Autumn equinox herbal wisdom

Experience the miracle of herbs

By: Courtney Carnrite, herbal technician

A change of seasons is here. The butterflies and warm breezes of summer have ebbed into yellowing leaves and brisk air. It is a time when things darken and change as the days get shorter. Here in Vancouver, we prepare for the wet and cold—a  season when we start to go inside and create warmth there, both physically and emotionally.

Things that may help as the days get shorter are full-spectrum light bulbs, loved ones, and good food. Healthy oils can help balance a mood, like coconut oil which is great in curries and is suitable for high heat during cooking,  or Udo’s oil or flax oil which can be a delicious flavouring for various grains, greens, and salads. Also, there are evening primrose oil and fish oils in supplement form. A regime of 5000iu – 10, 000iu Vitamin D daily can let the sun shine in as well improve the immune system. A herb that acts in the same manner of inducing sunshine to your mind is St. John’s Wort. It soothes and nourishes the entire nervous system while also keeping joy in your step.

Fall, as well as spring, is a time for cleansing as a preparation for the winter. Clearing the body and the spirit helps us move through the changes in weather, diet, and mood. This is a good time to release the liver of all its flames and balance the energies of the body by clearing out the aura and the lymphatic system. Sitting on the grass in the brisk air with the sun shining on your skin can help clear an aura. Going through your clothes and possessions and giving things away can clear clutter out of your space and mind. Simplifying your foods for a while, allowing the excesses to fade away and preparing for the heavier warming foods of winter. Herbs such as Pau D’arco, Nettle Leaf, Liquorice Root, Dandelion Root, and Cleavers can support your body in flushing out impurities. Our Cleansing Dried Herb Blend at Finlandia has all of these and more. Burning Desert or Buffalo Sage through one’s home and around one’s body help all negative energies to disperse. Schizandra Berry can act as an overall balancer to all the elements within the body.

This is also a good time to consider supporting one’s own immune system with herbs and alternative medicines. Consider an immune tincture or glycerite for yourself and your children. Start looking at homeopathic options for vaccinations prior to community pressure. Take your health into your own hands and welcome the well-being that can become you.

Having compassion for oneself is also of importance. During the fall, we as humans may be more inclined to sleep and spend restful time at home, like little bears starting to hibernate. Exercise, however, will be on our side, it keeps our bodies toned and helps us burn off excess food stores – it also helps us release endorphins that elevate mood and supports overall internal happiness and increases energy for daily living.

Good Luck! Visit Finlandia for more suggestions and products.
Enjoy the sun every moment it shines,

Courtney Carnrite

Are you missing a few important Back-to-School supplies?

Bach Flower Rescue formulations are a back-to-school must...

By: Juliette Woods, Brain State Technician

Binders? Check.
Paper? Check.
Pens, pencils & erasers? Check. Check. Check.
Black tourmaline? Check. No wait… what?
Energy clearing spray? Rescue Remedy? No…
Immunity glycerite? Umm…

This is a school supply list right?

Most definitely!

OK, so you’ve got all the required academic supplies but have you gathered any emotional or physical support supplies? No really, think back to first day jitters, early morning day dream fogginess, teasing, taunting, scrapes, bruises and wishing you were home when the math teacher puts you on the spot… Black tourmaline in a pocket, with its ‘grounding’ properties and ability to absorb unwanted energetics, is a simple yet effective means of countering nervous excitement or overheard unflattering gossip.

You know that heavy icky feeling when one walks into a room where an argument has just occurred? Finlandia blends an amazing energy spray that can really help the student in your life feel centered while removing any built up energy from other people: in rooms, on chairs, or even to freshen up the presence in new lockers. This spray is a combination of Ancient Sea Salt, various Essential Oils and Flower Essences, smells great and works instantly!

Rescue Remedy is a mainstay in certain schools, it’s a Bach Flower Remedy intended to support those experiencing shock or other sudden unsettling situations. It can be taken internally after a fall, as well as topically on the injured area.

Small children may even find comfort in a small family photo tucked into their pocket, perhaps of a happy vacation with parents smiling & laughing. Simple, but effective.

Yummy tasting Children’s Immunity Glycerite provides quick and easy support to strengthen an immune system newly exposed to the crowded germ-harbouring environment of the typical classroom. This herbal blend utilizes the anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties of chamomile, lemon balm, and thyme, along with a few other immune stimulating herbs.

Here is Finlandia’s recommended Back to School kit:

~ Bach Flower Rescue Remedy
~ Finlandia Brand 100% Natural Hand Sanitizer Gel (Alcohol Free of course!!)
~ Children’s Immune Formula, Professional Strength
~ Zit B Gone, an antiseptic blend of herbal extracts & essential oils for spot treatment, healing, clearing & preventing pimples

Just when you thought you thought you were done shopping, there are a few more items added to the list, but I tell you… it’s worth it!

Have a happy first day back!


BrainState Technician &
Social Networking @ Finlandia Health Technologies

*Photo courtesy of
Please see their website for great information on all of the Bach Flower Remedies!

Harvest time & wheat sensitivities

Could you be sensitive or allergic to wheat?

By: Juliette Woods, BrainState Technician

This first week of August has long held celebrations of the Harvest. It’s a beautiful time to honour gifts of abundance, a time to reflect on accomplishments of the year gone by, the beginning of the end of summer days—and is very connected to the food we eat. Corn dollies are often made to honour the reaping of seeds sown during the spring – literally and figuratively.

