Brooke Oke is a Naturopath and the founder of soon to launch Goodkind Wellness Studio, a home to naturopaths, nutritionists, Chinese medicine and acupuncture practitioners.
Specialising in hormonal health, gut health, skin and mental health, Brooke believes in combining traditional naturopathic knowledge with modern day science to treat, heal and offer support.
We spoke to Brooke about her favourite herbs to support healing and stress, hormonal health and the importance of healthy fats and what practices she recommends to stay supported and sane during lockdown.
Mindful Rituals is series of conversations with wise women who inspire us to be and feel well, ultimately making the world a better place. We hope it will inspire you to introduce more mindfulness in your daily life, one day at the time.
Mindful rituals with…
Brooke Oke, Naturopath and owner of Goodkind Wellness Studio
What are your daily morning rituals?
Splash cold water on my face and apply my facial oil.
Drink a big glass of water.
Make the bed and tidy the house so when I get home it is neat.
Prepare myself an enjoyable breakfast and try to sit down and enjoy it, however i’m normally eating on my way to work as I end up running out of time!
How do you stay mindful throughout the day? Do you have any advice for cultivating a daily mindfulness practice?
To be honest I struggle to stay in the present moment, especially when I have a lot going on.
I do try and make a conscious effort to observe, appreciate and respect my surroundings and ground myself that way. I often find myself admiring little things in my day, like the different colours of flowers, the ocean and how the sun casts shadows on different objects. I think it helps keep you humble by appreciating the little things and moments in life.
I often find myself admiring little things in my day, like the different colours of flowers, the ocean and how the sun casts shadows on different objects. It helps keep you humble by appreciating the little things and moments in life.
What does plants as medicine mean to you? How have they offered support or helped you find balance?
Studying herbal medicine during university revealed a lot of new knowledge and understanding about plants which really wowed me. It wasn’t until I used them myself that I understood their true magical potential. I really leaned on my beautiful herbs to support me during my final years of study, I was working 3-5 days a week and studying full time which meant my stress levels were high and I had absolutely no balance, this is where the herbs really pulled me through. I can’t say what would have happened without them, but I imagine it would not have been fun!
What is your favourite (adaptogenic) herb and how do you use it?
I use Withania somnifera (Ashwaganda) and Rehmannia glutinosa (Rehmannia) frequently in clinic and find they work incredibly with the overworked, fatigued and ‘wired but tired’ folk. I’d probably say my favourite adaptogen is Centella asiatica (Gotu kola), it is not your most well known adaptogen, but it offers so much potential to support stress adaptation and heal the body from the inside out. I like to think of it as an internal glue, it heals, repairs and reconnects organs, tissue and nerves. It’s an all rounder.
One of your areas of expertise in your practice is supporting women's hormonal health - something I’d love to chat more about. What are some ways you recommend supporting hormonal health and nurturing our monthly cycle?
For me, supporting hormonal health is so individualised, which is why natural medicine systems have so much to offer. I think the most important thing for women to understand are the signs their body is giving them. The body will always send us signals when it isn’t happy or needs some support. I believe seeing a practitioner who will educate you and help you gain confidence and a sense of control over your body is the best way to support yourself. There are some really amazing cycle tracker apps that help you make sense of your cycle, I recommend Flo and Clue.
Are there any specific foods and herbs you recommend incorporating for healthy hormones and cycle?
I always recommend good quality essential fatty acids to clients to support healthy hormones. Good fats (omega 3 and 6) are so important for menstruation and many hormonal cascades. They are a group of nutrients which is often neglected and avoided as society has painted fats as ‘bad’.
My top healthy fat sources for happy hormones are eggs, tahini, olive oil, avocado, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, fish, sardines, oysters and walnuts.
My favourite herb to use for pain and cramps is fresh ginger tea, you can make a strong decoction by gently simmering a sliced knob of ginger in water for 40 minutes, this allows the constituents to be extracted. Ginger is a lovely natural pain reliever and a gentle circulatory stimulant.
We have just entered another lockdown in parts of the country, something that can be very stressful for many of us. What are some practices and rituals we can incorporate to support us and stay healthy during these uncertain times?
Allow yourself to rest.
Use the time to do something you’ve been meaning to do; teach yourself a new skill, learn a new language or try a new recipe.
Cooking is a no brainer, make sure you cook something that makes you feel happy.
Move your body in whatever way feels good, breathe and stretch.
Stay connected with people.
Favourite health/wellness secret?
Probably infrared saunas. I have been aiming to have a sauna every fortnight as my dedicated wellness time. Saunas are incredible for stimulating lymphatic circulation and detoxification which is essential in modern life where we are exposed to so much. I love the feeling of a good sweat and always feel exhilarated after a sauna and my skin just glows.
What lights you up? Or what are you currently grateful for?
Feedback from my clients always makes me feel so warm inside, when you know something you’re so passionate about is helping others it is such a magical feeling, I can’t put it into words. It just makes me so happy when my clients start to feel better, it’s such an honor to help others.
It’s quite cheesy but I'm really grateful for my beautiful partner at the moment, he is my constant rock and always supports me in any endeavour I take- big or small.
What are your daily evening rituals?
Dusk has to be my favourite time of the day, it’s the stillness and feeling of calm that really settles me. Every night after dinner i’ll make my partner and I a herbal tea. Lately it’s been peppermint as it’s so great for digestion, this is the signal for my brain and body that winding down has begun. Before bed I apply some lavender oil or a relaxation balm and my own hand cream which is infused with beautiful herbs and oils. I’m always feeling so excited to get to bed and truly rest.
Connect with Brooke...