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updated: 12/15/2012 12:49 PM

Moving Picture: Aurora woman reconnects with nature's healing

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  • Cote Garceau-Saez of Aurora, owner of Our Healing Roots, packs a bag with a tea, which she says will be used to help the immune system fend off colds. For her home remedies, she collects most of what she needs from local fields and privately owned forested areas, but also gets some supplies from organic vendors.

       Cote Garceau-Saez of Aurora, owner of Our Healing Roots, packs a bag with a tea, which she says will be used to help the immune system fend off colds. For her home remedies, she collects most of what she needs from local fields and privately owned forested areas, but also gets some supplies from organic vendors.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Cote Garceau-Saez of Aurora inspects a Arctium Lappa in a local wooded area. For her home remedies she collects much of what she needs from privately owned lands. She has been in business for 10 years.

       Cote Garceau-Saez of Aurora inspects a Arctium Lappa in a local wooded area. For her home remedies she collects much of what she needs from privately owned lands. She has been in business for 10 years.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • At left, Garceau-Saez looks for wild herbs with her children, Vincent, 9, Luciano, 7, and Josefa, 5, near her home. At right, she pulls dried herbs from her kitchen window.

       At left, Garceau-Saez looks for wild herbs with her children, Vincent, 9, Luciano, 7, and Josefa, 5, near her home. At right, she pulls dried herbs from her kitchen window.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Cote Garceau-Saez grinds herbs for a tea mix she uses as a home remedy.

       Cote Garceau-Saez grinds herbs for a tea mix she uses as a home remedy.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Garceau-Saez has more than 60 local herbs stored in her home, most of which are picked from local fields and privately owned forested areas near her Aurora home.

       Garceau-Saez has more than 60 local herbs stored in her home, most of which are picked from local fields and privately owned forested areas near her Aurora home.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Cote Garceau-Saez pulls dried herbs from her kitchen window.

       Cote Garceau-Saez pulls dried herbs from her kitchen window.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Cote Garceau-Saez of Aurora is the owner of Our Healing Roots.

       Cote Garceau-Saez of Aurora is the owner of Our Healing Roots.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Moving Picture: The Healer

 
 

A reconnection with nature is the foundation for Cote Garceau-Saez's passion for herbal medicines.

An Aurora resident, Garceau-Saez is the owner and operator of Our Healing Roots, an Internet-based company that sells home remedies she prepares. She also can be found on Facebook and at ourhealingroots.com.

Garceau-Saez is a native of Chile. Her roots in herbal medicine started with her grandmother. She remembers waking one evening with cabbage leaves draped on her chest and an avocado seed with honey syrup for her to eat -- both common home remedies in that country to alleviate bronchitis.

"Back in the '70s and '80s, healing home remedies were a big part of Chilean culture," she said.

Garceau-Saez and her husband decided to build a home "off the grid" in 2000. They did so in the Andes Mountains, constructed by hand with rocks and adobe.

While living there, Garceau-Saez also studied Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. She used basic herbal medicines as needed.

She believes the energy from the mountain and living a simple life further reconnected her to nature and its healing potential.

Several years later, the Garceau-Saez family came to America. Shortly thereafter, her son had a fever. She went to a pharmacy in search of medication and was overwhelmed with the abundance of choices.

Not yet well-versed in English, Garceau-Saez said she thought, "Oh my God, what am I going to do? I can't deal with this."

She went home and made camomile tea and cinnamon tea for her son. The next day his symptoms were relieved.

That episode prompted her to go full force into herbal healing. It now has been almost 10 years that Garceau-Saez has been using home remedies.

She collects most herbs from area fields and privately owned forests and uses free-trade organizations to obtain other supplies. She makes medicines and teas from the herbs.

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