Healing with therapy straight from the purest source. The basis of naturopathic methods is stripping everything back to the natural core, leaving only ingredients that are meant for your body. This philosophy is at the root of lifestyle and skincare brand Naturopathica. It's a mantra that ensures only naturally-derived ingredients are used in their products, none of those chemicals that you can’t pronounce. RUSSH Fashion & Beauty Director Billie Iveson escaped the New York Fashion Week grind and sat down with Barbara Close, founder of Naturopathica Chelsea, to get some inspiration on the path to wellbeing.
Tell me about your background and how Naturopathica Chelsea came to be?
It started 20 years ago when I opened up my first healing arts centre in East Hampton. When I opened the centre I really wanted to create a place that was about wellness education. I wasn’t so concerned with pampering but rather an environment where people could come and learn how to use aromatherapy treatments or herbal medicine to support health and vitality. After opening the centre, my background was [as] a herbalist and a massage therapist. Soon after, I started getting into skincare which is when we developed the skincare line.
What should someone expect of their first time at your healing centre?
We see this as a community wellness centre where people can come in and get an amazing Arnica massage for a sore back but also learn about the hydrotherapy treatments you can do at home or the different herbal remedies you can take. We have a vitality bar and it features our herbal tonics and elixirs which are designed to treat a variety of conditions from sore muscles to skin radiance. They all combine a different range of herbs with different cold pressed juices, coconut water, and kombucha. The vitality bar gives us the opportunity to talk about probiotic health and beauty from the inside out. There is also a remedy bar which is over 30 different herbs and teas from around the world that have medicinal actions. So there are specific teas for certain conditions from joint pain to increasing energy. We are also launching a custom blending section so you’ll be able to use our whole range of essential oils to make products specific to you. So if you’re going skiing we will make a dry skin surf and ski balm or if you really love rose, we can make you a beautiful face cream. We also have a meditation room where there is a meditate weekly community; mindfulness is a big part of creating good treatments.
Can you tell me a little bit more about the skincare products?
Our skincare line is well known as being a destination for sensitive skin. I use my background as an herbalist to make sure that all of the base materials use [ingredients] like aloe and oats to calm and soothe the skin. Our focus is making sure all of the base materials have healthy ingredients that really feed the skin. I call it the next generation of active skincare. People want results first and foremost but don’t want anything toxic on their skin, so it really resonates with them.
Are there any essential oils that you’ve found target specific problems?
Based on studies, there are aromatherapy blends that we’ve used using herbs such as lemon balm to calm Alzheimer’s patients or peppermint for nausea. There are different rituals people can use to incorporate this as an inhalation, in yoga or meditation. The oils can also be used by doing an abdominal massage to help with digestion or a scalp massage to help with stress.
What about herbs for travelling? Anything that can help with jet lag?
In terms of aromatherapy, we have a reboot blend which I love. It’s lemongrass and peppermint which are really stimulating and a good place to start in terms of jet lag. It has a green coffee extract and it is a very strong antioxidant. When you’re flying and your immune system is feeling challenged, having a boost of antioxidants helps the body maintain vitality.
What are your personal thoughts on supplements and that sort of craze?
Food is medicine, so the best way is to get your nutrients from the food that you eat. As a herbalist I think liquid extracts are much better than a supplement.
Are you finding that people are responding well to herbal medicine in general?
People are really hungry for this information. America is much different from Europe which is where I learnt about herbal medicine. It’s empowering to do these self-care rituals and most people get introduced to this path because they get diagnosed with some sort of chronic condition and they are out of options. So they come and ask about meditation, about diet, about herbs and that is why you know people really do want all of this information.