Tiffany Davies' company, Embark Herbals, provides herbal consultations, wellness consultations, custom formulas, natural remedies, tinctures, bulk herbs, bulk teas, glycerites, herbal infused vinegars, herbal infused oils, natural body care products, natural home cleaning products, organic products, environmentally conscious products, green products, herbal workshops, herbal classes, an herbal blog and cleaning services to Berks County and Chester County, PA, and the surrounding areas.
How did you first become interested in the world of herbs?
My relationship with plants began under a Willow tree in the park near my childhood home, when I was 9 years old. I remember sitting with him by the stream, and, as he shared his wisdom with me, I’d write it down, in the form of poetry. He revealed to me the error of human ways and the sorrow it caused and brought to him. But more importantly, it was through his grace and gentle compassion in which I saw he prayed for us, that he taught me to keep a tender heart and the desire to heal and bring hope in the lives of others and into this world.
That was the beginning of my path; that was the moment my heart called me to be a healer. From there, my passion grew throughout my teenage years as I devoured any books, brochures, and even descriptions on tea boxes that I could find! I tinkered with trying different herbs and making things from plants. I spent a lot of time alone in nature and started listening to what the plants had to say. I found that if I conveyed my intentions to plants, that they’d speak back to me and tell me where to find them. As a child, this started with Four-Leaf Clovers, innocently enough. Whenever a friend was down on their luck or feeling blue, I’d ask the Four-Leafs where I could find one to give to a friend, to make them feel better. The first time I tried this, I found a whole patch! Something clicked for me when that happened. This awareness opened up, and so I just kept doing it and building upon my relationship with different plants. I still do this today, by the way; I’ve found dozens over the years! I taught others to do it, and they couldn’t believe it when it worked! At the time, I didn’t know communicating with plants was a thing that humans had been doing all throughout history.
When I bought my first house, it was a little cape cod with this beautiful, majestic Tulip Poplar tree out back. As I talked to him, I felt this protection and love emanating from his being, and I knew he cared for us. Later, in David’s class, I learned the Cherokee lived in cape cods that they covered with the bark of the Tulip Poplar. The Poplar bark literally protected them! I was living a tradition that went back hundreds, if not thousands, of years and connected me to my ancestors! I was right where I was meant to be. I was so sad to leave him when I moved, but now I live in a house with probably 50 Tulip Poplars around me, and I know he is still with me through them and they all know me.
When I was 20, I started a green cleaning business. All my clients knew I studied herbs too and would ask me questions about what they, or their loved ones, could take for this ailment, or that condition. I realized I needed to learn more about therapeutic dosages and preparations if I was going to help them, responsibly. One of my cleaning client’s mother had taken David’s class, and she told me how to get in contact with him. So, I set forth to embark on the next stage of my journey. That’s where I came up with the name for my company, Embark Herbals. It sums up how I feel about this venture. Not just for me, but as a societal collective. We are all in this together, plants and people and all living things alike.
Tell us about your education, and how David Winston’s training influenced your path.
My ancestors were Cherokee, like David’s. That was also part of what intrigued me to take his class. I had all these questions about my heritage and how they used plants to heal because I felt like that was where my passion for natural medicine instinctually came from, at least in part. So much of what David taught my class filled in the missing pieces for me and showed me that all the things I had been doing and feeling intuitively were part of the Cherokee way. That helped me grow by teaching me to trust my intuition and heart; it was revealed to me that they had been guiding me down the right path all along. To me, that is just as much a part of healing, and guiding others towards their healing, if not more so, as the medicinal metabolites in the plants.
Cognitively, David’s class answered my questions regarding specific indications, preparation ratios and dosages, that I had not come across in my studies so far (although not for lack of seeking that information). After completing David’s classes, I continued my training by mentoring with herbalist Don Ollsin and taking foraging and remedy making classes. My education also includes a bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology, pre-med, and a minor in health science because I wanted to incorporate a scientific understanding of illness and healing into my practice in addition to the traditional and indigenous uses of natural medicine.