Recently we found ourselves researching tinctures (natural remedies that use the magic of flowers to treat various ailments, for all you tincture newbies out there), and, wanting to know more, we reached out to homeopathic expert Alexis Smart. After founding her own flower remedy practice, Alexis Smart Flower Remedies, in 2004, Alexis has cooked up dozens of her own natural products, ranging from memory improving “Brain Drops” to her catchall “First Aid Kit,” a flower remedy that she says "restores calm and natural balance." We visited with Alexis in her home to find out what goes into each of her flower remedies, and how she uses them in her daily beauty routine and day-to-day life.
Photos by Juliette Cassidy
Hi Alexis! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live?
I am a practitioner of flower remedies and I see people in my home in Echo Park to make them custom blended formulas. I was born in Canada to English parents. We lived in Mexico for a year when I was four and then I spent the rest of my growing up years in Los Angeles. I am a bit obsessed with the study of flower remedies and homeopathic medicine. I used to read novels but now you can find me reading homeopathic cases. I love going to the farmers' market every week, cooking, going to ballet class, watching films, and writing short stories.
What is your background in homeopathic medicine?
I had a very personal and miraculous healing with homeopathy. At 14 I was cured of bronchitis that had lasted for four months and more recently I was cured of a malaria-like illness I got in Egypt. After I got into flower remedies, I wanted to broaden my knowledge of healing. Homeopathy had changed my life and its science was like nothing else, so I found the best course through the Devon School in England. It was a distance-learning course, though, and I longed to be around people, so I went to school in San Diego. It really deepened my understanding of how we become ill, how we really are whole beings and that our emotions and physical health are all part of the same picture. I leave in a few weeks to study homeopathy on a Greek Island with a master homeopath.
Can you explain to us what your flower remedies are?
I use Bach flower remedies in my formulas. Flower remedies were discovered in the 1930s by a British doctor, Edward Bach. He found that the essences of flowers, when taken internally, improved the mood of his patients dramatically and increased their capacity to heal physical illness. They are totally unlike the medicine we are used to, in that they are prescribed according to the feelings of the patient, rather than the physical symptoms. Dr. Bach found 38 different essences and each one treats a different emotion.
How do you make each of them?
I get my essences from England and then I make my formulas from these concentrates. The flowers grow wild in the English countryside. The blossoms are picked at the peak of bloom, and then floated in a bowl of spring water in the sun for about three hours, after which time the water has been imprinted with the healing pattern of that flower. The water is then bottled with organic brandy as a preservative.
What are the benefits of using them?
Flower remedies are really life changing. Of those 38 essences I told you about, there is one for everything, so if you have an issue or problem, there is a corresponding flower remedy to help you. They can change patterns in your life for the better, help break habits, help you feel happier, more confident, help you let go of past pain, help you figure out your goals in life. They are very safe and gentle and encourage the positive aspects of your self to emerge.
How do each of them work?
Each one works on a different vibrational frequency. (This sounds like science class. Don’t fall asleep.) So, every living thing has a measurable vibrational frequency. Emotions have a frequency too. So, if for example you are experiencing jealousy, it might look like a big wave. The remedy Holly has exactly the same vibrational pattern and when you take it, it balances out that emotion by flooding you with feelings of love, and then jealousy simply fades away.
What’s your morning beauty routine like?
Most of it is internal. I drink a big shot of noni juice, a big glass of water with fulvic acid minerals and I take my probiotics. I switch between megaflora by MegaFoods and primal defense. Probiotics are the best thing for clear skin and overall health. I never wash my face in the morning, only at night. In the a.m. I spray my face with Evan Healy Rose Geranium hydrosol and put on Dr. Alkaitis eye cream. If I feel dry I’ll mix some Evan Healy Rose Serum with the hydrosol and give myself a good face massage.
What about nighttime beauty routine?
I take any makeup off with Evan Healy coconut cream cleanser then spray with the Evan Healy hydrosol and put a little eye cream on. Then some Dr. Hauschka lip balm . I like Earth Tu Face balm to rub into my heels and cuticles. It’s rich and smells great. It’s best to let your skin breathe at night and not wear night creams.
Do you wear makeup? If so, what are some of your favorite makeup products to use?
I do wear a little makeup. I like a "less is more" approach. I am greening my beauty routine and using only non-toxic products. I like RMS makeup a lot. I use the "Un" Cover-Up for under my eyes and any red spots, and if I need a glow I use the Living Luminizer. Sometimes mascara by Eco Bella in dark brown.
What are some of your favorite natural products to use?
My absolute favorite is the Evan Healy skincare line. It’s holistic and smells divine and makes your skin glow. I recently had the honor of collaborating with Evan on flower remedies to go in her skin care, so you can get flower healing benefits when you use her stuff. My favorites are the Lavender Cream Cleanser, the Shea Butter with olive leaf and her hydrosols and serums. My mom also taught me that Witch Hazel makes an excellent facial toner.
Any tips to use a natural product in a new way?
I like to mix goat milk yogurt or honey with a clay mask (instead of water). This was a recommendation from Dr. Alkaitis for their face masks, but you can do it with any mask. Cooled tea bags for eye puffiness.
Well, your skin is amazing! Any tips for keeping skin glowing?
Thank you! I find the less I do to my skin the better. When I modeled, I felt like I had to get peels or facials and they made my skin much worse. The best thing for glowing skin is to eat as much fruit and vegetables as possible and eat organic as much as possible. Then take your probiotics. Your acne will clear up and your digestion will improve. If I have break-outs or sallow skin, I know that my skin is trying to detox something, so I drink carrot juice, take Burdock root tincture for blood cleansing and Milk Thistle to clean the liver and my skin clears right up. The kind of salt you eat can really affect your looks. Iodized table salt can make you bloated and give you under eye circles. If you switch to Pink Himalayan Sea Salt you will see a huge difference. I take my Beauty Formula No. 7 gamine and it really helps keep my skin clear as well as boosting confidence. And, of course glowing skin comes from joy, so do what makes you laugh, go in the sun and hang out with people that make you feel good about yourself!
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