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Herbal Aspirations

All this time away from the internet has created a lot of space for reflection. I am a constant question asker, and of course I ask myself questions related to herbalism. One such point of reflection is simply: what are my goals?

  • Attend more conferences. I love conferences. I have gone to a few and always learn a ton. Plus, it is great to be surrounded by all the plant people! I can only be a solitary learner so long before I start craving learning from an actually person, not a book. Here are a few I have my eye on:
  1. Medicines from the Earth. I am going this year and can hardly wait.
  2. Mid America Herb Symposium. Held in Winona, MN.
  3. Women’s Herb Conference. I got to go in 2007, and it was a such a blast! It was good for the soul to be around so many fabulous women herbalist.
  4. Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference. I have never been to the Southwest. Now I have even more of a reason to get down there; this conference sounds amazing!
  5. Years ago, I spied an international botanical medicine conference in India that seemed interesting. Of course now I can’t find it. Here is the International Herb Symposium that happens every other year in New England.

  • Finish Home Study Course. When I was an intern at Sage Mountain, I received a copy of Rosemary Gladstar’s home study course in herbalism. I read through it all when I was interning, but didn’t start the course work. That was almost 3 years ago, and I have barley started since. It is such a gift to have received it and I want to finish it! I love how it combines different aspect of herbalism; materia medica, body systems, action categories, food and nutrition, health philosophy, ect…
  • Learn about Western herbal history, from way back when to Greece to present day. I am fascinated by healing and medical theories, and want to learn more. Much of my interest was sparked by this comparison of the history of Chinese medicine and Western medicine By Roger Wicke, Ph.D.
  • Explore different types of herbalism. Who are the Eclectics, the phisomedicalists, Thompsonions? They all interest me. The little taste of Southern folk herbalism history I heard from Phylis Light was brand new and intriguing to me. And what’s going on in European herbalism? I majored in Anthropology and delight in exploring the cultural implications of different schools of thought. I would like to  delve deeper into plant spirit medicine, shamanism, and Native American herbal traditions, too.
  • Continue meeting plants. Plant identification is a journey that never ends. I have lost some of my taxonomy sharpness since I’ve been out of college, so I need to brush up on my plant families and the relations in between them. This year I have meet a few new plants and want to figure out who they are! Soon I’ll post some questionables.
  • Streamline classes. I have been teaching a couple basic herb classes for a while. Each time that I do, I find that I make them more simple and to the point. I have learned that information needs to be accessible and built on a solid foundation, I’d like to apply this to more classes.
  • Learn from other herbalists. One of the reasons I am moving from Duluth is that I need an educational community. I don’t have a lot of experience, so I thirst for the opportunity to learn from others’.  Which is one reason I love reading blogs and books!
  • Read intro books on Chinese medicine. I know I’ll be steeped in Chinese medical theory in school this fall, but I can’t wait.  This summer I want to read/reread these three books:
  1. Between Heaven and Earth. A Guide to Chinese Medicine. by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold.
  2. Wood Becomes Water: Chinese Medicine in Everyday Life. by Gail Reichstein.
  3. The Web that Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine. by Ted Kaptchuck.
  • Organize and downsize! My herb paper work is a disaster. My overzealous tincture making is bursting at the seams. Do I really need 20 ounces of bugelweed in brandy? Help!
  • Work as an herbalist. Yes, I’d like to be a practicing herbalist someday! I have seen a few clients, but I would like to see more. When I’m ready I’d love to embrace herbalism as my full-time job. This is a long-term goal.
  • Promote herbal teas. People ask me all the time where they can buy my teas, besides the web. I have them in one store (Rooted Folks Community Wellness), and I think I could find a couple others, too. I need to get over my fear of marketing and being in business. Yes, I admit it, it is challenging to me. But I’m working on it and realizing that being in a healing field doesn’ t mean that it’s a sin to charge for your services, and that promoting a product doesn’t mean your deceptive.
Filed under: Inspiration


Tea-drinking, nature-loving acupuncturist, East Asian Medicine practitioner, herbalism and birth doula living in the Pacific Northwest.


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