Wellbeing Beyond Our Windows


Dr Sandra Clair from plant remedies company Artemis explains why there’s more to nature than the view.

Almost everywhere you go in Aotearoa, you can look out your window and see something beautiful.

We have some of the most outstanding natural landscapes in the world. 

For many of us appreciating the beauty of the outdoors is where it stops, but there’s so much more it can offer us.

I’m passionate about helping others realise the benefits of natural plant medicines for self-care and healing, something our ancestors understood, but which we have lost as we entered the age of mass-produced synthetic alternatives.

Dr Sandra Clair

From “Heidi Hippy” to CEO

Growing up in Switzerland, plant medicines were part of the mainstream health system.

They were readily prescribed by GPs, dispensed by pharmacists, funded by the health system and used alongside pharmaceuticals.

I was fortunate that Franciscan nun, midwife and renowned herbal expert Sister Pauline took me on as her apprentice in the Swiss Alps.

I witnessed first-hand how the medicinal plants that surround us can benefit people’s health.

When I visited New Zealand for the first time I instantly felt at home in the beautiful surroundings of Central Otago.

So, I made the move, but there was one thing I hadn’t expected: there weren’t any plant medicines.

I was astonished to find they were seen as fringe, earning me the name “Heidi Hippy”.

At the same time, I was encouraged by the support of my patients at the very popular clinic I ran, and by what I found in the local environment – high-potency plants with high levels of active ingredients.

Demand for my products led to me founding Artemis, now one of New Zealand’s leading plant remedy brands.

I also completed a PhD in Health Sciences at the University of Canterbury in 2019, determined to understand the health policy and regulatory challenges that are holding us back from bringing us into line with other countries that already include plant medicines in their mainstream health system.

Working in tune with natural systems

We are all connected with the natural systems we live in.

Our bodies have co-evolved with the plant kingdom, which provides exactly what we need to nourish and strengthen our 50 trillion cells and their associated metabolic pathways.

We live, breathe and heal together with plants.

Contrary to synthetically manufactured man-made products, plants have a holistic way of working in tune with our biological systems and supporting our overall health strength and resilience.

They are ideal for many common conditions, from sleep and stress issues to hormones and gut health. Kiwis are waking up to the importance of treating our environment better. And that the natural resources of our environment can treat us better in turn.

Find out more about Artemis products on their website or Facebook and Instagram pages.

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