Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Plants as Medicine

Herbalism is not something I grew up with. I used to know my way around a suburban drug store blindfolded. Tiny headache? Toss back some aspirin. Sore throat? Pop some pill that not only covers sore throats but body aches, congestion, and a trailing list of symptoms. Follow that with a menthol-laden, syrupy cough drop and you're good to go. I didn't think there was any other way.

Even when I became enamored with whole foods and started looking at the back of my cereal boxes to ensure I knew all the ingredients--I never hesitated taking a pill at the slightest sign of sickness. I was getting a little queasy about supporting big pharma...

Then I began to find myself in the company of people who love plants and love to use plants. I got the chance to interview the amazing ethnobotanist/herbalist Phyllis Hogan...and it was a revelation=Plants as Medicine?!

Alison Budner's amazing herbalism courses at Garden for the Environment have been a beginning for me, a chance to take charge of my own health, my own healing. Totally empowering.

So as you head out on your next summer hike check out Ali's beautifully hand-drawn info sheets on Herbal First Aid (download the full PDF here) -- remember an herb or two that you can rely on to relieve poison ivy or comfort a bug bite.

I'll share more info as I continue to learn more about these healing herbs--send me your suggestions too.

Thank you Ali!

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