I never knew that I would become an herbalist. I didn’t even know what that was when I was growing up: no one I ever met went to see an herbalist for help with health issues. However, fortunately for me, my extended family has always had a streak of non-conformity when it comes to health and healthcare. My dad’s side of the family especially: out of 8 children, 5 became chiropractors, and everyone pretty much avoids pharmaceutical drugs. I never realized until I was much older how unusual this is, or how much it impacted me growing up.
These 8 kids – my dad and his brothers and sisters – were raised by a whole-food-loving mother who had grown up on a farm, and by an entrepreneurial father who believed in creating your own work – work that you love. I didn’t get nearly enough time with these grandparents of mine, but I still feel their impact on the family they raised. It seems that their influence even got passed down to me, this combination of entrepreneurialism and love of alternative medicine… I am now firmly planted in the world of herbalism and have a strong commitment towards creating fulfilling work that I love and that helps others. I have my grandparents and my family to thank for this.
I really started getting into herbalism about 8 years ago, after years of studying plants through different lenses: through horticulture, botany, ecology and ethnobotany. I loved all of these intellectual disciplines, but none – not even the hands-on aspect of horticulture – was really fulfilling for me in the way that I was seeking. I wanted to do something unusual and pioneering, something challenging, even bold. I wanted to be independent and do my own thing, but have a like-minded community of support around me. And now, I have found, I also really want to share my love of plants and teach others how to use and relate to them.
For me, herbalism is all of this, and lets me grow and evolve in ways that I never could have expected. Finding one’s specific work within the world of herbalism is a long and sometimes winding path, but also a very fulfilling one.
If the plants call, you must listen. If your heart is in it, your work will always be joyful.