A Peek Into the Gift of Herbalism

If Spring could be summed up in one word, it would be "growth". As nature sprouts and expands this time of year, we are reminded of our own unique journeys that continually bring us to who and where we are. We have all found various paths of personal growth, and for many of us, plants and the gift of Herbalism have been a profound part of that journey.

Do you feel the connection, a calling that the plants extend to us all? Your experience into Herbalism can be as simple as growing plants in your garden for homemade herbal teas, or experimenting with culinary herbs in the kitchen. Being curious and open minded invites the plants into your life. Some herbalists have stumbled into it, others were led there, while some have been surrounded by Herbalism all of their lives. Today we are sharing the musings of local herbalists, growers, and friends about their journeys.

"I first became interested in herbs when I was about 12 years old when a friend introduced me to Valerian for sleep. I used to see plants as a thing to brighten a room or add aesthetic value to a yard but...they have value beyond measure." (Nicole)

"I believe that growing food and medicine is a path for deeper connection and reciprocal relationship with all species...plant medicine is not only for experts, but can be accessed by anyone." (Cait)

"Over time, the plants have made very clear that their gifts cannot be regulated by any certificate or licensing board. They are available to anyone who wants to get to know them." (Arielle) 

"I have always had a strong relationship with plants. I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't have some sort of garden, helped a loved one with a garden, or escaped to the woods for some time with the plants. As a child I always had a strong desire to know how the plants that grew wild in the forests and fields were used in the past." (Shea)

"I don't really know how I jumped from essential oils to full on herbalism, and even then I still thought of herbs as those in my kitchen cabinet. I had no idea that in most cases they are everywhere as 'weeds'." (Kim J.)

As a child, Molly would explore the Loess Hills around her home and forage for Morel mushrooms. Her mother and grandmother would occasionally come along and explain what plants to be aware of and which ones were safe to eat. "I really didn't choose to be an herbalist. It's a way of living that is true to my authentic self. It allows me to help others and to be connected to the earth, plants, and my ancestors." (Molly)

Chelsea's herbal journey began as a teen when an interest in physiology guided her. She was also discovering how plants can support the body and emotions, receiving her first custom blend to help with depression as a teen. One of her favorite herbs is Rose. "I sit with my grief a lot and Rose has been there for me...the soft petals warm my heart in formulas and soothe my skin, the rosehips offer me nutrition and immunity, and the thorns are protection, helping me declare my boundaries in love and when I'm feeling vulnerable." (Chelsea)

"I became interested in natural and herbal practices during recovery from cancer treatments. I didn't want to lose my hair, so I saw a naturopath who offered me herbs to boost my immune response to chemotherapy. The herbs actually helped other lifelong health issues. Herbalism connects humans with plants. Nature is our best healer, almost everything that we need to stay healthy already exists in nature." (Ramona)

"When I first started my herbal education...I quickly learned that herbs can be used in almost never ending applications to help support the healing process, and to help bring our bodies back into balance." (Dawn)

Megan's journey into herbalism began while visiting an apothecary and asking for a recommendation to help her deal with epilepsy. Herbalism is the greatest gift she has been introduced to, and she credits it with the ability to live a fulfilling life. Her encouragement is, "If you are in a state where it seems like there are no answers, have faith. You may soon come upon that one herb that pulls you in too!" (Megan)

As a local herbalist and farmer, "we installed a large pollinator garden which would feed and shelter wildlife while giving us a wide variety of native plants for flower bouquets and creating products." (Michelle)

"I've found that when it comes to herbs, there is not always a scientific explanation for how using an herb produces a specific effect or result. I've started to call it magic...I define it as something that originates out of the universal force that connects us with the wisdom of the natural world." (Lisa)

If you are longing for a deeper dive into Herbalism, reach out to the ones you know or feel free to connect with the herbalists of Prairie Star. There are also learning opportunities and events in our community, as well as classes and programs that provide further education. Consider joining us here at PSB for our monthly Herb Walks (beginning in late April through September). These free, guided walks will help you to identify wild plants and their medicinal uses. It's also an opportunity to connect with like-minded people and make new friends. Also, please stop by Prairie Star for our annual Plant Sale (on May 2nd from 3-6 pm) where you'll discover an amazing assortment of plants, herbs, vegetables, flowers, and more!

As one friend so eloquently said, "Herbalism teaches a person how to connect with nature and appreciate what life has to offer." And to us, this truly is growth in so many ways!

[This information is for educational purposes and is not intended as medical advice.]







1 comment

  • Sue

    It is a blessing for the growth you provide and simplify a beautiful healing life to explore the beauty in weeds which are herbs also. Thanks for all you do.

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