Cloud Twelve Founder, Jenya Di Pierro on Herbs for Health

Cloud Twelve Founder, Jenya Di Pierro on Herbs for Health

In this article, we have the pleasure of hearing from Cloud Twelve founder and inspiration Jenya Di Pierro. As leading herbalist, Jenya gives us a great insight into herbalism and how this impacts our health! Before we get into it, let's get to know a bit about Jenya and her background…

Jenya Di Pierro is the founder, CEO and leading herbalist of Cloud Twelve. Inspiration for Cloud Twelve developed through Jenya’s work and experiences in the field of holistic well-being, and her passion for harnessing the healing power of nature to support the mind and body.

As a professional naturopath with a qualification in herbal medicine from the College of Naturopathic Medicine, Jenya focuses on a holistic approach to wellness, which encompasses emotional, mental and physical health. She believes that everyone’s physiology is unique – influenced by genetic, environmental and social factors – and therefore bespoke herbal preparations and personalised diet work best to correct health imbalances.  

‘Ultimately, by boosting general vitality, restoring digestive capacity and removing toxins we can empower our bodies to overcome most chronic conditions, including mental, reproductive and immunological problems.’

Jenya is an affiliated member of the Association of Master Herbalists and the Association of Naturopathic Practitioners. Her team of accredited naturopaths and professional therapists at Cloud Twelve has been hand-picked to develop continuous yet achievable wellness programmes within a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment. 

Herbs for Health By Jenya Di Pierro

Herbs have been used for centuries to treat people and are still used by 80% of the world’s population as a primary source of healthcare.

Plants absorb vital nutrients from the soil and then process and store them, providing phytochemicals that are recognised by the body as food and are therefore easily absorbed. This is what makes herbs very effecting but at the same time they are quite gentle and side effects are rare.

As a herbalist, I use active ingredients found in leaves, flowers, bark, berries, roots or seeds of medicinal plants as therapeutic tools. Formulations usually take form of powders, decoctions, creams, macerated oils and alcohol extracts, and most contain several ingredients, all carefully tailored to individual needs.

My own form of herbalism takes wisdom from Greek medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurveda, among others, to address a wide array of concerns from the immune system, digestion and nutrition, to skin, hormonal health and fertility. 

I wanted to give people the option to use plants and begin to really feel their regenerative power and to see how much calmer, happier and more balanced they can be. During these unusual times herbs can be enormously beneficial.

What I find most fascinating about them is that there are some herbs, particularly in the adaptogenic category, that have an amphoteric or modulating effect on the body, i.e. they downregulate when there is an excess and upregulate when there is a deficiency, essentially bringing back the exact balance that the body requires.

Nature has given us so many answers about how we can heal ourselves. Interestingly the most powerful herbs are the most abundant. We call them weeds here in Europe – Nettle to nourish us, cleanse our body and support energy levels, Comfrey to heal broken bones, Yarrow to heal wounds and boost immunity, or Hawthorn to support our heart health. All we need to do is open our eyes and look around and we will find all the answers (with the help of our grandmothers perhaps or a herbalist).

Naturally, everyone’s focus right now is on immune boosting herbs, such as Echinacea, Elder, Reishi, Licorice, Elecampane and many more. 

Echinacea possesses strong immune-stimulating properties and acts by increasing the activity of our virus-fighting 'warrior' white blood cells. One of the best alternatives to antibiotics and antivirals, Echinacea is useful for all chronic and acute infections. It needs to be taken every two hours (5ml of the tincture) for best results during acute onset. The Elder tree has long been called the ‘medicine chest’, as we can use its flowers and berries to treat and prevent flu, herpes, tonsillitis, UTIs and a wide range of other infections. Reishi, known as the ‘mushroom of immortality’, contains beta-glucans that enhance immunity with a long-term effect, support adrenal function and are rejuvenative for various depleted states.

For kids, in addition to Elderberry, I would recommend Licorice and Elecampane. Licorice can be taken during or after illness to speed up recovery. It is antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immune modulating. Additionally, it helps keep the mucosa of the mouth and throat moist and is sweet to taste, making it a treat for the kids. It is also effective for adults, but anyone with high blood pressure should avoid this herb. Elecampane is a great respiratory herb. It’s a warming decongestant and is excellent for catarrh, bronchitis, sore throats, tonsillitis, whooping cough, pneumonia and other chest infections.

Also, digestive bitters are something I add to almost every formula to improve absorption and assimilation, as I find so many patients struggling to make the most of the foods that they eat due to poor digestive capacity (low stomach acid, digestive enzymes, dysbiosis etc). So this is the first thing I check before focusing on other aspects of their health.

I have to say, there isn’t one herb I would recommend to all, because naturopathy is always about the individual and not the disease, and the focus in on the underlying cause, more so than the symptoms, therefore 10 patients with the same condition will get 10 different remedies from me.

 

We hope you enjoyed this lesson in the health benefits of herbalism! We've learnt a lot from Jenya and hope you have too! 

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