The North London Botantics

When I first met Yayoi, I was humbled by the thinking and thought process behind her products, her respect for nature and and her belief in its power and ability to treat injuries both internal and external. Her background as a nurse and as a herbalist has provided her with a grounded understanding of how modern medicine works but interestingly why she is now turning to the wonders of plants to help both physical  and mental wellbeing.

I asked if she would mind taking me on her next forage in the urban jungle of London, and it was honestly such an eye opener the care she took when picking - being careful not to rip the plant, or squeeze it to much, her understanding of when to avoid picking, when to respect nature and not to disturb its surroundings showed me a different way to living and perhaps a different approach to life. I felt transported to a time when this type of knowledge would have been commonplace once upon a time but today feels a like lost art form. In this interview with her below I wanted to share with you some simple tips to pick your own herbs with just a little bit of know how.

Tell us about who you are what you do?

I'm Yayoi Takagi. I'm a medical herbalist. (Member of NIMH: the National Institute of Medical Herbalists)

What did you do before? What made you want to become a herbalist?

I am a registered nurse in Japan. when I worked for the hospital, I've hit a plateau, kind of the dilemma: examples of which was giving painkillers (NSAIDs) to a patient who suffered headaches, but as that painkillers have strong side effects like an irritated stomach, so I had to give another medicine for preventing the side effects of that painkillers, and of course this felt like I was going in circles. Patients sometimes needed to take more than 10 medicines in every meal because of that.

These kinds of dilemma made question working a nurse,& also other thoughts: how much conventional medicine really helps human beings' health? Or am I doing the right thing for patients??

This dilemma made me weak both in mentally and physically, around that time, I discovered alternative medicine (CAM) and I got into it gradually. It was so fascinating because it balances up the human body, not like targeted treatment like the conventional medicine. So I decided to study herbal medicine in the UK.