Natural Health Heroes: An upbringing that made naturopathy a natural career choice

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 2 November, 2021

brunette woman with fringe smiles at camera with rows of herbal medicine stocked behind her

Laila Helena was born in Adelaide but lived for 12 years in Brazil, where her parents established one of the country’s first permaculture centres. Homeschooled and taught to venture outside to gather plants and herbs, naturopathy was a natural career choice for Laila.

“When I was about 13 years old, I got very interested in the medical properties of herbs,” Laila explained. “I started to create books about different plants and their uses. It’s fun to look back on them now that I understand the science as well.”

Laila returned to Australia to complete Year 12 and travelled before settling down to her naturopathy studies. “I looked for the best college, but also one that offered flexible study options, which was Endeavour on the Gold Coast. I loved the buzz of being on campus with other students and in the classroom with lecturers. I made some long-term friends, and we have helped each other through the hard yards.

“In the middle of my degree, I had a son, and I was grateful to be able to study part-time and pick up more subjects as he got older,” Laila said. “It took me about six years to complete my degree. It’s about balance. Some days were hard, but I also looked for ways to involve my son in what I was learning and foster his natural curiosity.”

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Living in northern New South Wales, Laila experienced the challenges of travelling across the state border to the Gold Coast campus during COVID-19 lockdowns. Now that she has graduated, she is running a home-based practice, Lahe Wellness. This is only one of her thousands of dreams.

“I also want to work in a multi-modality clinic, and I love teaching people how to live more sustainably. I’m running a series of workshops in November. One is about teaching people to identify and reduce their toxic load, particularly by making cleaning products. The other is about children’s health and how to support healthy immune systems," Laila explains. "I love working with children and their parents because the best moment to make sustainable changes is early in life. As a busy mum, I also understand you have to take a realistic approach to health and lifestyle changes.”

Fluent in English and Portuguese, Laila offers consultations in Portuguese and soon hopes to help women and their families in Brazil. She is writing e-books and designing online courses that intertwine her upbringing and her naturopathy knowledge. “The only way to get above the internet noise is to share the science. Natural medicine should be accessible to everyone.”

Laila is continuing her family’s long teaching tradition. With her Mum, she has a sustainability side project called Planet Schooling. The team creates fun nature-based activities for parents and teachers.


Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, and Acupuncture, a fully online Bachelor of Complementary Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

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