Birch Avenue Botanicals
Herbal medicine clinic, dispensary and educational community
We offer private clinical consultations with a Registered Herbal Therapist, educational workshops, restorative retreats and herbal remedies.
At Birch Avenue Botanicals, we direct women and those with “lunar bodies” (bodies that experience a menstrual cycle) towards natural, effective solutions that address the root causes of health concerns, and support them to reconnect with their bodies and discover vibrant, optimal health.
We offer private appointments and customized herbal treatment plans to support hormonal harmony and whole-body health. Our treatment philosophy embraces empowerment and transformation through education and may include Herbal remedies such as teas, alcohol extractions (known as tinctures), as well as creams, salves, capsules and other applications. Treatment plans often include personalized lifestyle and diet recommendations as well.
While our practice is focused mainly on women’s health issues and support for lunar bodies, we welcome people of all ages and genders who are seeking holistic support for digestive, urinary, respiratory, cardiovascular and mental health and sleep concerns.
Why Herbal Medicine?
Herbal Medicine, also known as Herbalism, is the practice of using medicinal plants to support health and treat ailments.
It is the oldest and most relied-upon medical system in the world, with the WHO reporting that over 80% of the global population still relies on herbal medicines for health care.
Herbal therapies we work with include: teas; tinctures (alcohol extractions); capsules, infused oils, creams and salves; and other applications made from plants’ leaves, bark, roots, flowers and fruits.
Herbal Medicine is often referred to as “slow medicine”, where practitioners identify and address root causes of imbalances and disease, and patients are invited to actively engage with their bodies as part of the natural world to rediscover balance and vitality.
Herbal Medicine & Hormonal Health
Conventional medicine doesn’t offer many solutions to address hormonal imbalances, which are impacting the health, fertility and quality of life of an increasing number of people. Prevalence rates of conditions like endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are now as high as 10% in the menstruating population of North America.
Many fall through the cracks of the medical system and struggle to get accurate diagnosis and appropriate care. Treatment options are often limited to pharmaceutical interventions that don’t address the underlying factors that drive the imbalances, and can have serious and disruptive side effects, or mask issues that might cause problems later in life.
Herbal medicine addresses the root causes of hormonal imbalances — be they digestive issues, inflammation, stress or toxic overload — and supports the body to heal, rather than masking symptoms or suppressing natural processes.
Herbal Medicine & Health Insurance Coverage
Herbal Medicine is not covered by provincial health or most employer-sponsored Extended Health Benefit plans, but costs may be eligible for reimbursement through a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), Health Spending Account (HSA) or Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA). HCSAs, HSAs and LSAs are increasingly popular ways for employers to offer benefits that are not covered under provincial health or other other employee benefit plans, which provide more flexibility and a wider scope of coverage. Check with your employer to see if consultations, herbal formulas or courses are covered by your plan.
Medical Herbalist, Menstrual Health Educator, Founder of Birch Avenue Botanicals
Kate Giesbrecht graduated with honours with a diploma of Phytotherapy from Pacific Rim College, North America’s most comprehensive herbal training program and a pending Registered Herbal Therapist and member of the British Columbia Herbalist Association.
Kate is passionate about working with herbal medicine to facilitate healing for people experiencing hormonal imbalances, especially related to menstrual and reproductive health. She has a special interest in holistic therapies for painful periods and PMS, endometriosis, fibroids, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and fertility, and supporting people through perimenopause and menopause. Having been diagnosed with PCOS herself, Kate understands first-hand the frustration and limitations of the conventional medical model and is committed to raising awareness about how transformational and life-changing natural interventions, like herbalism and lifestyle medicine, can be.
Kate’s treatment philosophy is centred around education and empowerment, and she encourages her clients to fully engage with their bodies and the healing process. Her goal is to be the lighthouse that leads the way to healing and welcomes you back home to your body.
Kate’s experience, tastes and interests are eclectic, and reflect her passion for discovery, exploration and her curious disposition. Before earning a diploma in Phytotherapy, Kate completed a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Anthropology from Université Laval and post-graduate certificate in International Project Management from Humber College. Prior to establishing her herbal practice, Kate worked for over a decade in the International Development sector, with a focus on Maternal & Child Health, mainly in East & Southern Africa. She has worked as an English teacher, farm worker and fundraiser, and even serves as a consultant for a tech start-up.
Kate has lived in five Canadian provinces and 5 different countries, but was born and raised as a settler on the prairies and in the boreal forest of Treaty 1 land (ancestral and traditional homelands of the Anishinabek and Swampy Cree of southern Manitoba, Canada). Birch Avenue Botanicals was named to honour the beautiful birch forests on the shores of Lake Winnipeg where she is blessed to have spent countless hours cultivating curiosity, wonder and a passion for the healing power of nature.
Kate is happiest on the beach, in the woods or puttering around the garden and is currently living, learning and playing in the Pacific Northwest, on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish, Lekwungen/Songhees, Esquimalt, and W̱ SÁNEĆ peoples in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Nothing lights Kate up quite like facilitating the success of the people around her, and she is SO looking forward to helping you reach your goals.