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Naturopathy Explained

Keeping well from the inside out

Margaux Beyries is a Praticienne de Santé Naturopathe offering support and advice on medicinal plants, essential oils, diet, well-being and stress management.  Here she explains how naturopathy uses nature’s gifts to keep us healthy.

The benefits

Naturopathy can help with a wide range of ailments from allergies and chronic pain through to diabetes, cholesterol issues and digestive problems.  Equally, it can aid people who are often tired or sick, have sleep problems, are suffering with acne or eczema, are stressed or going through difficult times, or even those who are planning to have a baby!  In addition, if you are healthy it’s also a great way to stay that way.

naturopathy explained

Margaux Beyries

What is Naturopathy?

The World Health Organization considers Naturopathy to be a traditional medicine like Indian Ayurvéda and Traditional Chinese medicine.  It is not a so-called “soft” medicine but, instead, is an alternative or complementary medicine to conventional medicine that offers guidance and precious advice for the body as well as the mind.

Naturopathy explained: Translated as “nature’s path”, it uses what nature can provide to stay healthy, knowing that everything is connected and interconnected: soul, body, spirit.  It is a natural medicine which evolves, which adapts to each person, and which is well anchored in the past, but also in the future to better preserve our planet!

Your Naturopath, also known as “health educator “, will focus on the causes of your illness or ailment, as opposed to the symptoms. It’s a traditional medicine of “good sense”. Everyone is unique and has specific needs according to age, personal history, health and lifestyle.  It is important that your Naturopath takes your individuality into account to give the best advice for optimal health.

The realities of our consumer society with its fast food, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, stress and lack of connection with nature, do little to promote healthy lifestyles.  The objective is to ensure that the individual becomes the main promoter of his/her own health as a result of easy-to-use tips and advice aimed at prevention, and which are complementary to conventional treatments.

naturopathy explained


  • Food: This is very important to keep the body in shape, preferably eating fresh food, seasonal fruits  and vegetables, and local produce. A diversified diet, without excess and without deficiencies, allows us to obtain, without too much effort, a better well-being.
  • Herbal medicines and aromatherapy: The study of plants and essential oils brings real power in terms of knowing the benefits of plants. It’s a chance to be able to heal ourselves with nature.
  • Physical activity: Exercise such as yoga, hiking, swimming and riding, etc., is very important too.  Have at least 20min/per day of physical activity, adapted to suit your life and your habits.
  • Emotions: After the physical, the psyche. This is essential because, even if your diet is healthy, nothing will “work”! if you are anxious or have bad feelings. Body and soul work together. This is where the quote “Mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body) comes into its own!

Food for thought

Hippocrates, said to be the “father” of medicine, wrote “let your food be your first medicine”. Food must be enjoyable, both during preparation and whilst eating.   Here are some suggestions:

  • Choose “live” foods, i.e. fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables from local producers
  • Use first cold press organic oils for cooking or seasoning
  • Steam or cook at low-temperatures
  • Drink 1.5L water a day, alternating between spring and tap water
  • Avoid eating processed foods
  • Choose quality meat, buying from a local butcher/producer
  • Avoid white sugar and use whole sugar such as rapadura cane sugar

These five medicinal plants can be useful to have at home

SAGE is Salvare in Latin and means “that saves”.  Sage can be helpful in relieving inflammation of the ear, nose and throat, as well as angina, mouth ulcer and herpes labialis.

ROSEMARY aids the digestive system, relieves pain, and acts as a detoxifier for the liver.

DANDELION has been indicated in detoxification, cleansing the liver and the kidneys.

STINGING NETTLES are rich in minerals, vitamins and amino acids.  Their leaves have a re-mineralising action, as well as a high iron content.  Used as a diuretic and laxative in ancient Greece.

VALERIAN contains a valerenic acid which has a sedative effect on the central nervous system. It calms and helps to promote sleep.


naturopathy explained

IMPORTANT: Not all of these plants and herbs are suitable for use by everyone.   Check with your doctor before making changes to your diet or before adapting your health regime, especially if you already take medication or have health problems.  Dandelion, for instance, should not be eaten if you are pregnant, can cause allergic reactions in some people and can slow blood clotting, whilst Valerian can interact with certain medications.

First published in the Feb-Apr 2021 issue of The Local Buzz

Images: Shutterstock