For me, this year, it also brings to mind wheat, and wheat allergies/sensitivities along with it. With the help of Naturopathic Doctor Riskt Attema at Finlandia, I was able to finally figure out what ailed me almost every time I ate. She suggested starting the investigation by adopting an ‘elimination diet’ and avoiding foods with the two most common food allergens—wheat and dairy—for two weeks. She offered allergy testing in a variety of non-invasive ways to explore, if need be, afterward. Muscle testing and finger-prick blood analysis are a far cry from the nasty ‘under the skin’ tests commonly offered elsewhere!

I knew the culprit within days. Wheat is sneaky and gets into things one wouldn’t expect – soy sauce for example. Every time I accidently ingested wheat (or…ehem…forgot) the uncomfortable bloating returned quickly. Though sometimes it can be tough while dining out to find wheat free alternatives, Vancouver has a pretty awesome assortment of gluten-free items offered at coffee shops and restaurants. One just needs to ask. Whole Foods and even Safeway offer great selections—bread, cereal, tamari, even teriyaki sauce. And Bob—of Bob’s Red Mill, bless him, for making a gluten-free chocolate cake mix! Just look for his brand in your grocery store.

Thanks to Finlandia’s onsite naturopathic doctors, a dose of observance and reflection, and a discipline that is actually enjoyable, I feel so much better, healthier and even have more energy. So if you have ongoing symptoms, of any sort, even if they feel ‘minor’, they are your clue that your body is constantly defending against something— and it could be as simple as the food you eat.

This Harvest season, why not give it a whirl? Reflect on the foods you eat, observe yourself, then care for yourself. Have a consultation with Dr. Rikst Attema N.D. or Dr. Ana Lopez, N.D. and feel empowered by taking your health into your own hands!

To book a Naturopathic Consultation:

Dr. Rikst Attema N.D.
Call 604.734.7760
or email

Dr. Karen Nguyan
Call 604.733.5323 Ext. 301
or email


BrainState Technician & Social Networking @ Finlandia Health Technologies

The longest day and your sleep

Summer Solstice is an especially spiritual time for people around the world

By: Juliette Woods, Brain State Technician

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer Solstice is upon us – the longest day of light in the year. Celebrations abound honouring the life-giving Sun, and monumental geological calendars fill us with awe—be it rising over the Heel Stone at Stonehenge, viewing from the Sphinx and watching the Sun disappear exactly between the Khufu and Khafre pyramids,  or observing the light piercing spiral petroglyphs etched into a cliff wall at Chaco Canyon. Globally, the Summer Solstice was of huge importance to agriculture and spirituality.

Of course the late light of each day naturally encourages us to stay awake longer, as any parent attempting to put small ones into bed knows all too well!

It seems an appropriate time to take a look at our sleep patterns. For many of us, quality sleep is rather elusive to begin with. Stepping back to observe our society brings some obvious conclusions and hypotheses on why this is such a struggle for so many of us. Time-efficient technology is not balanced by a life style utilizing that extra time for self care, slowing down, resting, nurturing, eating, bonding, meditating, or…sleeping.

No. Generally we fill each day with the ever present onslaught of stimulation, externally as well as internally.

A popular way to start off each day is with a cup of coffee, the news, and, in a short time frame, to head out the door into traffic that brings one to their occupation or education. Sadly for many, the tasks which fill our days are often not of the soul–filling and inspiring variety.

Feeling rushed? Can’t sleep? Racing thoughts? What can you do?


On Summer Solstice eve, I dedicated myself to releasing my dehydrating caffeine addiction. An easy way to begin this process is by drinking a “Half Caf” beverage of your choice—half the dose of caffeine per cup. Better yet, Finlandia has an incredible variety of bulk herbal teas with lovely, knowledgeable Herbal Specialists to inspire you with learning their medicinal properties. Together you can create a delicious warm beverage to nourish your body and support any existing conditions. Why not energize brain function in the morning, support your heart during the afternoon and gently promote sleep in the evening? I can’t help but note that Summer Solstice is also considered “Herb Night” by many. Herbs gathered at this time of year are at their most potent.

Take on a relaxation therapy such as yoga or guided meditations, soak up Nature’s calming beauty with silent observance, or try Brain Training. Yes, Brain Training! Finlandia offers a fantastic Self Regulation & Relaxation program that balances & harmonizes your brain’s electrical activity in a non invasive holistic manner. With this inner peace comes a relief of symptoms ranging from depression, anger, racing thoughts, and—you guessed it— improving SLEEP!

A healthy dose of play does wonders—honest, uninhibited, crazy, zany play! Kids are natural helpers with this, so if you don’t have any,  borrow some!! Go outside and run through the grass with bare feet, blow bubbles, do something silly and laugh! Being active during the day then coming indoors to a dimly lit, quiet atmosphere helps kick in your body’s natural chemical releases needed for an easy transition into sleep. If you feel groggy when you wake, go sit outside in the morning sun. This light naturally signals to your body to wake up.

Finlandia also houses the largest selection of natural and homeopathic remedies including the Bach Flower line. Many sleep supporting natural products are offered, combine this with wisdom from Finlandia’s Naturopathic Doctors and even the zeitgeber cue of the longest days of the year wont wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm!

My last offering to you at this Solstice time ~ In honour of the Light within us all, try going without newscasts or newspapers. “No way!” you say? How about just for a week? I’ve gone for over 12 years and continue to observe which types of articles I feel pulled to read.

“I want to feel informed!” you respond?

I promise you this. If it is of importance, someone will mention it to you. You won’t miss anything so don’t worry! The idea is to reduce the negative imagery you ingest, and facilitate happy thought patterns created within your own mind.

Interested in more information? Here are some links:

Finlandia Natural Pharmacy

Nifty Solstice Geologically Spiritual Sites


What is a Zeitgeber anyway?

National Geographic on Summer Solstice

Namaste & Solstice Blessings!

With Reiki Footsteps,

BrainState Technician & Social Networking @ Finlandia Health Technologies