What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is the use of plants to support the body’s innate capacity to heal. It is a holistic health philosophy that sees both plants and individuals as whole organisms–irreducible to the sum of their parts, both possessing forms of wisdom and resilience, and sharing between them a forgotten ( in recent times and in certain parts of the world) history of coevolution and reciprocal relationship. Herbal medicine is the use of plants’ healing properties to support the body in its healing processes in preventative, acute, and chronic situations; a way for communities and individuals to have more self determination over their health in an inaccessible, often inadequate, and profit driven healthcare system; and a practice of deepening our relationship with the plants and nonhuman nature around us.
Herbal medicine has been practiced in some form across various cultures throughout history, and is the foundation of modern medicine.
When I say coevolutionary history, I mean that plants and human beings have evolved together in symbiosis. Plants are complex amalgamations of phytochemicals, but often, researchers find that studying isolated phytochemicals does not account or explain the full range of a plant’s medicinal actions. Some scientists and herbalists theorize that there is a synergistic power in whole plant medicine. Herbal medicine ranges from kitchen medicine–common herbs and spices you might find in your cabinet–to low dose botanicals that are toxic in higher doses, and only appropriate under the care of a very experienced herbalist. Herbs can nourish and tonify the body in much the way that food can, support organ systems, reduce inflammation, support tissue repair, bone mending, detoxification, hormone balance, gene repair, stress relief, pain relief, immunity, and adaptation and resilience in the face of stress and trauma.
While I would love to sell my teas, I ultimately want you to be able to go home and know how to make them yourself if you have the inclination, to acquaint yourself with some of the most potent medicinal allies that are growing wild and weedy in your own back yard.
What does a consultation entail?
In a consultation, we will go over your health history, relevant family history, and nutritional and lifestyle habits. The consultation will happen in a private setting and will remain entirely confidential.
I may suggest herbs to allay symptoms; to correct underlying imbalances; or to nourish, build and tone over a period of time. Recommendations may include nutritional tips, lifestyle changes, and stress management techniques as well. The consultation is about working with you where you are at, not about achieving purity or perfection, but rather, optimal well being no matter where you are on your healing journey. Herbs can be valuable allies regardless of circumstances. I see my role here as a sort of match maker. I want you to leave the consultation with practical tips that feel accessible, achievable, and can be incorporated into the rhythm of your daily life.
Consultations are typically an hour in length. I will follow up with you in 2-3 weeks through phone or email.
What is your scope of practice?
As a burgeoning clinical herbalist, I do not feel comfortable taking on more severe illnesses. I am in no way a substitute for a primary health care provider. I feel comfortable seeing clients who are dealing with mild to moderate concerns regarding digestive issues, mental health issues, insomnia, addiction, anxiety, depression, certain skin issues, certain hormone, reproductive health, and menstrual issues, colds, flu, migraines, and certain forms of chronic pain. If you are wondering whether I am the right fit for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch and I will be upfront and honest about my scope of practice. I am well versed on contraindications and herb drug interactions, and always err on the side of caution. I do not believe that herbal medicine is appropriate in every instance, and that there are times when mainstream medical treatment is of vital importance. My overarching philosophy is one of self determination, choice, empowerment, harm reduction, and a pragmatic integration of different health care tools and modalities, both mainstream and “alternative”.
Where do your medicines come from?
I have currently sourced ingredients for the teas and bulk herbs in the shop from Mountain Rose Herbs, Pacific Botanicals, Starwest Botanicals, and Gathered Threads Farm. It is my intention, this coming season, that any new inventory is grown in my garden, ethically wild crafted, or sourced from a bioregional herb grower, such as Gathered Threads. The vast majority of products are organic, and I will gladly provide any information about each one.
It has also come to my attention very recently that there is a boycott of Mountain Rose Herbs for selling Israeli products that were farmed on occupied Palestinian land. I will not be buying from them in the future until or unless this changes.