What first seized your interest about herbal medicine?
Plants have played a part in my life in different ways over the years. I was an avid gardener and urban farmer for years. I worked as a Master Gardener for a few years and started and ran a youth garden in our neighborhood. Working in the office at The Nature Conservancy for almost a decade, I had learned some about native plants. While all of those experiences connected me somewhat to plants, a whole different world opened to me when I learned of the use of medicinal plants. Previously a plant had been just an image and a name to remember, and there wasn’t much excitement to that learning process. Once I learned a medicinal use for a plant, that knowledge became so much more alive. No longer were plants just something to be studied or appreciated from afar. It has become almost an obsession to learn more.
When did you begin formal herbalist training and with whom? How has that shaped your practice?
I first began formal training with Nicholas Schnell in 2011. I think that who you study with will guide you in how you assess your clients. It will always somewhat inform how you go about creating formulas and what herbs and traditions you lean towards. Nicholas has a very warm, friendly approach yet still maintains a very busy practice which is nice to see.
After studying with Nicholas for three years I was able to apply for and be accepted as a Registered Herbalist (RH). I went on to study with David Winston for the last three years. There is simply so much herbal knowledge out there that I don’t think you can ever stop learning. We absorb what we can from all our teachers and then integrate it or change it to make it fit our own style or personality—growing, growing, growing all along the way.