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Hotshot Herbal Advisors

We are the Herbal Team at Twinings, and we deliver a bespoke herbal education programme throughout the company. Our role is to inform and inspire our employees on all things herbs, health and well-being. We do this through the delivery of workshops and masterclasses, which are created and run by our in-house medical herbalists and other health experts.

Sophia Forrester

Job Title: Herbal Advisor (Qualified Medical Herbalist)

Tell us about your role at Twinings and what you do.
My role at Twinings is largely focussed on herbal education, supporting our teams across the world with innovation. Here I offer my expertise in herbalism and health & wellbeing to educate and inspire others - and as a result help create products that are functional & meet the health needs of the people who love to drink our products.

Tell us a typical day in the life of your role.
There is no typical day for me but regular duties involve herbal education within our different teams, herbal tea tastings and exploring health and wellness trends.

What do you love about your job?
I love that no day is the same. I feel that my role is very dynamic and love that it is influenced and inspired by ever-changing trends.

What made you choose your career?
Being able to take a subject that I am extremely passionate about and share it with people who are also interested is one of the reasons why I choose to work at Twinings.

Tell us about your Medicinal Herbalism background
My journey into herbalism begun whilst I was studying medicine at Liverpool university. I had always been interested in the human body and had a natural passion to help people get better. During this time, I started to learn about the wonderful benefits of plant medicine, something I had never really come across before.

After long and hard consideration, I decided to leave medical school and embark on the journey of herbal and holistic medicine. I studied Western Herbal Medicine at Middlesex University for 3 years and graduated in the summer of 2015. I started working shortly after with my first ever practice being at Neal’s Yard Remedies.

Since graduating I have taken a keen interest in a particular form of holistic medicine called Endobiogenic medicine. I find it fascinating as it helps me to better understand my client’s health needs and treat them more effectively. I continue to learn more about this in ongoing study. 

Whilst working in several health stores, I started to realise that my other passion was teaching – teaching people how to use the plants that grow around us in really easy and simple ways. This inspired me to start holding practical workshops, both in person and virtual with members of the community.

In my spare time, when I’m not seeing clients, I like to blog, make YouTube videos and speak about herbs at various events.

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job?
Sharing my knowledge with others.

Name three words that you describe you.
Friendly, enthusiastic, passionate.

How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
Friendly, smiley, of little words.

What’s your favourite country you’ve visited?
Netherlands.

What’s your favourite tea?
At the moment, I'm loving the Superblend Digest. The fresh smell of spearmint is amazing!

What’s your favourite herb?
That's a difficult question, but if I had to choose a herb that I currently cannot go without, it would have to be Lemon balm. It helps to keep me calm, especially when I’m feeling really stressed out.  

Bel Charlesworth

Job Title: Senior Herbal Advisor

Tell us about your role at Twinings and what you do.
With nearly 20 years experience as a Medical Herbalist and also a qualified yoga therapist and meditation teacher, I provide expert herbal wellness knowledge and training to our Twinings teams in the UK and globally, keeping us ahead in the wellness space and helping to fulfil the needs of our retailers and customers.

Tell us a typical day in the life of your role.
It varies from day to day; it could involve starting the day with a call to our Australia team and then creating or hosting a herbal wellness staff training workshop or podcast, followed by a team meeting to discuss new product development and finishing off writing a health and wellbeing article for our customer website.

What do you love about your job?
The great people and plants I get to work with and the opportunity to bring wonderful- tasting everyday herbal wellness into more people's lives.

What made you choose your career?
I wanted to make a difference to people's health in a natural, effective and professional way that would really empower people to live their best lives.

Tell us about your Medicinal Herbalism background
I qualified with a degree in Herbal Medicine in 2003 and have worked as a practising member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, the most prestigious professional body for herbalists (est 1864), ever since. In addition to seeing clients in clinic for all manner of health conditions (often stress, digestion or hormone-related issues), I’ve also always run herb walks and workshops to educate and inspire others to bring nature and more herbal, healthful ways into their everyday lives. I also established a natural health store and treatment centre which I ran for 9 years and it was wonderful to be able to provide professional, natural healthcare in such an accessible way for my hometown at that time.

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job?
A sound knowledge and understanding of both plants and people and how to help them work together for the best results possible.

Name three words that you describe you.
Passionate, Committed, Kind.

How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
It's too early to say but hopefully that I'm a calming, gently motivating force for good and a little obsessed with getting everyone to relax and breathe better!

What’s your favourite country you’ve visited?
I love so many places but France, India and Canada have all changed my life in momentous ways.

What’s your favourite tea?
Both Moment of Calm and Turmeric teas from the Superblend range keep me at my best through the day.

What’s your favourite herb?
That’s like asking a herbalist to choose between her children!..  but chamomile, lemon balm, ginger and lavender are all herbs I'd find hard to live without.

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