St John’s Wort – The Arnica of the Nerves

St Johns Wort

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is one of the most researched and prescribed herbal plants in the world. Known affectionately as ‘liquid sunshine’ by medical herbalist and founder of Artemis, Sandra Clair, she shares a special kinship with this plant. “When I first discovered it growing in Central Otago, I nearly cried”, she recalls.

As with thyme, every year Sandra and Artemis staff collect St John’s Wort in Central Otago to be processed into a strong, blood-red oil or to be dried for tea. This is the tradition of wild-crafting – a long-standing practice of harvesting plants in their natural environment, a science reliant on proper identification, a commitment to sustainability an understanding of when the plant’s active constituents are at their strongest.

St John’s Wort is widely used for natural mood support. Multiple studies have shown that St John’s Wort is effective for its support for lifting low mood. Used also for the management of other emotional disorders such as worry and support for sleep.

St. John’s Wort also supports physiological trauma and is dubbed “the Arnica of the Nerves” – it is proven to soothe nerves after trauma where nerves can be damaged. A first aid for burns (including sunburn), it helps regenerate skin and can be applied after radiotherapy treatments to aid recovery. Due to its tissue regenerating actions, it significantly reduces the appearance of scars and repairs damaged and aging skin.

Another lesser known fact of St John’s Wort is that it is highly effective for supporting nerve recovery.

TAPS No: PP1588

Artemis Stress Relief Tea is traditional plant medicine to support the ability to cope with stress. It supports the nervous system to help manage stress and low mood.
Artemis Nerve and Skin Rescue Oil soothes nerves and irritated skin. Use to support nerve and muscular comfort, relieve stress and tension, and soothe hot skin. Shop now on our secure online store.

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Hannah’s Top Natural Skincare Picks

Hannah's top natural skincare picks

We’re excited for Hannah, our new Auckland in-store naturopath, to join the HealthPost team! Read on for some of Hannah’s natural skincare favourites and find out why using natural skincare over synthetic based products is important.

With our skin being our largest organ, it’s no surprise that up to 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into the body.  For this reason, choosing natural and organic plant based skincare products over artificial, toxic products means there is no additional strain on our sometimes already overburdened detoxification organs.

Our skin is the first line of defence for our immune system – if this protective barrier is compromised by using harsh detergents and undesirable ingredients, our bodies can be more prone to potential invasion by pathogens. These harsh products aren’t just impacting on us, but the environmental effects are widespread. Just think of all those toxic ingredients being washed away down the drain and out into our oceans!

Natural and organic skin care products tend to be more gentle on the skin. They gently cleanse, nourish and hydrate while protecting the natural balance of the skins protective oils. You can feel rest assured that using natural products are safer for our environment, and especially marine life.

1. Artemis Kidney Cleanse Tea

This beautifully gentle, medicinal tea is a combination of nutrient dense herbs that support normal detoxification through the kidneys which in turn aids clear skin. If the kidneys are under stress, the skin can suffer, potentially leading to skin breakouts.

2. Weleda Citrus Deodorant

Free from aluminum, this refreshing deodorant spray uses lemon peel oil to combat the bacteria that lead to unpleasant odour. The spray can be used as often as needed throughout the day to provide a fresh gentle fragrance.

3. Antipodes Hallelujah Lime & Patchouli Cleanser

With the change in temperature as we head towards winter, our skin often cries out for more moisture. This beautiful cleanser gently nourishes and protects without stripping our natural oils. The addition of Kawakawa provides protection and nutrition to the skin.

4. Kiwi Herb Baby Balm

We always have a jar of balm on hand at home. Barely a day goes by that we don’t use it for something. Chapped lips, scratches, itchy bits, the list goes on and on. Despite the name, this versatile balm is not only for baby’s bottoms! My babies are well past this stage and we still use this nourishing balm often.

5. Dr Bronners Pure- Castille Soap

With certified Fairtrade ingredients and nourishing organic oils you can rely on this versatile product. It is gentle enough for the little ones in the family, yet provides a powerful enough cleansing action that it can be used as a household cleaner and even dog shampoo.

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Kid’s Winter Health Essentials

Favourites for Kids Immunity

Our Natural Health Expert, Liz Jury, shares with us her favourite picks for keeping the kids in tip top health this winter.

