David Harder RH (AHG) is a clinical herbalist and registered member of the American Herbalist Guild.
He has been a student of nutrition and botanical medicine for over 30 years. He is trained in diet and nutrition as well as in the systems of
Western and Chinese herbal medicine. He practices at Nature’s Way in Easton, Pennsylvania, a store he and his wife opened in 1975.
What motivated you to become a clinical herbalist?
I’ve always been a person who enjoys the outdoors: a woodsman, gardener, back to the roots type person. An interest in studying herbs came instinctually. Historically,
all cultures used plants a means to better health, and I was fascinated by the subject.
I tried to bone up on my own, but I was reticent of just offering info I had read in a magazine or book. There weren’t a whole lot of resources that put together a
local herbal system based on historical facts. A lot of what David Winston teaches is a system of how to apply use of herbs and being a person who respects facts, that made sense to me.
Now I see how lacking most individuals must be in answering people’s questions.
How do you incorporate your herbal practice into your retail setting? How does DSHEA factor into your way of operating?
I use my knowledge to educate customers. I answer their questions in the aisles and also offer free services for 15 minute sit-downs on a given day. On Thursdays from 11–5 people
can bring their bag of supplements from whatever they have been shopping and ask me about them. This is not a sales pitch, it is a free service that just helps develop relationships.
It’s good marketing for the store, and really helps people. It helps me hone my skills, too.
I also offer appointments for a fee for those who require a more in depth service, where I can apply myself more thoroughly. I have a small office in the store. I do restrict
my practitioner hours because I have a store to run.
People are hungry for information, especially that which has been used by their ancestors. They want to be able to help themselves and I can help them with that. DSHEA works well
in this format. I educate my customer as to how they can strengthen their constitution, how they can nourish and improve the normal function of their body.