Self Sufficient Herbalism
I love to work with locally sourced herbs and I grow or gather at least 75% of my dispensary. I call this way of working 'self sufficient herbalism'.
As a herbal practitioner, there are many really good reasons for me to grow and gather my own herbs. I can take extra care during harvesting and processing so that the levels of therapeutic constituents are maximised. I can avoid adding to the burden of demand for scarce and endangered species. I can work with plants which may no longer be commercially available but which are very valuable and effective medicines. I can be shielded from sudden changes in the availability of commercially produced herbs which in turn allows me to maintain continuity of treatment for my patients. Most of my herbs are sourced within two miles of my clinic so my way of working helps to minimise my environmental footprint.
Working closely with living herbs allows me to build a proper relationship with them, they're not just a commodity or an input to my business. Herbs are wonderful agents of healing and deserve to be valued and respected. While growing, harvesting and processing my herbs I use positive healing visualisations and mantra recitation as is the traditional way in Tibetan Medicine.
There is so much that I could say about self sufficient herbalism. I could talk about the reasons why it's beneficial and the practicalities of how to grow and wild craft herbs. I could describe the best ways of harvesting, processing and storage. In fact I have so much to say about it that I have written a whole book on the subject. It will be published by Aeon Books in the Spring of 2020. I'm very excited to be able to share my knowledge of self sufficient herbalism with others who feel inspired to source more of their own herbs.