I was first exposed to Psoralea corylifolia (aka babchi), which is a popular herb that has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, by my Indian doctor, many years ago.
Fyi, this is after my Western physician had basically given up on me.
In case you didn't know, I'm talking about the same plant that the famed skincare ingredient 'bakuchiol' is derived from.
Like many of my fav superfood ingredients (such turmeric, matcha, cacao, probiotics, acv, blueberries and morniga) I was turned onto this amazing superfood earlier on in my life when I was experiencing some health issues.
This was at a time I had a colicky baby and as such was extremely exhausted, very distraught, and to say I looked haggard would have been a compliment (I have a photo from back then, but I'm not going to show it!).
The various medications prescribed by my western medicine practitioners were not helping or working synergistically for me*. In fact between a prescribed cocktail of anti-depressants, sleeping pills, low blood pressure meds and antibiotics, I was a downright wreck.
Living in downtown Toronto, and involved in the yoga world, my Ashtanga teacher referred me to an Indian Ayurvedic doctor in Kensington Market who turned into a trusted practitioner.
I might add this was a bit of daring move on my part because this was some years ago (err, I have a 21-year-old son now so this was in 1999, so yes, I am that old) and Ayurvedic medicine was not widely heard of or accepted in those days, as it is now. Even though it turned out okay, at the time, my friends and family did not really support my choices.
Gladly, my experience with Ayurvedic medicine worked out very well but I'm sorry to say (and still awfully sad) that my beloved doctor (turned confidant) eventually left Toronto to be with her grandchildren overseas well over 10 years ago.
We have lost touch but I am also supremely grateful that she taught me so much and empowered me to recalibrate my body, including helping me balance my 'Vata' (air-like, and sometimes ungrounded!) disposition.
She helped me nurse my body and soul back to life, introducing me to Ayurvedic cuisine and (slowly and safely) helped me reduce and almost eliminate my prescription medication.*
And of course, I am still so thankful that she turned me onto Psoralea Corylifolia (err, bakuchiol) to help me overcome my weakness, depression, hyper-pigmented sallow skin, and thinning hair!
When Bakuchiol became popular as an alternative to retinol in the last year or so, I quietly smiled to myself. The power of plants never ceases to amaze me!
* Please, don't interpret from my story that I am against, Western medicine. I am so grateful for it and of course, prescription medication is an incredibly important and life-saving tool, it's just at that time in my life, I had been improperly diagnosed and inappropriately dosed, which was simply human error.