I’m allergic to Snake Oil... defined as a cure-all elixir falsely claimed to cure any ailments, or a substance with no real medicinal value sold as a remedy for all diseases.
— Ysanne

We are living in foolish times. Fake and misleading health claims abound, and the internet is brimming with young and beautiful people with zero training and incredible confidence, claiming to know how to cure everything from cancer to anxiety, based purely on their intuition and their Instagram feed.

I am allergic to Snake Oil, and I refuse to sell it!

  • I'm done with magic 'dusts' that are simply Chinese medicinal herbs re-packaged, re-branded and sold for a king's ransom

  • I'm outraged at an expensive product I stumbled across last week that claims to be a 'strengthener for healthy brows’

  • I'm shocked at the carbon-footprint of many 'snake oils' that are grown by farm workers exposed to toxic pesticides

I love tried-and-tested herbs and ingredients

  • Stuff like oats - yes, the humble oat! So inexpensive, local, delicious - and healthier when paired with a phytic acid inhibitor (ask me for info!)

  • Purple cabbage, the purple prince of the cruciferous world, the brassica with the boldest hue, and the natural heir to kale's family fortune

  • Reishi, because reishi isn't silly. It's an ancient medicinal mushroom that generations of Chinese people have used, but is currently being laced with mumbo-jumbo and over-sold in pretty bottles for ludicrous prices

To be clear, I advocate eating healthy, delicious food. I recommend food as medicine - this stuff is real, it's important, and it's about your health. I prefer foods with a low carbon footprint to ingredients that are unsustainable, whether that's due to the air-miles they travel, the plastic they're wrapped in, or the animals that produce them. And I am adamant that every body is different, so every body needs a custom approach. Even kale isn’t right for every body. Yes, I did say that - even kale. Because, every body has so many factors to consider, from your personal epigenetic mutations to your age and biological gender. All of it is essential to evaluate for optimum health, even before digging into a kale salad. For reals!

I use my logic to gather the best insights from both science and folklore - from the emerging understanding of ancient ingredients alongside the traditional stories from our elders around the world. I test each body with lab tests to discover deficiencies and intolerances. I read a lot of scientific papers and go on a lot of hikes in nature, so I can hear my inner voice.

Science isn't static, it's constantly evolving and changing, so I stay in the loop as new research rolls out. I read trusted sources, and double check everything, using my logic. I seek all I can find on a subject from word-of-mouth sources and journals, and I have deep experience working with these ingredients myself, so I draw on my own personal experience over 20 years and three continents. Tried and tested. And I listen to the advice of other people I've come across who share these rigorous values, and who have specific training in specific areas to augment my own knowledge. This includes scientists, nutritionists, and healers of many kinds.

And that, my friends, is how I avoid ever selling you snake oil. That's why I don't use woo-woo, and don't recommend you do either. That's how we'll remain open to change, and have a flexible perspective on everything health-related, and yet won't fall through the cracks, or fall for crackpot ideas.

Because even oats and cabbage aren't for everyone - we are all UNIQUE, with an epigenetic makeup that keeps everyone different. That's why one-size-fits-all diets don't work - they cannot possibly work, whatever new fad comes to light. It may inch closer to health, but there will never, ever be one diet that fits all because WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT on a genetic level, as well as our personal tastes and cultures and monthly hormonal fluctuations and times of life etc.

So, let's hold hands and walk through the garden of delights together, safe in the knowledge that there ain't any snake oil here...

Photo of The Ranch at Live Oak, by Sara Remington

Photo of The Ranch at Live Oak, by Sara Remington