The darker mornings and cooler breeze definitely signals that winter is on it’s way! Thinking ahead to ensure you and your family have all you need in your medicine cabinet is a great idea at this time of year. Get prepared now, so your winter is easier.

Sourced from Cod Liver Oil from the Arctic, this strawberry tasting oil has a decent amount of EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids in each ½ teaspoon serving. DHA is wonderful support for growing brains, eyes and immune systems. This formula also contains naturally occurring Vitamin A and D. This can be easily mixed into a smoothie or even yoghurt.

The legendary herbs in this lovely liquid will support a healthy immune response to ills and chills. It can be taken in the lead up to winter at a lower dose, or for immediate relief at a higher dose. The liquorice will soothe the throat and also helps it to taste great. A treasured first-aid kit essential to have on-hand.

The tastiest multi-vitamin smoothie around! Choc-banana, Choc-mint, or Choc-honeycomb can be easily blended with a liquid of your choice and provides a plant based powerhouse of nutrition. As well as protein, greens, and berries, your lucky child will receive a decent dose of vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to support everyday wellness as well as immunity and digestion. It’s a great after school smoothie addition – or try getting the kids creative in the kitchen and make this delicious smoothie ‘b-owl’ below.

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The three strains of beneficial bacteria found within the Immune Booster have been shown to shorten the frequency of ills and chills and support a healthy immune system in children. This powder can be easily mixed into liquids for your children to take daily. Ethical Nutrients probiotics are evidence-based and their comprehensive manufacturing ensures a high quality product.

Sourced from NZ cows, colostrum provides growth factors which strengthen and support a healthy immune system. As well as this, colostrum will help with the normal healthy repair of your child’s growing body during stress or injury. Colostrum tends to be low in lactose, and contain minerals like magnesium.

Children can feel stressed too, usually for different reasons than adults, but it is just as real for them and can impact on their immunity. The Chamomile in Kid’s Calm works on both the nervous system and the digestive system, to soothe the mind and tummy of your little one. Whether it’s adjusting to school, or having a busy mind that is interfering with sleep, or simply just feeling worried about all the homework, Kid’s Calm offers great support during stressful moments.

Have you tried any of these products for your child? Don’t forget to leave a review!

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Tips for Mid-Life Hormone Happiness

balancing hormones naturally

Throughout a woman’s life there are some pretty significant hormonal changes! There’s puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause. Some people seem to be able to breeze through the changes with ease, whilst others struggle. Hormonal imbalances and conditions that are caused by these changes have always existed, however they are becoming more and more common. This can be contributed to the modern way of life. Increased stress, higher use of screens and the impact this has with our cortisol levels, plus environmental conditions and the way we eat can all wreak havoc on our delicate hormones.

Mid-Life Hormonal Changes

Between 45 and 55 is when women can start to notice some changes. This is due to perimenopause, where we start to see a decline in the regularity of ovulation and fluctuations of our hormones.  When hormonal levels drop in perimenopause some women suffer from worry, have difficulty sleeping, and mood imbalances that they may have never experienced before.

The main function of the adrenal glands is to respond to stress, but after menopause they take over the production of hormones. Women who suffer from high stress may find that in perimenopause their symptoms become worse – this is due to the increased demands that are placed on their hormone-producing capability in the lead up to this time.

Plant Extracts for Hormone Support

Extracts from traditional medicinal plants and in particular adrenal and nervine plants, can help with this transitional period. Specifically, working on the worry and lack of sleep that comes along with hormonal changes:

  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), supports resistance to stress and is useful in times of increased demand and the perimenopausal time.. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin which is structurally similar to our stress hormones produced by the adrenal glands. It supports a healthy stress response and can also support adrenal exhaustion that can interfere with normal sleep.
  • John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) naturally supports balanced mood and serotonin production.  It calms the brain, lessens worry and supports sleep. In addition, it has been shown to support the body’s temperature balance, which can fluctuate during peri-menopause.
  • Sage (Salvia officinalis) also deserves special mention, since it is the most important herb to support normal sweating and temperature balance in perimenopausal women.

st johns wort tea

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During Menopause

To support and smooth the menopausal transition, implement a wholefood diet with minimal processed foods, and try to minimise alcohol and caffeine. Caffeine doesn’t help if people struggle with  worry as it activates the fight or flight response and can often worsen symptoms.

