Nadine actively supported us with her specialist knowledge in the development of our latest product - the Brain Supreme. I talk to her about her perspective on health, the peculiarities of Chinese herbs, why cockroaches sometimes belong in tea and tea creations that suit the weather of the day.

Johanna: Nadine, how would you describe yourself and your work and what is your own intention as to why you chose this path?
Nadine: About me: I am a naturopath, although I would probably describe myself more as a doctor of Chinese medicine, as I think I can identify with that better. The focus of my work is basically Chinese phytotherapy, i.e. Chinese pharmacy. This is one of the four sub-areas of Chinese medicine. The others are, for example, the common acupuncture or the Tuina massage.

I came to my alternative practitioner because after graduating from high school I was wavering between medicine and psychology and couldn't really find myself in medicine. I knew that I wanted to make people healthy and heal people, but at the same time I also knew that I wasn't suitable as a surgeon, for example, or that I didn't see myself as a family doctor. So I found myself in Chinese medicine, as it is an intermediate area between completely alternative medicine and general medicine. It's very material. They are intensive, earthy active ingredients that the body perceives directly. With TCM I don't have any “initial aggravation” that I sometimes have with homeopathic remedies. I give my patients the herbal active ingredients and see immediate results – all without any side effects. That's what really impressed me about this type of medicine, as well as the Chinese attitude towards health: not necessarily only going to the doctor when it's already too late, but rather recognizing the body's signs early on and taking preventive action.

Johanna: Is there something you want to achieve with your way of practicing and your way of healing? What is your personal goal, so to speak, when a patient comes to you with their concerns?
Nadine: For me the question has two directions: on the one hand, I want to achieve something with the patient himself and on the other hand, I would say, something concerning the people's worldview. For the patient itself, it is of course important to me that I respond to the individual's lifestyle and see the person, their environment and everything related to them as a whole. I check whether, for example, there are work or family circumstances that make the whole thing more difficult. I always weigh up the support that I can guarantee him despite his life circumstances on the one hand and, on the other hand, I also try to advise the person so that he can perhaps find his own solution to difficult situations. This applies to normal life as well as nutrition, exercise, sport and emotional balance. Advice on all of these things is always part of it for me. It is also very important to me to create a connection with nature. For example, I tell patients who are open to what they can currently collect locally or plant in their garden to do something extra good for themselves. For me, there is always more to this job than “just practice”. So also that you give people the feeling of how do I deal with myself, how do I deal with nature and how do I deal with the world itself?

Johanna: This holistic philosophy is of great importance to us as a company; We often talk about “optimal performance”. For us, this means bringing the body to its best possible individual performance and having an optimal biorhythm. In your opinion, is there anything that helps us find our own optimal biorhythm? So what do you think it takes to achieve optimal performance?
Nadine: For me there are a lot of things involved. In Chinese medicine - and in my opinion this is exactly what sets it apart from other approaches - I use the pulse history to see what is missing in each person individually. You can't say globally: This is good for everyone. But everyone is missing something different. If I look at it in general, for me it would be that I always try to “clean up” with myself and within myself. This can be both very spiritual and very pragmatic. Sometimes it's enough that I do a kind of cleansing every now and then and just clear out the house. But every now and then it's necessary to clear out your own life: What does it really look like for me right now? What about my friendships, family, etc.? What I mean by this is that you just try to listen to yourself every now and then. This is exactly what is particularly important for the parasympathetic nervous system: to consciously seek peace and not just function in everyday life. Unfortunately, that's exactly what most people actually find most difficult - integrating conscious, mindful breaks into everyday life and slowing down a bit.

Johanna: You work a lot in the field of gynecology and with women. Which complaints can generally be treated with herbs?
Nadine: In contrast to acupuncture, herbal medicine is unfortunately still not really recognized and many people, to put it bluntly, think of “drinking tea”. I often encounter this in practice. But herbs themselves - and at this point I would like to move on to Chinese herbs again, because there is a really big difference to Western herbs - they have incredible medical effectiveness. I think it was two years ago when the Nobel Prize in Medicine went to a Chinese woman in research on Chinese herbs for bird flu. Here you can see again the wide range of medical applications they cover and I can actually use them to treat, improve or even cure any form of illness or complaint. The only exception is if a surgical procedure is really necessary.

Johanna: It also plays a big role where I get my herbs from. Where can I buy good Chinese herbs that can really do something good for my health? Nadine: I do have some Chinese herbs in my garden, but the herbs that come directly from Asia actually have the best effect. They are significantly more effective when they come directly from China. Because of the climate, the nature of the soil and everything that goes with it. So if I want to use Chinese herbs, I should get them directly from the Chinese area. Some of my colleagues had repeatedly expressed concerns that they were very contaminated and that there was a lot of injections in China. Now that is no longer the case. Since TCM is much more widespread, Chinese herbs are also much less contaminated with pollutants and many areas have switched completely to organic cultivation. In Germany, the standards are very high when the herbs are purchased from pharmacies, for example, and you can assume that you are getting very pure herbs. Of course I shouldn't get my ginseng root from the Asian shop across the street. (laughs) Of course, they're not nearly as efficient either. For the medical sector, you should therefore rely on pharmacist quality.

Johanna: In your opinion, what is the difference between Western and Chinese herbs in particular in terms of effectiveness?
Nadine: For me there is a difference between whether I really want to use the herbs medicinally or to benefit my health. I can use many western herbs from my garden such as marigold flowers, echinacea, yarrow or dandelion roots (dried myself) in everyday life. But if I have a patient who is completely burnt out - burnout, severe depression - or a patient with endometriosis, I simply need very intensive remedies that can break up such stagnation. If there is a total emergency and there is a health risk, a cockroach should be in the tea. Some people don't want to hear this, but this can really save lives. That's the difference then. Do I really need a Chinese medication due to the intensity or do I “just” have a case of gastrointestinal problems.

Johanna: How can I improve my health through herbs, roots and flowers myself, without a therapist?
Nadine: I think it's important to start small. For example, having a small garden or a small balcony where you can plant a lot of wild herbs. You can also find the nearest forest where you can take a short barefoot walk. So to speak, you first have to get a connection to what is growing and what is around us. There is a saying that I can't quote verbatim, but it says that in principle we can find everything our bodies need on our doorstep. That's often how it is. You should try not only to rely on superfoods etc., but also to integrate the things that grow around us for our health.

Johanna: Are you thinking of a good book about Chinese herbal medicine or do you have a clear favorite book?
Nadine: Definitely! Shanghanlun. This is THE original core of Chinese herbal medicine, i.e. the first book written and written about Chinese herbal medicine.

Johanna: Do you have a morning routine?
Nadine: (laughs) I have two children. So my morning routine also means a lot of preparation and no long relaxation exercises. Maybe my routine is to cuddle with my kids for another 5 minutes before I have to throw them out of bed. Then I make us breakfast and every day we have tea that suits the weather. So I always adapt my morning tea to the day - whether it's going to be warm, cold, wet or humid. This is probably my morning routine.

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