Welcome to the world of herbalism!Herbalism is a vast field that certainly does not begin or end with the world of plants and plant medicine. To become acquainted with herbs is to open your imagination and the door to ancestral medicine, spirit worlds, magic, food, self care, and so much more. Plants are the connection between the esoteric and exoteric. Between this world and the underworld. Plants show up to teach us that everything is indeed connected and that exploitative hierarchies are man-made concepts that have no bearing in the natural world. To be connected to plants is to be connected with all of nature and to be connected to nature is your birthright because you too are nature. This fact is easy to forget in our modern scientific world. We are so busy, so over-stimulated and so keen on being productive, that we have abandoned slow living, lost our connection to the soil and to our very foundation. We have come to rely on that which can be proven and stopped cultivating our own intuition about what feels right. We are one species but we are all so unique and we have stopped asking ourselves what is good for us and our bodies and spirits.
You may be here because you love the way flowers smell and make you feel. Or maybe you have tried the pharmaceutical route and have found more questions than answers, or maybe you love to cook and have already experimented with herbs and spices in the kitchen. Whatever the reason, you have answered a call to return to nature, to dig up your roots and to heal yourself naturally.
Although there has been a resurgence in herbal medicine in recent years, this is indeed an ancient practice based on ancestral wisdom and indigenous ways of life. Ayurvedic medicine encompasses over 5,000 years of collected wisdom for health and is central to the health of Indian people. China has its own system for health that is termed Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that is also rooted in ancient practices. Similarly, indigenous cultures in North, South and Central America have collected their own wisdom about plant healing. All around the world from Africa, Europe, the Mediterranean and beyond herbal traditions have had and still have a strong footing. In fact, it was only in the last 100 years, with the advent of modern medicine and scientific advances, that we have lost much of this tradition around honoring plants, and recognizing the myriad of ways that they have benefited our evolution and our very existence on this planet. This loss of wisdom is especially pronounced in North America. Building modern civilizations and scientific knowledge became the antithesis to the “backward lifestyles” of indigenous people and the rise of a patriarchal society did not mesh well with the knowledge that was mostly bestowed upon medicine women. However, like a seed, truth cannot be buried forever. Given the right conditions, buried wisdom and practices flourish and take a footing, spreading from person to person until it becomes enmeshed in mainstream culture. There have been instrumental herbalists that have helped spread those seeds to fertile soils along the way and you will discover more about them along this journey just as you will learn about herbs.
So be prepared to dive deep into your healing journey and discover the wonderful world of plants. You will find resources to inform you about very specific herbal traditions and practices.
This journey can simply be about introducing natural products back into your life and having us curate that for you or it can be about learning everything there is to know about herbs and what surrounds them. This is your journey and you are free to customize it to your liking. We hope that this introduction has intrigued you to want to know more and to become a pollinator for the ancient practice of herbal medicine.