I’m Judy Beyer, writer and blogger for Flora Force. So when I was invited to take tea and have a chat with Dr Florrie, I accepted happily. After all, she’s the woman who is both head and heart of the Flora Force company, a mom to eight, and a grandmama too…
Dr Florrie welcomes me to her flat in Rosebank, Cape Town, with a friendly smile, a ceremoniously prepared cup of ginger tea, and a shared admiration of her beautiful view of the mountain. It’s easy to forget that my hostess is a homeopath who has been in practice for more than 45 years (she still consults patients one day a week). She’s the founder of the natural herbal remedies company, Flora Force, and has raised eight children.
Firstly, what exactly is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a therapeutic system of medicine that focuses on the individual. Each patient is unique, with his or her own specific needs. Homeopathy focuses on understanding the obstacles that stand in the way of health, and uses specialised natural medicines to stimulate the body’s healing mechanisms. For my family and I, homeopathy has become a basic way of life. But it’s important to understand that homeopathy is part of Western medicine. When you’re ill, you need to consult a registered and qualified homeopathic practitioner to advise you on the type of treatment you need.
What started you on the road to homeopathy?
I was quite a sick child, and my parents turned to homeopathy to heal me. Later, after I’d been to university and followed the scientific path, and married, our first child became ill. It was my father who persuaded me to seek homeopathic assistance, and our child’s health returned. That’s what persuaded me to dedicate my life to the homeopathic and naturopathic treatment of ailments. For me, the most rewarding part of my work is being able to help people improve their quality of life.
Your children are grown now. But what type of foods did you feed them when they were growing up?
The world is full of foods that are not natural, and if we lose our link with natural food, we are digging our graves fast. For good health, we need to return to basics, to good wholesome food, balanced nutrition and an active lifestyle, permanently. Basically, our daily diet needs to include all the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, mineral and vitamins our bodies need. Carbohydrates should make up about 50% of the diet – brown rice, mealies, oats, barley, quinoa, and wheat, all unrefined. Protein – organic and free-range meat (if you eat it), lentils, tofu – should comprise 10% to15%, and the balance should include raw fruit, nuts, oils, vegetables and fats. I enjoy carrots, pawpaw, pineapples, garlic, parsley, butternut and ginger. Kelp is good to help with minerals and digestion.
Children can be tempted by sweets and chocolates, especially when they go to school or parties. How did you approach that problem?
We never had sweets in the house. Whatever our children did outside the home was out of our control, but they grew up understanding that natural was best. I believe they practise this today. In fact, my children now play major roles in the Flora Force company.
We all need an occasional treat, though. What do you do to treat yourself?
Oh, I love a dark chocolate, but it must be really dark. And occasionally a little chocolate hazelnut spread. For my body, I really enjoy a thoroughly spoiling spa treatment. It’s especially good after an aeroplane flight. Bliss!
What advice can you give new mums about feeding their children?
Feed your baby a diet that’s unrefined, with a little free-range meat and fish, and plenty of locally grown seasonal fruit and veg. Steaming food is good – the food retains more of its original vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Steaming also softens the fibres, so baby’s body can absorb all that nutritional goodness more easily.
What does the future hold for natural medicine?
A growing number of people want to take greater control of their health. We are all part of nature, and the cornerstones of our wellness are healthy eating habits, some form of exercise, and a spiritual path.