Welcome to Our Healing Roots, a blog exploring natural medicine that returns us to the roots of health and wellbeing. Our Healing Roots, LLC, is a private natural healthcare practice and experiential learning center that advocates the safe use of integrated, natural medicine. Many healing ways have gone by the wayside with the advent of conventional medicine. While it is important to receive professional medical advice for serious conditions, there are many things we can do at home to prevent disease and maintain our health. The Latin word for doctor is docere, which means to be a teacher. Our Healing Roots wholehearted embraces the importance of teaching in healthcare, so that people feel empowered about their health and wellbeing. More information about this business can be found at www.ourhealingroots.net.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ozark Folk Center: Herbal Field Trip and Medicinal Herb Workshop

At the beginning of April each year, the Ozark Folk Center hosts the Herbal Field Trip and Medicinal Herb Workshop. It is two days packed with hiking, learning, tasting herbal treats and downright humor and fun. The Ozark Folk Center is tucked away beautiful Mountain View, Arkansas. This year's event took place last Friday and Saturday. This week on my blog, I will be sharing my experience of this year's event.

At this year's event, I had the rare opportunity to meet Rosemary Gladstar. When I was transitioning my career aspirations from astronaut to naturopathic physician, I read her books and tried several of her herbal recipes with my mom's encouragement. I remember venturing into the herb stores and the local community garden to build my first collection of dried herbs for medicine making. Her writings made herbal medicine approachable. Because of her, I was inspired to learn more and pursue my career. I have always wanted to meet Rosemary in person, and this event provided just the opportunity.

Rosemary Gladstar grew up by her grandmother's side in the garden learning the healing properties of herbs. As a young adult, she lived in the forest and foraged for her meals for several months. In 1972, she opened her first herb store in California. In these past 35 years, she has written several books and taught around the world about herbal medicine. She has been called the fairy godmother of herbal medicine. If you are new to botanical medicine, I highly recommend her latest book Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide.

When Rosemary was first learning about herbal medicine, she was taught that wildcrafting herbs was the best source to find herbal medicines. Wildcrafting is the collection of plants from their natural environments, such as the forest. However due to overharvesting (particularly to meet industry need), several medicinal plant species are now in danger, such as goldenseal, American Ginseng and many others. We can help prevent these species from being lost by purchasing from cultivated (i.e. organically farmed) sources rather than wildcrafted sources of these plants. Rosemary Gladstar founded an organization called United Plant Savers, which is dedicated to preserving our native species of plants in North America. You can find out more about this organization and how to join at http://www.unitedplantsavers.org/.

Who has inspired you in botanical/herbal medicine?

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