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.