Working with Plants Toward Healing & Vitality
I help people integrate herbal allies into their daily lives. I don't recommend herbal supplements-- no pills here. I'm not an allopathic-minded herbalist who might provide a list of “what’s good for this symptom” plants. My understanding of health is strongly influenced by vitalist perspectives which affirm that Life is a strong force that is sometimes depleted, obstructed, or diminished by a number of factors. With this in mind, I am tuned in to listen for all the things that nourish the impulse to Life in my clients. I am trained in a variety of systems of energetics, and each one advocates balance as key to vitality. I am interested in lifestyle effects (sleep,diet, movement, stress) on overall health, joy and resilience. Mostly I work with tea and food, (including vinegar-, glycerine-, and honey-based extracts), and topicals, all of which are powerful daily allies to health, especially when combined with movement and sleep!
I am happy to answer your questions about what the work is like, or what brought me to this part of my work. This is what the herbal timeline/consult often looks like:
Before we enter into the herbalist-client relationship, you will receive an Informed Disclosure Form which clarifies and affirms that I am not a medical doctor (nor do I want to be!).
We schedule an intake, in person or via video (phone also possible, but video is better). This is usually an hour to 75-minutes. I will ask you a lot of questions and take a lot of notes. Behind the scenes, I am tapping into everything I know about energetics, tissue states, herbal constituents and actions, and more, forming a picture of the story you are telling me. I imagine it as a tree-shaped story where some things are branches and leaves, and other things are root concerns.
Herbal Preparations & Formulas
If you are with me in person, we may spend the last bit of time blending a tea or talking about how to make a specific herbal preparation. If we are on video or the phone, or in person, together we will consider what kinds of remedies you are willing to use (She who does not like herbal tea would not be served by a recommendation for herbal tea--- how about an herbal vinegar as a water additive then?). Depending on what comes up, as in the in-person sessions, we will spend some time determining basic herbal formulas that suit your needs and situation.
Recipes and Recommendations
I will send a follow-up by email or postal mail with recipes and recommendations. Depending on where you are, I may be able to connect you with a local herb source or apothecary in your area. I am a strong proponent of people connecting with plants directly, so if you’re game, I’ll probably try to teach you about plant id for something local to you, and preparation, so you can do some home herbalist things on your own. If kitchen-chemistry isn’t your thing, don’t worry, Herbs are available at the grocery store and health food store and on the internet!
Most important step (or second most important after step #1), is the follow-up. We will have a 30-minute follow-up visit that is scheduled at the time of the first visit. I don’t charge for this because it’s part of the consultation. If we need more than 30 minutes, we should consider booking an entire hour for a second consultation. The follow-up is usually 2-3 weeks after the initial visit, and it is the time to report on progress and tweak the recommendations, as needed.
I don’t sell products. I may give samples to clients and students, of things that we work on together, but when you pay me, you are paying for an educational consultation customized in response to the information obtained in the intake process. The cost of herbs is yours, as is the decision to follow any recommendations for further consideration that come up in our time together. I can help you find a supplier, and I can help you with recipes and troubleshooting.
My training includes a decade of self-directed study and attending conferences with more experienced herbalists before I entered into a two-year apprenticeship at Blazing Star School of Herbal Studies in Ashfield, MA (2012-2014) where I received a very good foundation in the basics of plants, chemical constituents, body systems, herbal actions, herbal preparations and more. The move from self-taught, home herbalist to Community Herbalist came about because of those two years of apprenticeship. After a short break (resulting from becoming a mother at 42!!), I continued my education with a year of focused clinical herbal study at the Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism (2017) in Boston. And since then, I have continued to grow my clinical skills by participating in some seasons of a clinical roundtable with other herbalists to discuss cases, conditions, and simply grow as an herbalist. I am a member of The American Herbalists Guild, and a proud supporter of Herbalists Without Borders.
Central to my work as an herbalist are commitments to increase accessibility to herbalism-- education and consultation --- and to use easily available plants in my work. Where possible, I am working with local plants, either found or cultivated. Many, many herbal allies exist in spice cabinets!
I offer consultation (75 minutes) + initial follow-up (30 minutes) on a sliding scale basis. Recommended range for the sliding scale is $75-$125. I offer some sessions at a lower rate as part of my commitment to increase access to herbal care.