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Lila´s herbal autobiography

My link with herbs and nature started at birth (1945) in an isolated community in the mountains of northern Portugal with no electricity, no paved roads. There were no doctors either; people relied on nature for all their remedies. In every village there used to be one or more individuals dedicated to carrying on the collective knowledge of folk medicine. These individuals knew where, how and when certain species should be collected, how to prepare them and for what purpose, along with the prayers that go with it.
My maternal grandmother, with whom I lived, knew many herbal secrets and could help many people. She used to take me with her on hikes into distant hills and valleys in search of specific herbs, and I became her assistant during medicinal preparations and healing sessions.
I left my native village and my grandmother at the age of fourteen in order to pursue a school education in the city and later abroad; but the years I spent with her and her teachings are ever more vivid and precious.
Out in the wide world, the asthma that I had inherited manifested itself increasingly. I tried modern medicines and went to reputed specialists in Europe, with very poor results and destructive side effects.
On a spiritual quest years later, I found myself in the Himalayas, the pupil of a yogi. He knew all of the plants that grew in the jungle areas where he lived, after renouncing the world in which he had been a doctor. He took me on hikes in search of plants. One day he showed me some leaves to make asthma cigarettes for a patient. I immediately recognized the plant, the smoke of which, as a kid, I often had had to inhale in order to get relief from asthma.
This turned the direction of my search for health back to the roots, back to nature.

A passionate traveler, always interested in folk medicine and the species growing in the places I visited while traveling through India, Mongolia, South America and Europe, I found out that many species are to be found all over the world and are used for the same purposes, as is the case with datura stramonium leaves for asthma.
In 1994, I was touring as a translator and assistant to the Brazilian ethno-botanist Vera Froes, co-founder of IECAM (Instituto de Estudos da Cultura Amazónica), during her series of lectures, seminars and workshops on medicinal plants, in Holland, Germany and India. After this, the idea of working with the plants that had already been germinating started to really grow.
With a base in Amsterdam, I started collecting herbs in the wild during holidays in Portugal, visiting some healers/herbalists in villages where folk medicine is still alive and confirming my information about the proper identification of some species and herbal preparations.
Having access to first quality herbs legally picked in wild nature, in combination with my personal study of the plants, gave me the idea of starting a small distribution business in Holland, mainly Amsterdam, and creating Floramor Kruiden.

Meanwhile, I have been developing original herbal mixtures, such as “Heart´s Friends”, “ Triple Kidney Support”, “Stone Crusher”, “Floramor Mix”, “Winter Blues”, “Power Flower” and “Defumador” (smoke-healing) and products such as “Aura Clear”, “Heart Chakra Joy”, “Oil of Santa Maria” (aromatherapy), “Phoenix Elixir” (herbal extract) and several traditional tinctures and medicinal oils as well as herbal cushions.

Searching for good suppliers to supplement my own harvest, I made the acquaintance of a family firm in Portugal that produces biologically certified herbs from their own farms, and also distills their quintessence – pure essential oils of aromatherapy.
I was interested in what they were doing, had already followed courses and workshops on aromatherapy in Holland and Germany and was using the scents with success. I also practice aromatherapy and aromassage.
That’s why we find some aromatherapy products in the list of Floramor products.

While in the Amazonian rain forest in Brazil in 2000/2001, I visited the installations of Medicina da Floresta (medicine of the forest) and spent some time working in the laboratories and on the plantations.
There I met the initiator M.A. Campos Freire, who together with I. Facchini Barsé also created Florais da Amazónia (Amazon Flower Remedies), whose courses and workshops on Amazonian flower remedies and elemental therapy I followed.
After this I became also interested in “The Bach Flower Remedies” and read the work of Dr. Bach. I am discovering with wonder the influence that plants have on health through the subtle vibration of their flowers alone. There is a lot of unsuspected wisdom and healing power in nature. It is indeed a special experience to be in a field of wild flowers or even in a cultivated flower garden.

These healers/teachers have inspired me greatly, as have my contacts and work with shamans and healers from different nations working with plants. Most important, though, is my personal on-going healing/study with herbs, especially with the plants of power, learning precious lessons directly from them.

The times are challenging. Healing and healers are in demand and we need to share. My health success with herbs compels me to reach out; many fellow humans need Mother Nature’s care and I can guide some of those steps. We need to connect with nature, where the healing is.

I am also fortunate to own a place in one of the cleanest areas of Europe, in the beautiful mountains in the center-north of Portugal with old villages far from cities, industries, highways and agriculture, with hills, valleys and riverbeds of pure unspoiled wild nature. I am willing to share my place and the knowledge and experience I have collected along my life’s path. With this intent, I am offering the workshop/holiday “Closer Link with Nature” as well as Floramor.

Floramor Kruiden

Floramor Kruiden is a private enterprise created in Amsterdam in 1995 by Lila Cavaleiro, a Portuguese resident in Holland. The departure point of this undertaking has been the introduction to Holland of medicinal herbs from the unpolluted sunny wildernesses of Portugal, while also calling attention to the threat that over-cultivation of eucalyptus trees presents to the native flora.
This eventually led to the small-scale distribution of herbs from Portugal and the creation of Floramor´s own products, homemade original concoctions based on traditional folk medicine recipes.

Since the “discovery” of Brazil 500 years ago, native Brazilian herbs have been part of the Portuguese herbal culture; this fact and Lila’s visiting Brazil and traveling in the Amazon rain forest have brought Brazilian species to Floramor´s assortment, some of which are classic in Portugal and some that are “classic” only among the Indians.