Visionary pioneer of holistic veterinary medicine and animal rights
September 3, 2013 12:20 AM   Subscribe

Juliette of the Herbs is a beautifully filmed lyrical portrait of the life and work of Juliette de Bairacli Levy: world renowned herbalist, author, breeder of Afghan hounds, friend of the Gypsies, traveller in search of herbal wisdom and the pioneer of holistic veterinary medicine. A list of Juliette de Baïracli Levy's books. Cythera Island
posted by nickyskye (15 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
She was an awesome woman. I learned a lot from her. She had excellent advice in her book 'Nature's Children'. Not just remedies, but nutrition advice which was of great benefit.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:34 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wait, so, "holistic veterinary medicine" is the application of quackery like homeopathy to animals who can't even consent, right? This is good why, exactly?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:21 AM on September 3, 2013 [6 favorites]

Joakim Ziegler, before you go all kneejerk, did you even watch the video, click on the link about her books? This woman was an herbalist. You know, with herbs. And she became world renowned over decades because her herbal treatments worked.
posted by nickyskye at 5:54 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

This thread probably does not need to be a debate over the efficacy of holistic medicine.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:11 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Don't turn this thread into Same Old Argument about homeopathy.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:05 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

No, because my dogs always spread-eagled themselves at the conventional Vet's door. It's not like they'd sign on that dotted line, either.

Thanks nickyskye. I owned this DVD at one stage. Lend-and-lose.
Afghans are my favourite.
posted by de at 8:13 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

That was awesome. I had to look up Arnold's poem. Turns out there was a real scholar who left the academy for a time to study with the gypsies and inspired the poem. I had never heard of this fellow that I know of. Franciscus Mercurius van Helmont 1614 - 1698. Helmont's books are on pdf's at the hermetic kabbalah web pages.
posted by bukvich at 10:31 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thank you, that was fascinating. Do you know where she moved at the end?
posted by HotToddy at 11:03 AM on September 3, 2013

HotToddy, from what it says on the web, at the very end of her life, around 96 years old, she went to live with her daughter, Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy, in a log cabin in Burgdorf, Switzerland. As she became weaker, she lived in an old age home near her daughter's house and died there.
posted by nickyskye at 12:49 PM on September 3, 2013

I was sad to hear she'd died. She was 86 for 'Juliette of the Herbs', with 10 years still ahead of her. Somewhere in there I read a 2006 article (can't find the link) saying she had retired to the Burgdorf nursing home, so she had at least 3 years in care. She died peacefully, age 96, in early morning hours. Good for her.
posted by de at 1:59 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't think herbal medicine is the same as homeopathy anyway.
She was a beautiful person.
posted by AnnElk at 5:30 PM on September 3, 2013

At the end of the video she says she's leaving the island for somewhere more environmentally pure or safe (sorry, I've already forgotten how she put it), and it sounds like there must have been at least one more stop between the island and Switzerland. I was just curious, as the video got me wondering what would be the most uncontaminated remaining place in which one could reasonably live (i.e., not Antarctica).
posted by HotToddy at 5:43 PM on September 3, 2013

HotToddy, it appears Juliette made her way to Switzerland close to immediately after the filming of 'Juliette of the Herbs'. The documentary was released 1998, but obviously filmed a little earlier because Juliette rehoused her beautiful dog early 1996:
In February 1996, Heidi says, “We received a peculiar phone call. A gentleman explained that Juliette de Baïracli Levy had chosen us to receive and keep her last Turkuman bitch. She wished to visit us immediately.”
-- Juliette de Baïracli Levy’s Last Turkuman Hound
Juliette had retired to aged care 2006, the year afghan 'Julie' died -- December, 2006. That sounds about right.
Juliette died in May, 2009

posted by de at 8:38 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Once more. Here are two facts to complete the story: 'Juliette of the Herbs' was 7 years in the making. Tish Streeten commenced filming 1991; and Juliette's ashes are part of Cythera Island.

Apparently the dash between date of birth and date of death gives meaning to 'she's done her dash'.

Juliette de Baïracli Levy has done her dash
11 November 1912 28 May 2009
Good life.

Her last afghan: Senior Best-of-Breed and later the Senior Best-in-Show.
(I'm not betting it was the herbs.)
posted by de at 10:37 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Great additions to the thread de. Fascinating information about how long the film took to make, poignant about "doing her dash" and also that her ashes are part of Cythera. Thank you so much for that.
posted by nickyskye at 5:42 AM on September 4, 2013

« Older Michael Hastings   |   The True Story About Who Destroyed a Genetically... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments