About Katy Smith, Founder of Allium Healing
It is very important to me that my clients (potential and current) understand what has led me to create Allium Healing and why I heal from this perspective, so it’s important you understand my story.
I come from a long line of homeopathy users, all through my childhood I knew of little else. When I was a child I was taught home prescribing, I had the phrase ‘cuts and blows to fingers and toes’ drilled into my head for hypericum remedy. Rarely did we use any paracetamol or ibruprofen in our house – mum knew of a man who died by accidentally overdosing on the former (during a weekend of toothache and adhering to the dosage instructions on the packet), so we were taught a healthy respect for over-the-counter drugs and shown that there are many alternatives.
My grandad (who died in 1999) used homeopathy and I have some of his books and notes. His most famous moment was going into hospital after a mini stroke, and my mum finding the floor littered in sugar pills, where he had accidentally spilt half his bottle of Arnica 30c whilst trying to take some to thin his blood. He incidentally took rather too many and when he had acupuncture the following day our acupuncturist couldn’t work out why he bled from every needle – he had thinned his blood rather too effectively!
One of grandad’s neighbours was a pharmacist (1 Brixton Hill) and in WW1 was prescribing homeopathy to the troops in Aden. I feel very lucky to have had a truly homeopathic grounding in my life.
When I was nineteen I was working as a gardener, self-employed in private gardens. It was a physically demanding job at times – although I loved it. In the autumn of 2009 I hit a standstill with my health, I had chronic fatigue, muscle and back pain, extreme pain in my stomach after eating certain meals, digestive discomfort and various other minor problems.
At this point I visited our doctor, had various blood tests, but nothing showed up. I had acupuncture but that only helped for a short time and then the stomach pain came back along with the extremity of the symptoms. It wasn’t until my Mum started questioning food allergies, (we had allergies in the family) that I took a closer look at what I was eating and figured out that I was only getting the stomach pain after certain meals. Further investigations into timing led me to cut the whole allium family out of my diet (all onions, garlic etc). After that I started to improve day by day and within a week I was back working – albeit slightly wobbly – but once again able.
But sadly it didn’t stop there, as the years went by the list grew. As well as the allium family my list came to include – celery, celeriac, coriander, parsley, parsnips, beetroot (commonly used as a natural food colouring), all types of ‘beet’ (including all British grown sugar made from sugar beet), lemongrass, mushrooms (and all fungus, including starters and rennets used in cheese and to make sour cream and yoghurt and alcohol because of the fermentation process). Citrus latterly became an issue, not because I couldn’t digest it but because it would rip my throat apart. So all citrus was out too. As you can imagine from that list I had a very limited diet and could eat nothing bought at all, even bought bread made me unwell. So everything was cooked at home from scratch with mainly organic and homegrown ingredients. My allergies led me to smallholding life and were the reason I started to keep a herd of dairy goats.
As the years rolled by I managed my allergies, but my health on the whole wasn’t excellent. I had always suffered from nosebleeds, lung and chest-related issues, plus my skin had become a nightmare. From 2015 to 2018 I suffered with hives coming up all over my body; it started most evenings before bed and then first thing in the morning. It was like heat that would spread across my skin that itched and burned and nothing would cure. In the end I just scratched it as it seemed to break the cycle.
I had skin problems on my hands, blistering that would come up, infect and damage the skin layers, leaving scar tissue all across my palms that would never fully turn back to skin before the process started all over again (see photos). I had alopecia twice… My stamina was terrible and despite living an outdoor life I simply didn’t have the energy to put into anything other than the day-to-day workings of our smallholding. I lived a continually smaller and smaller and more isolated life without being able to get out of the rut I was in with my health, exhaustion and inability to eat anything that wasn’t made at home with strictly uncontaminated ingredients.