Have a question you don’t see here? Don’t hesitate to be in touch!
What is herbalism?Herbalism is the practice of using whole plants or broad-spectrum plant extracts to support physical or emotional health. Plants might be used as teas, broths, syrups, powders, tinctures (alcohol extracts), glycerites (glycerine extracts), capsules, or topical preparations depending on the condition being supported and the plant being used. Herbalism is not the same as homeopathy, aromatherapy, or naturopathy. Essential oils, homeopathic remedies, or flower essences may be used in herbalism, but this is highly variable between herbalists and is rarely the focus of herbal care. Herbalism can be successfully used alongside other alternative therapies or conventional medical care, including medications. In the vast majority of cases, herbalism can enhance the efficacy and/or reduce the side-effects of the other therapies being used, including medications. However, there are a small number of instances where herbs and medications can interact badly, so it is advisable to seek professional herbalist advice if you are taking medications and wish to start taking herbs.
Are you a doctor? Do you offer medical care? No, I am a clinical herbalist. This means I have gone through extensive training in human physiology, nutrition, herbal chemistry and pharmacology, and herb-drug interactions, but I cannot diagnose illness, prescribe medications, or order lab tests. I use my training to offer you education and resources tailored to your unique situation. If necessary and with your permission, I can consult with your doctor to make sure you are getting the most out of both your medical care and your herbal care.
Are you licensed? No, there is currently no licensing available for clinical herbalists in the United States.
How do I get herbs? Herbal supplements are widely available in healthfood stores, co-ops, and many online retailers. Unfortunately, the herbal supplement industry is full of poor quality products, so it is best to do your research and not get caught up in the marketing hype when selecting herbal products to purchase. In the central UP we are lucky to have a few wonderful local herbal supplement companies, and abundant wild lands. It is possible to grow or wild-harvest many herbs in this area, though it is important to be very certain of plant identification and to be conscious of not over-harvesting wild species. In order to provide a convenient source of high quality herbs for clients, I maintain a stock of the herbs that I commonly recommend.
If I come see you, do I have to buy herbs from you? Definitely not! You are free to gather, grow, or buy herbs from anyone you’d like! You are also welcome to come in just to learn without intending to take herbs at all. If you would like to purchase herbs elsewhere, be aware that unfortunately the herbal supplement industry is poorly regulated and full of ineffective and poor quality products. I offer apothecary services to make sure that there is a source of high quality herbal supplements for my clients. If you would prefer to buy herbs elsewhere, I am happy to offer advice on the better quality companies.
I’m interested, but I don’t have a lot of money. Is there a way for me to access herbalism cheaply? Very likely yes, but it may take a little extra time investment. My consultations all operate on a sliding scale price (see Offerings for more information). If the low end of the sliding scale feels prohibitively expensive, I’m happy to work with you to see if we can come up with a price that is affordable to you, and/or consider trades. I would love to be able to offer consultations for free, however, I am unable to do so at this time. In regards to herbs, I am happy to work with you to utilize herbal preparations that are less expensive (usually teas or powders rather than tinctures or capsules), and/or herbs that you might be able to grow or gather yourself. Please don’t hesitate to reach out! I am more that happy to speak with you honestly for a few minutes about your situation and whether or not herbalism might be supportive and realistic.