Liver support is vital! The liver detoxifies everything; food, alcohol, caffeine – including built up hormones. With hormonal imbalances it is important to support this process. An easy way to do this is to start your day with bitter herbs, such as St Mary’s Thistle and Globe Artichoke.

A moderate exercise regime, stress management strategies such as meditation, mindfulness and sufficient rest and sleep are also crucial. Remembering to practice self-care and kindness through this tough time is important also.

TAPS: PP2342

Artemis cool and calm tea

Artemis Cool and Calm Tea is traditional plant medicine to support women through menopause. The formula’s powerful properties help manage irritability, support temperature balance and a good night’s sleep. Support your hormonal balance with Artemis Cool and Calm Tea.

Author: Skye Macfarlane
Skye is a Medical Herbalist and Naturopath, holding a Bachelor in Natural Medicine from the South Pacific College of Medicine. 

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Hot Toddy Recipe

Hot Toddy Healthy Recipe

A Hot Toddy is a delicious way to soothe a scratchy throat and fight against the winter chills! This recipe is alcohol free, and includes immune favourites Immuno Boost Tea and Thyme Honey by Artemis.

Time: 5-10 minutes
Makes: 1 cup


1. Fill tea infuser with Artemis Immuno Boost Tea leaves and add all other ingredients into your favourite mug.
2. Poor over boiling water and infuse for 5-10 minutes.
3. Garnish with lemon and enjoy.

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Nutritional Supplements VS Traditional Plant Medicine – What’s the Difference?

supplements vs plant medicine

The natural health industry can be confusing – there are multiple therapies and often we don’t know what is most effective or where to start. Nutritional supplementation and traditional plant medicine are two ways to support good health. But what is the difference between them?

Nutritional Supplementation:

Nutritional supplementation feeds the body with nutrients. You will find minerals and vitamins in the supplement section of health stores and pharmacies, and online. Supplementation is relatively new therapy.  The idea was introduced during the industrial revolution to correct deficiencies in diets. Vitamins and minerals are essential in thousands of chemical reactions in the body. Even the best diets may need supplementation. For example, in New Zealand our soils tend to be low in magnesium and selenium.  That can make it hard for us to get these nutrients from food alone. If we have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, then nutritional supplementation can be an effective way to correct it. Supplements available are both naturally and synthetically derived. Some are made with excipients or fillers, and preservatives, which should be avoided as these add extra stress on the body.

Traditional Plant Medicine:

Traditional Plant medicine uses extracts of certain plants to support wellness, to build resilience and support optimal health. It is also called herbal medicine or phytotherapy. Traditional Plant medicine not only boosts nutrition but has active constituents that deliver balancing and strengthening effects on organs that help our body to function optimally. It has been used for thousands of years and is well documented throughout civilisations around the world.

echinacea purpurea

Traditional Plant medicine has a different mode of action because plants, like humans, must protect themselves from predators and their environment.  A plant’s antioxidant, and anti- pathogenic properties are its only defence mechanism. They are essential for survival. When plants are grown in particularly harsh climates and/or conditions they are packed with antioxidants, and immune boosting etc. properties. Anyone who consumes the plant can gain the benefit.

The best traditional plant medicines use whole plant extractions and combine plants together to make formulations that have multiple effects on the body to support wellness. They retain the active ingredients in their natural state and help to support the body’s natural defences.

Let’s look at an example; You have ills and chills and the sniffles, and your immune system is compromised. Those symptoms are a result of the body’s immune system response.

Two of the most common natural health choices for ills and chills are:

  • Nutritional supplement – Vitamin C. High levels of Vitamin C can help to support the body’s immune response. However, this benefit wears off as the vitamin is expelled from the system. Due to Vitamin C being water soluble.
  • Traditional plant medicine – Echinacea. Fresh plant echinacea tincture supports the body’s production of white blood cells to fight pathogens. Through this process Echinacea has been shown to support the immune system.

This example shows there is a difference in action between traditional plant medicine and nutritional supplementation. But importantly it also highlights that we need both for optimum health.

Overall, traditional plant medicine can still work with a depleted system, but it works best when the body is well nourished.

TAPS: PP2448

Author: Skye Macfarlane
Skye is a Medical Herbalist and Naturopath, holding a Bachelor in Natural Medicine from the South Pacific College of Medicine.

The Artemis range includes herbal medicines in a number of traditional forms, from targeted specialty tea blends to skin oils and creams and liquid herbs. Shop the full range online.


