Duggan Sisters Promote Health & Healing

By Grace Kuikman
February 2009
The Villager

Outside the air is frigid and snow is piled up everywhere. But inside the East Beverly home of sisters Annie and Mary Duggan, it’s warm and cozy, with the light aroma of lavender in the air.

Life hasn’t always been so calm for these siblings who grew up just around the corner from their current home. Both enjoyed successful careers — Mary as an interior designer and writer, and Annie in finance. Both have lived around the world — Annie in Holland and Mary in various U.S. cities. And both have suffered through debilitating medical issues, which led them to heal themselves, and share their knowledge about healing with others.

“The healing work we do now grew from our own need to heal,” Mary said over organic coffee served in a cup decorated with roses. “We share with others what we have learned in our own journeys to get well.”

Mary explained that seven years ago she fell and sustained traumatic brain injury, and soon after, Annie became ill. As sisters and best friends, they cared for one another and sought avenues for improving their health.

“We went on raw foods and it changed our lives,” Mary said. They have eliminated meat, dairy products, additives, dyes — all the “bad” stuff — from their diets, focusing on fresh, organic foods that offer the natural nutrition that the human body craves. They also devoted time to learning healthful arts designed to strengthen them in body, mind and spirit, and developed a business vehicle through which to share their knowledge: the Rose Cottage in Beverly.

The women run their business with integrity and information, gusto and humor, and gratitude for their own good fortune. Their all natural but very effective deodorant — called LifeStinks™ — was introduced locally at the St. Barnabas Church holiday fair a few years ago and shoppers flocked to buy it and learn more about the Rose Cottage in Beverly. The success of LifeStinks and requests for more toxin-free products encouraged the Duggan sisters to expand their line. Bite Me, an all natural bug repellent, was introduced last summer. Sunshine Soak, designed to restore the spirit and soothe the muscles, and a hand cream (as yet unnamed), are also available.

The sisters sell their products at outdoor markets throughout Chicagoland in spring, summer and fall. They also give talks about natural healing and conduct classes.

Annie and Mary will conduct Introduction to Raw Foods Fundamentals, 7 to 9:30 p.m. Mon., Feb. 9, repeated on Mon., Feb 23 at Beverly’s Pantry, 1907 W. 103rd St., Chicago. The class will include meal preparation for raw breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages, snacks and desserts. Samples will be offered. Intermediate level classes will follow in March Registration is required. Call 773-341-4246. The Rose Cottage in Beverly is a resource for products and information on alternative health and healing.

In addition, both women are Reiki master healers. Mary was trained in manual lymphatic drainage at the Midwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in St. Charles, and is one of the few practitioners of this technique in the U.S. Annie teaches Forrest Yoga, which focuses on restorative meditation.

For more information or to order products, contact Mary and Annie Duggan at 773-341-4246.

Reprinted with permission from The Villager, Published by the Beverly Area Planning Association.