Bringing back the Healing Power of Plants with Lili Buechner of Nature’s Antidote
Being on a journey into a more holistic approach to health, finding Lili and her brand Nature’s Antidote, was such a welcomed introduction to a more connected way of living with the healing gifts of nature. Our culture has become so separated from living in harmony with Mother Earth, but I think more and more of us are craving to find this connection again.
Lili tells us more about how she started her brand of healing herbs, plants and adaptogens such as Reishi or Chaga – after spending a month with the Kayapo tribe in the Brazilian Amazon. She explains how the Kayapo tribe bravely protect their last area of rainforest, how most modern pharmaceuticals are also based on plants and how her new blend ‘Yoni’ eases menstruation pain whilst also supporting us ladies to connect back to our bodies.
Hi Lili, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. Please tell us a little bit more about yourself and your brand Nature’s Antidote.
Absolute pleasure, thanks so much for asking me to participate!
I would describe myself as an intuitive tonic herbalist, soon to be meditation teacher and curious student of all aspects of life and spirituality. I started Nature’s Antidote one year ago, the best decision ever, as it lead me on this incredible path where I am exploring and experiencing the incredible healing effects of plants on a daily base and connect with the loveliest people. Nature’s Antidote aims to make ancient medicinal plants accessible to people in a modern approach, with delicious recipes and inspiration to integrate them into our busy lives.
How do you select the remedies and which ones do you currently use most? And what are exactly are adaptogens that you use?
I mostly do this intuitively and on a personal experience level, for example by asking what is effecting me at the moment, what healing am I hoping to gain from specific plants. Am I very stressed, do I lack concentration or is my immune system low? At the moment stress is definitely a big factor in my daily life, so I am happy to have Reishi and the Heart Chakra blend by my side.
Apart from my own products I am experimenting with tinctures at the moment. Tinctures are alcohol based extracts which can be easily done at home with fresh or dried herbs and the difference is that the alcohol is able to draw specific compounds out of the plants that couldn’t be accessed by consuming them in dried form. It is also easy to take them on the go and they are effective on an empty stomach as the alcohol is a great medium to get the herbs directly into your blood stream. I want to launch a tincture range at some point but am in very early self experimenting stages 🙂
To answer your question about adaptogens: Adaptogens are specific kind of plants that help our bodies adapt to outer influences of stress – physical and mental – and increase our physical capacities at the same time. They are incredible herbs that ancient medicinal practices have used for centuries and they are extremely relevant in our modern busy lives as we are constantly exposed to stress which puts our bodies in fight or flight mode, a reaction in our body that is extremely similar to when we were living in caves and roaming around being exposed to and threatened by predators. Adaptogens naturally lower our stress levels and can therefore prevent illnesses that develop through chronic stress and the increased release of adrenalin and cortisol.
What are the ‘healing powers of plants’?
Us humans as a species have developed in constant harmony with plants, we have used them for medicinal purposes for basically ever and even most pharmaceuticals are based on plants. Take Aspirin for example, we have used herbal equivalents for centuries: Aspirin’s pain relieving substance is called salicylic acid which can be found in several plants like jasmine, clover and willow bark.
The ancient Egyptians already used willow bark for that exact purpose and even Hippocrates wrote about the plant’s healing effects. When we tune in and become aware of the fact that we can prevent illnesses with (almost) side effect free herbs instead of relying on chemically produced pharmaceuticals – we actually take healing into our own hands and thus start to re-connect and listen to our bodies. It can teach us so much and really enhance our awareness on so many levels. It’s an incredible journey as it is so empowering to truly understand what is going on inside and causing pain or disease.
There are plants for almost any kinds of symptoms and by integrating them for a longer period we start to feel changes and see what works for us and what does not. What I find incredible is the fact that each herb can work and effect each body in a different way – it really depends on your constitution. Pharmaceutical on the other side are made to treat each symptom the same way across any body. So for me, medicinal plants are the true source of healing as they are much more pure and natural. I have to say though that modern medicine is incredible too and specific diseases should be treated in these ways. But that doesn’t mean that both ways can’t work together – rather the opposite, I think that ancient and modern practices can work complementing each other.
You support the Brazilian ‘Kayapo Organisation‘. Who are they and how have you found them?
In 2014 I had the chance to spend one month in the Brazilian Amazon living with the Kayapo tribe. It was the greatest experience as it taught me so much about living in harmony with nature and relying on century old traditions. The Kayapo are truly the strongest people I have ever met and they rely on shamanic healing approaches which are also based on plants and treating symptoms the natural way. Through them I developed my fascination for plant healing.
For me it was clear that if I ever start my own company or earn money in any way, I will support them as much as I can, as they are constantly fighting for their territory which is threatened by illegal miners and loggers. The Kayapo have a massive piece of land dedicated to them and all surrounding rainforest has already been cut down for cattle ranching and logging. Their borders are invaded by illegal loggers on a daily base and they need resources to observe their territory which they can only do with airplanes.
When they find illegal invaders they literally fight them with all means and I believe that this is the best way to protect the small amount of rainforest that is still left on this planet. Rainforests belong to the most important eco systems on this planet and it is beyond my comprehension how governments can allow this to happen just for profitability. Without rainforests our planet can not function the way it needs to be and I am in awe on how dedicated the Kayapo fight for their land which they honour so much – in such a humble way that we should truly take as an example in our Western world.