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Top Tips to Overcome Challenges for New Mums

top tip for new mums

Becoming a parent is a big deal. Becoming a mum is even bigger. After 9 months of carrying a baby, you are now responsible for a small, helpless baby that relies on you for nourishment. The reality of this can be overwhelming.

Natural Support for Breastfeeding

For those that are breastfeeding, traditional plant medicine can be a valuable support. Galactagogic herbs such as Fennel and Aniseed support milk flow and milk quality. These herbs have been used for generations by medical herbalists. Raspberry leaf is also important as not only supports milk supply, but also uterine recovery, which is essential post childbirth.

When breastfeeding, it is important to hydrate regularly. Breast milk is predominantly made of water, so it is essential to stay hydrated. Taking herbs in a tea remedy gives you all the remedial benefits with a boost of hydration! Make up a flask or jug in the morning to set you up for the day – prepare according to the directions, then drink hot or cold.

Ensuring the right technique for breastfeeding is also important. Lactation consultants and midwives are specialists in this area and will be able to help with technique and positioning. Asking for help before issues arise may stop cracked, irritated nipples from becoming severe.

Aside from breastfeeding, there are many other challenges in the first 3 months with a newborn. In this period newborns are learning how to live outside of the womb. They slowly learn to self-settle, sleep alone and feed efficiently. However, this skill development takes time and can be frustrating for parents. Traditional plant medicine can support families in a multitude of ways throughout the fourth trimester and beyond.

Lack of Energy

All new parents are tired! With multiple wake ups throughout the night, both parents can feel fatigued. Taking energizing herbs like Sencha Green Tea with herbs that nourish your adrenal system is a balanced way to support stress and energy levels. Licorice is an adaptogenic herb, meaning it supports the adrenal glands and helps the body manage stress by modulating cortisol levels.

Adequate Iron Levels

Nettle is a medical herbalist’s favorite due to its high nutritional profile and provision of plant-based iron. In pregnancy, iron requirements double as the mother’s blood supply increases. Daily consumption of plant medicine like nettle may help to support healthy iron levels.

Impaired Immune Defences

New parents also need to take care of their immune system. When we are tired and stressed, immunity is one of the first things to suffer. Many parents find in the first year of parenting they fall ill more often. This could be attributed to a lack of sleep. Protecting your immunity can be as simple as including a formulation of herbs that boost your immunity. Thyme, Echinacea, Olive leaf, St. Mary’s Thistle, Sage and Angelica are great choices which support a healthy immune response. Good gut health is linked to good immunity so also consider a good quality, broad-spectrum probiotic.

Finding support where you can is essential as the first 3 months mark a huge step in the growth of your baby. Artemis products are suitable throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, supporting your family through this special time.

Shop Artemis on our secure online store.

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. Artemis Ltd, Dunedin.
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Detoxing with Plants

Detox tea support for detoxification

Detoxification is essential as it protects your health and improves your overall wellbeing. The term detox is often overused but, in this context, detox refers to the detoxification function that the liver and kidneys undergo each day as they process and flush everything that is eaten, drunk, absorbed or inhaled. This process happens naturally.

Traditional plant medicine has long been used to help support the liver, kidneys and digestive organs. Modern research shows that St Mary’s Thistle (Silybum marianum) can help support healthy liver function and help protect liver cells from harmful substances. It is used whenever alcohol, drug, poor diet or exposure to chemical pollution has comprised normal liver function.

Globe Artichoke is another plant that has an affinity with physiological detoxification and elimination, due to its bitter active constituents. The bitterness stimulates bile production, making it useful for supporting digestion, bowel regularity, bloating and queasy feelings.

Similarly, elimination of water soluble toxins via the kidneys is important – and this can be enhanced by Golden Rod (Solidago virgaurea), Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) and Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica). These plants have been shown to help clear the body of water-soluble metabolic wastes, like excess sodium and uric acid.

Supporting your body’s detoxification process has many health benefits including:

  • balanced energy
  • improved digestion
  • healthy immune system
  • healthy circulatory and lymphatic function
  • support for sleep and mood
  • healthy hormonal output
  • clearer skin
  • reduced toxic load

But what is the best way to support the cleansing of the body, beyond fad products, for a long-term positive outcome reflected in better health?

