If there’s one thing you need to do this week (other than to read our magazine!) It’s to start following the wonderfully, charismatic and energetic talent – Reece Carter, Naturopath and self-confessed Herb-Nerd. The first thing you will note is his infectious smile then his passion for a healthy and happy lifestyle and then of course, his love of all things herbs!
Tell us a little about you…
I’m excited you asked me to come along and chat! I’m always looking for an excuse to talk all things herb-nerd, so thanks! I’m a naturopath and fitness nut, but my real passion lies in herbal medicine. Healthy eating has become mainstream, which is gat, but now I think it’s time for us all to become acquainted with the medicines lying in our pantries, and in our front yards! I like to show people how to tackle daily health complaints naturally and effectively, whether it be in consultation or through my web series.
Describe your journey to wellness. What led you to study natural medicine?
It was – pardon the pun – a totally organic transition for me! I grew up on a farm and my Mum is an amazing cook, so always had access to good healthy food. My Pop had the most amazing veggie garden. As a teenager, I threw myself in to the gym to try and shake my weedy, awkward teenage body. Before you knew it, all these passions for fitness, gardening, and good food came together for me!
That’s what led me to my naturopathy degree at Endeavour College, and it was Endeavour that sparked my passion for making the ancient art of herbal medicine new again.
For those who don’t know, what is a herbalist?
An herbalist uses plants as medicines. We study the medicinal effects of various leaves, flowers, and roots to know how they impact the human body. I personally pride myself on using traditional herbal practices, but with modern scientific understanding. It means I can deliver herbal medicine advice in a way that is meaningful and – most importantly – provides a real effect!
What are your ‘cant live without’ herbs?
I’m a bit of a worrier by nature, and my health journey has been all about learning to unwind, relax, and find balance. So lavender and passionflower – especially in combination – are two of my faves. I love lemon balm too. I actually combine all three of them in my SUM T Lights Out loose-leaf blend, which was the first product I developed after graduating from my degree, and is still my most popular remedy.
What is the first step we can take to becoming a ‘herb nerd’ like yourself?
Learn what your nurture spots are! Once you know what your major health concerns are, you can start educating yourself on which herbs are for you, and how to use them. For example, do you suffer from eczema? Make marigold your new best friend. Low energy? Get to know dang shen.
My YouTube series ‘The Garden Pharmacist’ endeavours to educate people on how to turn herbs in to remedies, but my best advice is to get to know your spice rack, and maybe install a little planter box in a window – you don’t need much space! – to grow a few herbies.
You’re a great advocate for looking after the wellbeing of the body, mind and spirit. How do you ensure balance in your own life?
Oooooh, now there’s a question! That’s the toughest thing for me to achieve, as I’m a type A personality by nature. It certainly takes its toll though, and so I’ve had to start scheduling in rest days. I literally block it out in my iPhone calendar so that there’s no temptation to make appointments. I take the time to meditate, to write, to spend time with friends, and – perhaps most importantly – to spend time alone, and in silence.
Social media play’s such a huge role in our everyday lives, do you believe it’s the key to getting a healthy message out there?
Social media is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to spreading the word for natural health. It’s a great way to get in to the hands of every smartphone-holding hand on the planet. We can use it to inspire healthy changes. But it also carries certain dangers with it. You don’t need to be an expert in health anymore; you just have to have a WordPress site and an opinion. There’s a lot of bad advice out there, mixed with the good.
Just as I would never recommend going to Dr Google instead of a health professional, I would urge you to question the advice you’re being given online, and if in doubt go and get individualized care. Everybody has different needs, so make sure you’re getting the right advice for you.
What does a typical day in the life of Reece Carter look like?
There is no typical day! Between castings, photo shoots, clinic commitments, and everything in between, I have to be very flexible. There are two things I guarantee I start my day with every day though: a nourishing breakfast, and a good workout. It sets me up for whatever the day may throw at me!
3 surprising things about you?
I grew up on a farm tucked away in Western Australia. The nearest town to us had maybe 160 people in it! 160 totally lovely people, I might add.
I graduated high school at 16, packed my bags, and moved to Romania to volunteer in their public school system. While most other sixteen year olds might have been printing fake IDs and sneaking in to clubs on weekends, I was taking trains to explore the mountains and castles of Transylvania!
I live in LA now, but the first time I visited this city was for a crazy whirlwind trip to appear on the Ellen Show…in my underwear!
What’s next for Reece Carter?
Ever since graduating, I’ve been tinkering with a special remedy of high-dose Chinese herbs. I’m finally in a position to make it happen, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It will be my first medicine listed and approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, meaning it’s the real deal. I can’t say too much more, but watch this space – it will be out later this year!
I’m also filming more content for my online series, and maybe looking at another way to deliver those recipes (hint hint!)
Apart from that I’m just enjoying where this health journey takes me. I’ve got lots of travel coming up early next year – including a few trips home to Australia – as well as really sinking my teeth in to the wellness scene here in sunny Los Angeles!
SUM T Website Link: www.sumt.com.au
Services you offer:
Naturopathic Consultations (Skype or in-person during ‘pop-up’ clinics/visits); SUM T Lights Out Blend.