Interview with Lilian Büchner, Founder of Nature's Antidote
Have you ever wondered what your own version of success is? or even your friends? And that their version of success could mean something completely different to yours? We're not just talking about becoming the CEO of a a FTSE 250 (although dream big girls) but the real life honest versions of success.
As part of our mission to give you the confidence to conquer your world, we're investigating what that personally means to as many women as we can chat to, whether it's working a job that allows you to travel the world, saving enough money to move out of your parents house, bossing the boardroom or leaving at the end of your shift to enjoy the finer things in life. We're creating more transparency around success to help you realise your own version, inspire you to put a plan in place to achieve and execute it so you can conquer your world confidently.
Today we read all about how multi-tasking queen, Lilian, started her natural wellness business at the same time as completing her Masters Degree in London. Originally from Hamburg, Germany, Lilian moved to the UK 5 years ago and founded Nature’s Antidote inspired by traditional medicine practices such as TCM, Ayurveda and the balanced lifestyle of the indigenous communities. To continue her education, she is currently training as a meditation teacher so that she can combine the healing effects of plants with healing effects of the mind - and share it with the world. Talk about woman on a mission.
LIFE AND SUCCESS
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS AND WHAT DOES IT PERSONALLY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I love that question because I believe that the mindset towards “success” could use a revamp in our society. For me success is not about being rich or famous but it is about being able to contribute something to this world in my individual way - something that I love to do and thus love to share with others. For me this looks like being able to share knowledge about the healing effects of plants and ancient medicine as well as meditation and the importance of mindset. Of course it helps if the world is actually interested in what you have to share! But as long as it fulfils you and you stand behind it, there will always be other people who support your vision. I personally see myself working in different industries and collaborating with different people and skillsets. I think there is no better way to learn than from people who are passionate about something and I love to dive into different topics and processes.
Wow, what a powerful answer! So how do you plan to achieve your version of success?
Manifesting, trusting the process, figuring out and doing what I love, daily routines and a healthy lifestyle.
I bet your version of success now is completely different to what you thought it meant at school - What did you want to be when you grew up?
I never had a specific job in my head as I have a variety of interests and skills but was never burning for anything in particular. I always thought that was a flaw but now I realise that it is actually useful to be good in a lot of things and being able to adapt.
That is a great way to look at it! You already have achieved so much but what has been the biggest one so far?
Founding Nature’s Antidote was definitely the best decision ever as it lead me on this amazing path that not only discovers plant medicines but has also brought amazing people in my life. I am not sure if I would have decided to do my meditation teacher training if I hadn’t collaborated with so many amazing healers and attended and co-hosted their workshops in partnership with NA.
Speaking of your business, Nature’s Antidote, how would you describe the brands mission/purpose?
Nature’s Antidote aims to make ancient medicinal plants accessible to people in a modern approach, with delicious recipes and inspiration to integrate them into our busy lives. It encourages you to tune in and listen to your body while nourishing it with the help of plant wisdom in daily rituals.
That is so amazing but where did you learn about ancient medicine practices and natural healing remedies?
Some parts I learned through extensive research and personal experience, some other parts through herbal school and my plant mentor. I am fascinated by both ancient tonic herbs but also by local medicinal plants. I started foraging this spring which I hardly did before and it is a completely different experience going outside, identifying and harvesting local plants to buying them online and mixing them together to create a potion. I absolutely love both in an intuitive approach though.
So what gave you the confidence to start your business Nature’s Antidote?
To be honest it was a really intuitive and happened rather quickly. I had the chance to invest some money through unforeseen circumstances - and decided it is best invested in myself in the form of a company. Plant medicine had been my passion for a long time and I realised it is difficult to get specific herbs and adaptogens in good quality here in the UK - so I just decided to source them myself and make them available for more people. In that moment I just knew I had to do it and did not question it too much. I was so determined that I built the structure within 3 months while I was doing my Master Degree. That is a year ago now and looking back it is incredible what has happened in that time, who I have met and how much I have developed myself. It feels so good to have a medium to express yourself in any way and something you can stand behind and call your own.
Education is definitely something that has been important to your path! You spent some time studying the healing effects of plants and their impact on the human body too, what was the most interesting thing you learnt?
That’s so difficult to narrow down as there are so many incredible benefits. One aspect which I find worth pointing out is the fact that each herb works differently on individual bodies, which differentiates them from pharmaceuticals which always work the same across any body. It is therefore best to use them in a holistic way - in diet, on skin for several weeks and try around based on how your body reacts to them.
I think the first massive impact I personally felt from Nature’s Antidote Chaga Extract was shortly before launching and after I had been taking it for several weeks. I was on spring holiday with my ex partner and both of us spent a day in the sun without sunscreen (not recommended!). Although he is a much darker skin type, at the end of the day he was completely sunburnt whereas I did not even have a slightest burn. Chaga contains high amounts of melanin which can function as an internal sun blocker - that is what prevented my skin from burning. However, it is definitely not recommended to take it instead of sunscreen! Sun exposure is so harmful that it is great to get an additional support throughout summer. My ex partner has since started taking Chaga every day and is still doing so - so that lesson definitely worked on him.