The first steps can be to consume organic fresh food and reduce your toxic load by not smoking and using cleaning and personal care products with no nasty chemicals.

Incorporating the plants mentioned above into your daily self-care practices is the next step in supporting optimal detoxification. Take them as a tea to support detoxification, as the hot water has additional flushing benefits over and above the active constituents in the plants.

All mentioned plants are recognised for their longstanding healing benefits in international regulatory pharmacopoeias.

TAPS No: PP2841
Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist, see your health professional.

Author: Skye Macfarlane 

Skye is a Medical Herbalist and Naturopath, holding a Bachelor in Natural Medicine from the South Pacific College of Medicine.

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Your Season Survival Guide from Artemis

Season survival guide with Artemis traditional tea

Artemis share their six top season survival tips to help us find balance over the festive season.

While socialising around the silly season inevitably brings about meals, snacks, and drinks with it, part of our self-care routine is to enjoy the holidays, without letting all this “sometimes food” derail our health and wellbeing. It’s important to feel well enough to actually enjoy the holidays and to find balance, allowing ourselves to indulge now and again (guilt-free), while supporting our body’s natural functions so that we can bounce back from that day of too-much-chocolate-and-wine!

1. Listen to your hunger cues.

When eating socially, many of us ignore whether or not we are actually hungry. Eating too much when you’re not hungry can lead to bloating, indigestion, feeling tired and sluggish, never mind the expanding waistline. When someone offers you a snack, take a moment to focus on your belly. Are you actually hungry? If not, try saying something as simple as “no thanks”.

2. Get your veggies in, no matter what.

One of the best tricks is to eat something healthy and delicious before you go out, especially if you know healthy options are going to be limited. Make yourself a big green salad or a smoothie with some kale or spinach thrown in. You won’t be ravenous when you arrive, and you can have a few bites knowing that you’ve started the day with something nourishing and nutritious.

3. Plan ahead.

Make a plan for the week or month. Choose events that you know you will want to have a wine or two at, and don’t beat yourself up about it. Then, figure out how you are going to feel festive, without feeling left out, at the other events. The key is to do this BEFORE someone comes to fill up your glass.

4. Make a mocktail.

Bring tasty, non-alcoholic alternatives to BBQs and dinners with friends. Home-made iced tea or sparkling water with a lemon wedge in a wine glass still feels like a “treat”, without the side-effects. Kombucha (fermented tea) is another great alternative, and has the added bonus of containing beneficial probiotics and enzymes to support digestion.

5. Plant medicine daily.

Certain plant medicines can help to optimise your body’s natural ability to digest, detoxify, and eliminate. This is especially helpful at a time of year when we are putting an extra load on these systems.

Modern research shows that St Mary’s Thistle (Silybum marianum) can help support healthy liver function and help protect liver cells from harmful substances such as alcohol, drugs, poor diet, or exposure to chemical pollution.

Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) also supports detoxification and elimination, due to its bitter plant compounds. The bitterness stimulates bile production, making it useful for supporting digestion, bowel regularity, bloating and queasy feelings.

Supporting the kidneys is also important, as they help to clear the body of water-soluble wastes. This can be enhanced by plant medicines such as Golden Rod (Solidago virgaurea), Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) and Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica). These plants have been shown to help clear the body of metabolic wastes like excess sodium and uric acid.

These plants can be used daily throughout the festive season as a medicinal tea to maintain good digestion, detoxification and elimination. But what if you’ve already overdone it and are left feeling bloated or unwell?

Plant medicines such as Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), Lemonbalm (Melissa officinalis), Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), and Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) contain compounds which help to calm the digestive tract and ease gas, bloating and discomfort. Tea is again the best way to ingest these medicinal plants as the hot water extraction helps release the therapeutic volatile oils which help with digestive complaints.

6. Do your best, and relax the rest of the time.

No one’s perfect, and this is hardly the time of year to beat yourself up for eating or drinking something less-than-healthy. Follow the above steps, and if you happen to overdo it once or twice, know that it’s not the end of the world and you can simply have a salad and a smoothie tomorrow.

Shop Artemis‘ full range of traditional plant medicine teas including Digestive Ease Tea and Liver Detox Tea on our online store.

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see our healthcare professional. Artemis Ltd, Dunedin.
TAPS: PP3162

Author: Emily Bose, Naturopath, and Medical Herbalist.

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