Share an afternoon tea with Organic Merchant
Enjoy a warm herbal tea with chocolate lover, naturopath and founder of Organic Merchant, Chalimah Jeanne.

When do you feel wild? What makes you feel alive?

I feel alive when I’m walking along the beach and it’s windy and stormy. It’s electrifying and makes me feel like I could fly.

When and what inspired you to create Organic Merchant?

I’ve always been drawn to nature, even as a little girl. I grew up on the remote coast of Western Australia, which instilled in me a great reverence for the land’s raw and wild beauty, a fascination with the seasons and cyclical nature of life. I love the role nature and plants play in health and wellbeing.

Initially I studied horticulture which led me to study naturopathy. It was in clinical practice that I started formulating my first blends for patients who were suffering from chronic conditions and needed support with immunity, stress and recurrent infections. From there I started a small market stand. Nine years on we are now selling online, as well as through hundreds of stores nationally and soon to be internationally. It’s amazing. While it is very challenging at times and takes a lot of dedication and discipline, it is also very fulfilling.

What is your favourite OM tea?

My favourite tea blend would have to be our Cleansing Tea. I love this tea especially as we emerge out of winter. It’s a delicious, soft, floral tea with a touch of spearmint and ginger. I find it wonderfully renewing. I created our Cleansing Tea using dandelion root to support the liver and ginger which soothes the digestion and invigorates the circulation. The red clover and nettle are also fantastic for decongesting the lymphatics and creating healthy skin.

Tell us about the OM Dust range of raw cacao?

I really love chocolate. Raw cacao has so many wonderful health benefits that extend beyond its euphoric taste. It empowers concentration, vitalises energy, uplifts mood and much more. Raw cacao has been known to protect cells from oxidation and inflammation, improve mental faculties, support immune health, reduce chronic fatigue, increase valuable stem cells and protect nerves from injury and inflammation. Raw cacao also contains powerful flavonoids and precursors to serotonin and dopamine, which have shown to alleviate depression, avert anxiety, minimise stress and stabilise mood.

By combining the extensive benefits from raw cacao with super herbs such as yerba mate, ashwagandha, reishi mushrooms and matcha, I have been able to create a range of powders that act as system tonics. We have six different blends including Super Dust for energy and stamina, Sex Dust for virility and reproductive health, Soothe Dust to ease inflammation and digestion, Spark Dust for immunity and vitality, Shine Dust for radiance and beauty and lastly Spirit Dust which acts as a restorative adrenal tonic. The cacao blends can be used to make hot chocolate or added into smoothies and baking or even sprinkled on top of your morning granola.

What are some of the ways OM tea gives back to the planet?

Creating a business founded on sustainable practices was essential for me. Along with my love for nature comes a fierce desire to also protect the planet so that my children and future generations of children will be able to enjoy the earth with awe and wonderment.

Environmental stewardship is very close to our hearts. Organic Merchant gives back in small and large ways, from composting, recycling, reusing and reducing our resources to using certified organic herbs. We are very much aligned to certified organic farming practices, which are aimed at maintaining our earth’s natural resources and its ecological balance.

We are proudly plastic-free. Our range of teas is available in recycled cardboard printed with eco-ink or reusable glass jars and we use plant-based cello bags that are home compostable and worm farm friendly. Our facilities are powered by solar energy, our range is freighted in cardboard boxes using biodegradable packaging tape. We have also partnered with Australia’s first carbon-neutral postal service to offset the emissions of every parcel. We’re always looking for more options to give back to our beautiful planet.

If you could imagine a new world, what would it look like?

I love to imagine the impossible. History is full of seemingly impossible things becoming possible. For me, I imagine a unified world. Right now, unity seems impossible amid so much duality. But this is what I imagine — unity. A new world that extends beyond space and time and into dimensions yet unknown or seemingly unknown. Either way, the potential is thrilling.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I usually get up early and slow cook a batch of buckwheat porridge for the kids. I will then take some time to meditate, do yoga or reflect on the day. I’ll go through emails from the team and customers and put together my task list. Then it’s the usual packing school lunches, getting the kids out the door on time and heading into the office. Once I’m in OM head office, my day is a combination of blending teas, speaking to customers, ordering herbs and discussing plans with the team.

Any beauty secrets you swear by?

As a naturopath, I’m a big believer that beauty comes from within. For more than 20 years I have consumed and advocated a wholesome balanced certified organic diet, with the addition of probiotics, fermentations and tonic herbs. Together with some simple external applications such as dry skin brushing, handmade soap, natural clay and organic rose oil, I mostly feel vibrant and happy and that to me is beautiful.

How do you make the perfect cup of tea?

A perfect cup of tea for me changes all the time. At present, I’m loving strongly brewed teas and tisanes — long-brewed Australian Breakfast Tea or our French Earl Grey Tea with a dash of plant milk. I also love an overnight infusion of our Golden Turmeric Tea or Bush Blush Tea with sparkling mineral water. The longer herbs are brewed, the more elemental aspects of the herbs’ healing properties are drawn out and available for the body to access. I find this deeply grounding. That grounding element is perfect for me right now. I love that there are so many ways to explore the ritual and ceremony with plants.

What’s next for you personally?

Going back to my naturopathy practice is something I’m looking forward to doing in the next few months. Now that the products are doing well and the team is growing, I have more time to focus on supporting my clients.

What’s next for Organic Merchant?

We’ve been really fortunate that the business has continued to grow and evolve despite the global pandemic. This, as well as an increase in people looking for wellness products, has allowed us as a business to look at expansion plans and widening our product range.

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