate stress or digestive discomfort.



Digestive Dysfunction


Digestive Dysfunction

At one time or another, most of us will experience some form of mild digestive dysfunction. It could be something bowel-related, such as diarrhoea or constipation, or it could be more stomachic, like indigestion, heartburn or acid reflux. On many occasions it's just the result of something we've eaten that didn't quite agree, or that our digestive system wasn't used to. Sometimes a spicy curry can produce hours of uncomfortable heartburn!


Our bodies are uniquely designed to be constantly trying to protect us from harm so in most cases, an unhappy part of the digestive tract is just a sign of the body doing its best to reject whatever is causing the upset. Other times, symptoms that manifest in the digestive system could be stress-related. Sometimes, however, a digestive disorder can have more serious origins that do need medical intervention. Symptoms may be long-standing or chronic, resulting in continual or repeated discomfort, pain and inconvenience. It is important, with ANY persistent, recurring or acute problem, to see a doctor without delay to identify or rule out anything serious that may require targeted medical intervention or surgery.

However, for more 'benign' troubles of the tummy, it's possible to get significant relief from various products that contain essential oils specifically aimed at supporting the organs affected by digestive dysfunction. For both short-term and long-term application, essential oils can be of great help in calming the various inflammations and spasms that occur with digestive issues. At the same time, they can also help support the mind, in terms of calming things down in the brain, which might be exacerbating the physical symptoms. The mind and the body are closely interconnected and what affects one will have an impact on the other. Again, it's a very powerful effect of essential oils working to support the whole person in mind, body and spirit.

What we eat has a direct impact on our health and wellbeing, and sometimes we're not even aware of what our bodies do and don't love, food-wise. People can live with intolerances for many years without even realising they have them, and what damage they might be doing to long term health. A lot of overweight people don't overeat yet cannot shift the weight, but what they don't understand is that it's often because their bodies are failing to process certain foods because of an underlying, unidentified intolerance!

At the same time as identifying the root cause of your digestive issues to provide the best support through natural remedies, my practice involves talking about your nutritional habits as well, and broadly analysing your diet, to see whether what you're eating might be making your symptoms worse. Please be assured that there will never be a 'directive' to change what you eat! My approach is to simply guide you to think differently about what you're putting into your body and understand the effects it is having so that you can make a fully self-informed decision about whether you want to make the sort of changes that will bring you back to better health.

The great news is that through a combination of dietary modification and the use of products containing powerful essential oils, many people manage to come off long term medications that have been keeping their symptoms under control, because the symptoms disappear completely.




Maxine Cook | * Breast Cancer Funding Success | * Happy Customers Say ... | * MC and Guest Speaker | * The Humble Apothecary - The Power of Plants and Flowers | *COME AWAY TO BALI ! | *NUTRITION for Health and Wellbeing | *SORT YOUR SLEEP! | *WEIGHT Management | My Story | Privacy Policy |
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