29. “The Science of Smell” with Lucy, Hedgewitch Essentials Ltd

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Welcome to episode 29 of the Nurtured by Nature podcast, today I’m delighted to be joined in conversation by Lucy the founder of Hedgewitch Essentials Ltd. 

Whilst we often think about what we put in our bodies, how often do we think about the scents and smells we are exposed to? During this beautiful conversation about nature and life, Lucy takes us on an incredible journey. Sharing her passion for the science of smell and the amazing therapeutic properties of quality essential oils and how this lead to the formation of her own product lines for both horses and now humans. We also delve into the challenges of running a small business, and being able to deliver the highest quality essential oil based products that preserve their true therapeutic properties.  

We both share how embracing self-selection and the use of essential oils, has empowered our horses, giving us a new way to communicate and transformed our relationships, whilst also helping them process and resolve both emotional and physical symptoms. 

Having overcome some incredible challenges, not least a severe brain injury, Lucy reminds us to have hope and not be defeated, too look for the silver lining and the opportunities that may arise. We also reflect on the power of community and how there isn’t a single modality that stands alone, we need to build a support team to help us maintain health in both ourselves and our horses.

Learn more about Lucy:

Lucy has always had a strong connection with the land being a farmer’s daughter. After gaining a B.Sc. Hons in Agriculture, she began her working life as an agronomist, advising farmers on their crops and soil management. She later combined a love of writing with farming, becoming an agricultural journalist and magazine editor, and she hasn’t put her pen down yet!

Her connection with horses also began at a young age and it was the feeling of helplessness when knowing they were ‘not quite right’ – but not in the way vets would assess as wrong – that led her to alternative therapies, and in particular animal aromatherapy – which has since become known as animal pharmacognosy. 

After a severe traumatic brain injury in 2017, life changed considerably for Lucy but she, in some ways, counts it as a blessing because it gave her the impetus to follow her dreams and study to become an equine pharmacognosy practitioner with Caroline Ingraham. The training involved learning about the pharmacology and biochemistry of essential oils and it was this that sparked the founding of her company, Hedgewitch Essentials Limited, together with her partner Mike.

Hedgewitch was born out of recognition that the therapeutic properties of species-appropriate essential oils could be enormously beneficial to the wider population of horses – those whose owners would never consider a pharmacognosy consultation. It was a tough decision because the first rule when offering essential oils to horses to self-medicate is to allow them the freedom to move away – to give them a choice. 

But with the use of essential oils growing in horse care products, Lucy wanted to bring forward a natural range that was based on the oils horses would often select themselves for certain conditions. Importantly, she also wanted to make sure that these were pedantically and sustainably sourced because the quality of the oils is absolutely paramount when using them therapeutically – both for the health of the horse and to be effective. 

Labelling of horse care products, or the lack of it, was another issue she really cares about. That’s why all Hedgewitch products are made and labelled to the same standard as human cosmetic products –  to provide more transparency to horse owners.

Seven years on, Hedgewitch products are gaining a reputation as products that work, but just as importantly, products that horses love – bringing just some of the therapeutic benefits of plant oils to a lot more horses than Lucy could ever have reached as a practitioner.

Website: https://www.hedgewitchessentials.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hedgewitchessentials/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hedgewitchessentials/

Other Useful Links from this Episode:

Caroline Ingraham – Founder of Applied Zoopharmacognosy and Animal Self-Medication: https://www.carolineingraham.com/

Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.

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