That is so interesting! So what are the key benefits for each of the blends in your collection and how can they impact on your confidence?
I believe that confidence can be highly increased through self care rituals and for that each product is amazing in its own way. Chaga is great for the immune system, for skin and against sun, whereas Reishi is a true de-stressor that makes you more relaxed and adaptable to a busy lifestyle.
Heart Chakra is delicious and amazing to destress the body too, it contains a great amount of Reishi, lavender and rose - a nervine that soothes the nervous system and can have an uplifting effect on the mood.
For women, the Yoni blend is a great addition to daily rituals especially before and during menstruation. It releases pain during our “moon time” and makes that part of the month a little nicer.
Wow, a natural remedy for period pain, how does that work?
Yoni contains cramp bark, raspberry leaf and ginger which help against pain and cramping while the Chaga and nettle support the body with essential minerals and iron.
The powder can be mixed into lattes or made into a tea (it tastes a little bit like Earl Grey when you add a splash of plant milk - just without the caffein)
So what is your favourite Nature’s Antidote product?
Oh my - That is impossible to answer. It goes in seasons. Right now where Summer is starting Chaga is top of my list to prepare for increased sun exposure. However, a couple of weeks ago I could not do without the de-stressing effects of Reishi and used it on a daily base. I love to drink a Heart Chakra tea in the evening as it is just delicious and calms before bed and once per month I am extremely grateful for a Yoni tea :D
A percentage of Nature’s Antidote profits goes to the Kayapo Organisation, can you tell us more about why this such an important cause?
In 2014 I had the chance to spend one month in the Brazilian Amazon living with the Kayapo tribe. It was the greatest experience as it taught me so much about living in harmony with nature and relying on century old traditions. The Kayapo are truly the strongest people I have ever met and they rely on shamanic healing approaches which are also based on plants and treating symptoms the natural way. Through them I developed my fascination for plant healing. For me it was clear that if I ever start my own company or earn money in any way, I will support them as much as I can, as they are constantly fighting for their territory which is threatened by illegal miners and loggers. The Kayapo have a massive piece of land dedicated to them and all surrounding rainforest has already been cut down for cattle ranching and logging. Their borders are invaded by illegal loggers on a daily base and they need resources to observe their territory which they can only do with airplanes. When they find illegal invaders they literally fight them with all means and I believe that this is the best way to protect the small amount of rainforest that is still left on this planet. Rainforests belong to the most important eco systems on this planet and it is beyond my comprehension how governments can allow this to happen just for profitability. Without rainforests our planet can not function the way it needs to be and I am in awe on how dedicated the Kayapo fight for their land which they honour so much - in such a humble way that we should truly take as an example in our Western world.
CONFIDENCE AND SELF CARE
How would you define confidence and what makes you feel most confident?
Acquiring new knowledge and feeling good in my body gives me a lot of confidence. I achieve that by being interested in all parts of life as well as following a healthy diet - but I also believe that balance is key, so I try not to be too strict with cutting out certain foods. When it comes to knowledge, I think the best way to learn is by people who are passionate about a certain topic. It is so fascinating and inspiring to listen to people who love what they are doing, so I always try to be curious and then share the knowledge with others at a later stage.
A little more personal, what would you say has been your biggest struggle with self-confidence that you have had to overcome so far?
When I was in school I was very focused on what other people thought and said about me. There was nothing particularly bad as far as I know but it was just constantly on my mind and guided my actions. Now I am much less worried and it gives you so much mental freedom if you don’t give a damn about what other people think.
Could not agree with you more! What does Self-care mean to you and what is your favourite way to practice it?
Meditation is my absolute favourite way of self-care. I think it should become mandatory to meditate in school - I truly believe the world would be such a different place. In the mornings I get up early to meditate and prepare a potion out of the specific herbs I am using or simply a nice coffee mixed with medicinal mushrooms. I drink that before while trying to mindfully enjoy every sip.
Mandatory meditation in schools should definitely be a thing! What advice would you give to anyone who is perhaps struggling to find the confidence to conquer their world?
Don’t compare yourself to others, don’t listen to fear. Tell yourself that the voice in your head is lying to you and trying to put doubts in your head. Also, manifesting actually works and your confidence slowly builds once you have tried it out and succeeded. This will help you conquer the world bit by bit.
Best natural wellness tip for self care? Meditation, going for a walk in nature
Favourite way to spend a night in? Taking a bath, watching a documentary
Favourite book of the moment? The book ‘Becoming Supernatural’ by Dr. Joe Dispenza - honestly changed my life
Go-to quick weeknight meal? Oven-roasted veggies
Favourite treat meal? Brownies and ice cream
Favourite place to travel? So far, Australia and South Africa.
If you want to stay up to date with Lilian and Nature’s Antidote, her recent studies, brand story or trial any of the products then check out the links below;