Twelve years ago, I would have laughed in your face if you told me plants could heal my body.
I was young and naïve, and a plant-based lifestyle was nowhere near as recognised as it is now.
If you are suffering today, you’re one of the lucky ones—because there are people all around you who are living examples of the plant-based healing phenomenon.
My acne began at the age of 16, following the death of my dad. It sent my whole body into complete shock. As if dealing with his death wasn’t enough, the onset of aggressive acne was the last thing I needed.
I was 16: the age when I started caring about how I looked, started feeling ready to meet boys, and was old enough to wear makeup.
Why on earth did acne arrive in my life at this point? What did I do to deserve this? I was mad at myself for years. I fought with my acne, questioned why it wouldn’t go away, told myself I must have deserved it, and wallowed in sadness.
Acne destroyed all my self-confidence and caused me to feel judged by other girls my age. Wearing makeup covered the pimples to an extent, but it did not cure the inner suffering of my mind. I hated wearing makeup. It didn’t make me feel any more beautiful or enhance my features, it merely covered my pimples and made me feel like I was wearing a mask.
As the years went on, my acne fluctuated so much that I couldn’t keep track of what was helping and what wasn’t. I tried antibiotics, laser treatment, topical skin products, and the contraceptive pill. But, funnily enough, nothing worked.
Little did I know, the root cause of my acne had always been within.
After lots of research and confiding in my one true inspiration (my mum), I turned to a holistic approach. No antibiotic or topical skin cream would ever heal my skin, and so I set out on a new path.
I read about others who transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle to work on specific areas of the body. I started to research this day-in, day-out in a bid to improve my health—and my acne.
One day, I decided if I wanted to see improvements, I had to just go for it.
The next day, I cut all gluten, dairy, and refined sugars from my diet (you don’t have to go cold turkey like I did, but it does provide quicker results) and indulged in nutrient-rich whole foods to nourish my body with the goodness it needed to heal.
Within three weeks, my skin looked noticeably different. My pimples were less inflamed and had reduced in number and size; I started to look radiant and fresh-faced again. My energy level also increased, which meant my mood improved and my emotions stabilized.
My friends, if you feel like you’re at the end of your rope with what you’ve been trying, but haven’t gone down the natural route yet, this is your chance!
Food has a bigger impact on our skin than many of us truly realise. Our skin truly is a reflection of everything we put into our body.
The best skin cleansers are undoubtedly raw vegetables, and drinking juice for the first few days is a great way to rebalance the body before you begin. This is the best way to get rid of any old toxins in the body, but it will also allow your body the capacity to absorb all the nutrients you will soon be consuming.
I am no expert, but there are so many websites and cookbooks out there with information about plant-based diets, so you won’t be short of inspiration and motivation. The movement toward this way of living is starting to make an impact, so if you’ve been feeling reluctant at all, this should reassure you that there is truth in all of this.
I am still scarred by the pain and emotion that acne put me through, but changing my diet gave me a huge breakthrough. I am so grateful to have been led on this journey.
You could find yourself in this position too, if you have faith in the wonderful healing properties of plants.
We all deserve to feel beautiful inside and out, and as Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Plants could be your healer; I couldn’t encourage you to turn to them more!
Author: Leila Wright
Image: Unsplash/Isabell Winter
Editor: Daniele Beutell
Copy Editor: Leah Sugerman
Social Editor: Callie Rushton