By Jhena Waring
Elixirs Boost the Body’s Capacity to Recuperate
Elixirs are not juices or kombucha; they are natural drinks that nurture the body.
Antidote Healing is an ethical vegan company selling natural elixirs sourced from the highest grade ingredients. From recyclable packaging to profit kickback initiatives and their remedial plant-based beverages, it’s a business that benefits everyone.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ashley and Chris Lewer, the co-founders of Vancouver-based Antidote Healing. After experiencing a life-changing near-fatal car accident, Ashley and Chris were left with a variety of intense injuries, both physical and emotional. Elixirs helped facilitate their return to a state of health. They believe that everyone should experience such benefits, which is the ethos behind their brand.
“They don’t heal you, they boost your own capacity to heal yourself,” said Ashley.
What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Ashley: We were in a near-fatal car accident where we had a lot of ailments that were not being addressed; a lot of the drugs that we were given were not working.
We had various different pharmaceutical prescriptions for all [of] our various injuries, but they weren’t taking the pain away. Like a painkiller, for example, it made me feel more numb, but it didn’t take the pain away. My pain was still very unbearable and very difficult, but on top of that, the remnants of my life, the person I used to be, was slipping away. I was finding that conventional medicine was not the way for me. I do believe that there will always be a place for conventional medicine, and there will always be a place for holistic medicine, and I feel that they can coincide together. But from where I was, the conventional medicine was bringing too many side effects and causing more difficulties.
How did the Jamu and Bandrek elixirs help you after your car accident?
Ashley: Two days after getting back from Indonesia was when we got into our life-changing car accident. We were put on painkillers. And I was really suffering a lot, and it made my symptoms worse in terms of my digestion and emotional well-being. Chris then started making Jamu, and after drinking it every day, we were off painkillers two weeks later. The amount of change it made in my life and how it affected me was in a really big, monumental way. It changed the way that I was thinking, my digestion—it definitely did not take the pain away, but it made my life more bearable.
We had mucus buildup in our bodies from our diaphragm injuries, which meant we couldn’t breathe properly. Bandrek helped clear our clogged passageways as well as boost our immune system.
How did you discover the other two elixirs?
Chris: When I was travelling in Italy, an area in the south called Acciaroli. There they have one of the highest concentrations of centenarians, where people are still living high-quality independently, cooking all their meals, cognitively sharp, etc. A study found that they have a huge concentration of rosemary in their life, which is potentially one of the reasons they live such long and healthy lives. It helps with cognition, memory, attention and overall blood flow.
With our concussions, we were struggling to remember things, to finish sentences and not stutter, and with migraines as well. The Rosemary Water elixir was transformative for us.
Why did you create the four specific elixirs you sell?
Ashley: We’ve travelled around the world, but when we were in Indonesia I got really bad food poisoning. Chris found an herbalist that taught him how to make Jamu. He gave me a bottle of it because I was sick for eight days and wasn’t able to leave the hotel, and the moment I had a bottle of that I was able to get up and walk. In fact, that evening I walked a mile and a half—from being not able to walk from the bed to the washroom, to walking a mile and a half. I drank five of these and within two days, [I] was fully healed from the food poisoning I had. Without taking any medication, just Jamu alone.
When we went to the next island in Indonesia, that’s where we discovered Bandrek. Bandrek is a fiery elixir for immunity. It just seems to be very synchronistic the way we’ve met people and the way that we’ve learnt things.
How can we incorporate the elixirs into a plant-based diet?
Ashley: The elixirs don’t have sugar, they’re natural and plant-based which means they’re beneficial for everyone (given you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients in them). There is no specific order for consuming the elixirs—Chris and I drink all four every day, before or after meals!
We love to stay hydrated on the Rosemary Water during the day. Bandrek is good after a tough work out or a long day as it boosts your immunity and relieves inflammation. Jamu is an overall healing elixir from aiding in digestion to overall vitality. Calm Your Crazy is especially great before bed, as it really helps relax your mind and body, and create a sense of ease.
And according to flavour profiles, the Rosemary Water is the lightest, followed by Calm Your Crazy, Jamu, and then Bandrek is on the heavier end.
Since the ingredients are of high-quality and are made to be potent, I’d recommend drinking them within a week of opening, but they won’t expire if you don’t.
How do you create a positive social impact?
Chris: We try to source directly as much as possible, through direct and fair trade, and to have that direct connection and relationship. We source a lot of our ingredients directly from Hawaii, where my family is living, and have direct relationships with the growers. From the consumers to the growers and to us, we believe the business should empower everyone involved.
Ashley: Every purchase that we do actually goes into our ‘you are a hero’ foundation where we’re working towards saving 100 acres of Belizean, or Central American rainforest. We learnt that one square acre there has more biodiversity than all of Canada and America put together.
What’s next for business?
Ashley: Environmental and social impact is crucial for us. We especially want to create a closed-loop system, where people bring back bottles, so that there’s no waste at all. Stay tuned!
You can find Antidote Healing on their online store and at select events in Vancouver.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We advise readers to always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
All photos courtesy of Antidote Healing.