The vision for Wellington Apothecary was dreamed-up by three friends (Chantal, Laura, and Jemma) while living together in a ramshackle, hillside cottage in Raglan. In 2014 the trio opened a small shop on Cuba St. These days, the expanded Wellington Apothecary is a humming botanical dispensary, herbal factory, and wellness hub that provides a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.
We asked ethnobotanist, yoga teacher, and co-founder of Wellington Apothecary, Chantal Cropp, for her expert insights on staying well in winter.
What does a typical day in winter look like for you? I start the day sipping on my nettle and licorice tea that has been infusing and kept warm through the night in my flask. Nettle is cleansing and nourishing and licorice is a soothing and energizing tonic for the adrenal glands.
After a ten minute meditation I make a coffee and check out my tasks for the day, wrapped in my cosy dressing gown. If it’s really cold I’ll light the coal range fire in the kitchen. My work is mostly online so I will spend the day writing and responding to our online service – Ask A Herbalist.
I love food, so it’s always a treat to pause and relish in my meals. That is how I divide my time, my day is organised around food and when I have time and inspiration I will bake something wholesome with seasonal ingredients. It’s important that I don’t graze so that the fire in my belly is stoked by the time it comes around to eat again!
On a winter’s day, what local businesses do you turn to support your wellbeing? I don’t live in the city anymore but when I did I would not go a day without visiting the lovely folk at Milkcrate on Ghuznee St, either for a really good coffee, a hearty salad or a nourishing soup. Morgan and Brigid are all really good humans. Of course, the sauna at Tory Urban Retreat is the best place to be on a freezing winter’s day. I think we all need external support or therapy of some kind to keep us going through winter. Liz Kirkman of Craniowaves, is the most wonderful woman and craniosacral practitioner. She has got me through some tough times with her sensitivity, elegance and grace.
What’s in your winter wellness kit? Tea, tea and more tea… There is a herbal tea remedy to get me through any situation and keep up my hydration on the colder days. A nourishing skin balm, I use our Frankincense one, to protect my skin from the change in temperature. Essential oils, I have a box full of them that I use every day to set the mood for my day. They are also essential, excuse the pun, for in the bath, which is possibly the most heavenly joy and lifesaver in the winter season. My winter wellness kit has to have reading material – books, magazines, online articles – these keep my mind stimulated and inspired in the down times of winter.
What is your favourite winter tea-blend recipe and why? Adaptogen. We created this blend out of a need for a herbal tea with a strong therapeutic effect for sustaining energy, ameliorating stress, enhancing cognitive function and supporting digestion. I first experimented with Holy Basil and Licorice which is divine and then added the other herbs – Lavender, Bacopa and Lime Blossom – to make it a complete remedy. It is my absolute favourite.
What is your top tip for staying well this winter? Ask for support. We live in a culture that inhibits us from seeking the help we need because we are meant to be independent, to suck it up and carry on, when what we might really need is to pause, reflect and be heard by another. I’m not saying everyone should express their burdens to anyone who will listen, I am saying that everyone needs to be heard in order to clear the slate and move forward in a renewed state. And then perhaps be in a position to listen and lighten the load of someone else. We are collective creatures, underneath the chaos of daily life we all wish our fellow humans to be well. So, even if you have hermit tendencies in winter, it is important to stay connected. And remember that your burdens need not weigh you down or make you feel isolated all winter long. Ask for support.
We have a $200 Wellington Apothecary voucher to give away! You can spend it on a massage, a delicious tea, a warming “Fire” aromatherapy blend, or whatever takes your fancy.