Gillian Francis, better known as Minka Luv to her friends and family, is a self-professed “Jill of all trades.” Born and raised in Jamaica, she’s cultivated many interests over the years: fashion and jewelry design, songwriting, and, most notably, herbal healing. Ever since Francis was a little girl, she felt it was her calling. “I always spoke to plants and they’ve always spoken back to me,” she says.
When she was six-years old, her cousin injured himself while they were playing outdoors. Instinctively, Francis grabbed lime and water to make a soothing mixture for him. “I didn’t know back then that lime is considered an anti-bacterial,” she says. “My spirit just guided me that day.”
Now a certified family herbalist, she’s one of Jamaica’s experts in natural healing. To further her knowledge, Francis is also pursuing a degree in preventative medicine. Outpostings met up with her at her home in Kingston to learn her tips for a healthy life.
“As an herbalist, I believe you have to cleanse and nourish the body, but I don’t believe in fixing the body as most doctors would. Traditional doctors isolate issues, but as an herbalist, I believe in a holistic approach of taking into consideration a person’s mental and physical state. There’s always a mind and body connection…and the first step to begin your journey is to get your mind in line with your body.”
“Start with repeating daily affirmations such as ‘I have a healthy body,’ and, ‘I am an embodiment of perfect health.’ Put these positive thoughts out into the universe, and you’ll find that anywhere your mind wanders, your energy will flow there too. You’ll become aware of people and places that will help you in becoming healthy. One day, for example, you’ll see a health food store that you’d never noticed on your usual way home. You will begin to see the universe conspiring with you.”
“Your aura is an energy field that surrounds your body, and you want to take care of it. I believe diseases manifest first in your aura. It’s now proven that when you burn sage, it actually kills bacteria and viruses in the atmosphere for days. So smudging your space with sage is not just a spiritual thing to do, but it helps improve your health as well. Burning thyme and rosemary helps with removing harmful elements from your environment too. It helps to keep you healthy.”
“This is the most important step in becoming healthy. Listen to your body, but remember that it’s also about balance. There are times that my body only wants to eat fruits or vegetables, but I know that the body needs more. If you give the body what it needs, the body will always take care of itself.”
“You want to make informed decisions, so that you don’t make health decisions that are actually detrimental to you. So, seek the right kind of help for your journey!”
Keep up with Francis on her website, http://minkaluv.com