To me, herbalism is a deep, spiritual connection between us and nature. It is a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual connection between me and the plant I am using. It is listening to the voice of the plants calling out to you. It is being able to identify plants growing all around us and seeing them for more than meets the eye. It is using these plants to make medicine that heals us in every aspect. It is realizing that the world around us is full of love and gives us what we need to survive and thrive.
I can go out in the woods and look around me, my eyes being opened in a way that they were not before…they see things they once overlooked. Suddenly, the world around me becomes a great, mysterious forest and the plants can speak. They grab my attention somehow. I take pictures; I identify and research each one that calls to me. I find out new things about the plants growing all around me and how I can use them to help myself and those around me. I take care to respect each plant. I harvest everything ethically. After all, this is my family property. It has been in my family for generations. I want my grandchildren to enjoy the bounty of this property someday.
To hear the voice of the plants, to identify and research them, to use them to make medicine, this is herbalism. To understand that all plants are not always safe just because they are natural-to respect the power of each plant – is herbalism. To help those in need with our gift is herbalism. Herbalism is not just a hobby or a fun pastime; it is a way of life that encompasses every aspect of my being. From my childhood and until this very day, even in my dreams, I am wandering on some green ethereal plane, finding things undiscovered and magical.