Do you think their original way of living naturally includes more gratitude than our modern lives do these days? Like a natural connectedness and rhythm bring more awareness of the blessings.
Yes I definitely believe that they have much more gratitude for mother nature than we do in our Western world. They know the importance of living in harmony with our home and are more connected to it in their way. They never take too much for example. When they go hunting, they only kill one animal which they share amongst them, rather than killing more and risking having to throw something away. That is basically the opposite of the overconsumption that is happening in our society and also the increased disconnectedness to our true selfs and origin which I believe is causing a lot of disorientation and even depression.
You have a new blend called YONI (Sanskrit word for ‘The Womb’ and female sexual organs). I really love how this is about honouring ourselves / the female, and creating rituals to do so. Please tell us more about YONI.
Yoni on the one side is simply aimed at easing menstruation problems, especially painful cramps. On the other side I also wanted to facilitate a way of bridging the gap between a disconnectedness of our bodies – in this instance for women during their menstruation. When I was younger and suffering from PMS with extremely painful cramps during my menstruation, the doctor prescribed the anti-baby pill. I took it as I wasn’t questioning it at that time and only realised eight years later that I am actually suppressing my natural cycle with hormones. That was around the time I really got into plant medicine and when I stopped taking the pill it took one year until my body found its natural rhythm and I got my period again.
Menstruation is actually a natural way of women to release grief and other emotions and it is a powerful process that is completely underestimated and also negatively looked upon in our society. When we listen to our bodies we can actually experience and observe which processes are going on, for example once I started “listening” I realised that I can feel ovulation and can often sense, simply based on my emotional state, when my period is about to arrive.
With plants we can decrease discomfort and Yoni hopefully makes you become more aware – as it is best to be taken one week prior to menstruation or ovulation to make your body tap into the effects of the plants. That way you need to pay attention and can then integrate the blend as a daily ritual. You can also take the blend if you don’t have your period by the way, or if you have any kind of tummy ache, as the cramp bark works overall pain relieving.
On your website you say “We at Nature’s Antidote are committed to making a change in the world and believe that changes start within ourselves.“ How do feel these changes will then show collectively?
I think that once we start connecting with ourselves on an internal level, let it be through meditation, gratitude practice, an holistic approach with ones diet or even just journalling, we start to understand our true nature and become more aware of energies that surround us and also the energies that we emit ourselves. If we then manage to make us feel better in our bodies, everyday lives and actions, we start to portray that to the outside world. It is very unlikely that people who feel great and have positive intentions treat other beings in a cruel or harmful way.
Tapping into plant medicine for me equals reconnecting to your body as you take healing into your own hands through an experimental approach or simply because it makes you feel better. And often that initiates a shift in awareness on different levels too.. At least that what I hope it does with other people 😀
To me, I find such hope that more and more people are going back to finding healing and also prevention through natural sources and nutrition. And I’m very grateful you bring awareness (and products) to this possibility. Do you think this ‘back to basics’ approach is a part of humanity awakening again?
Absolutely! I feel exactly the same way like you just phrased it and I believe that there is a massive awakening happening at the moment. I can just speak for myself and definitely think that this has contributed to my path to plant healing and just questioning the status quo on so many levels including medicine and pharmaceuticals.
How do you include rituals and time for self into your daily life?
I get up really early in the mornings. And preferably take some additional time in the evenings at least two to three times per week. I usually wake up at 6am and then practice meditation and gratitude for 30-40 mins. Then I have some herbs in form of a tea, infusion or latte and prepare a nourishing breakfast. These 1-2 hours of stress free time in the mornings are so important to me and I can really feel a difference in my overall wellbeing if I skip this time.
We’ve talked before and said that your Heart Chakra Blend and its heart opening properties work really well with the practice of gratitude. What would be your recipe recommendation for the Heart Chakra blend to accompany a soulful gratitude journaling session?
Definitely in form of an infusion and maybe some added plant milk to make it more creamy. Infusions are basically teas, just steeped for longer and covered to prevent essential oils from evaporating. I would add 1-2 tablespoons of Heart Chakra to a french press, cover it with 500ml water and leave the lid on for about 10 mins. Then pour it into a cup and cover with a little bit of coconut milk and some optional natural sweetener like honey or agave syrup. Enjoy and visualise the liquid like a blanket that covers your internals with healing powers with every sip. I am actually drinking a Heart Chakra infusion while writing this – without milk though, just pure.
And last but not least, what are you grateful for?
I think it would be almost easier to tell you what I am NOT grateful for as I am truly in gratitude with almost anything that I engage with in my daily life. Or let’s say I really try to do that. Every lesson, difficulty, person and experience I come across I try to engage with from a base of gratitude. It has shifted so much about the way I see this world and has increased my overall wellbeing. I think three of the things I am most grateful for are my mum – I truly cannot put in words how thankful I am to be born as her daughter – my dog Chai, she is the loveliest most loyal creature and teaches me so much about persistence, love and care, and Nature’s Antidote – the lessons it has taught me and the people it has brought into my life are priceless.
Thank you so so much, Lili! It is truly inspiring what you do and I’m super grateful to have found you 🙂 xxx