November 16, 2012

Moving in a new direction

After 25 years as an online herbalist, I've come to a fork in the road. I recently closed All Goode Gifts and moved from the beautiful, albeit rugged, upper peninsula of Michigan back "home" to Colorado Springs, CO.

There were many reasons for this, and though I closed one chapter of my life, I'm starting a brand new one and am excited about the possibilities and opportunities that await around the corner.

I've always loved teaching and lecturing. (Just ask my husband and sons!) After watching how Herbalism has changed through the years, I really want to get out there and help empower people by educating them. Unfortunately, I am seeing far too many "hacks" for lack of a better term, out there promoting themselves as experts and putting out some pretty wild and sometimes dangerous information. I love this field and take it very seriously, and it just frosts me to read some of the "advice" from self-proclaimed experts that can really do more harm than good, or those who seem to prey on the inexperienced and charge exorbitant amounts for things that can easily be done in your own kitchen. Yes, safely.

So as I move further into this education realm, here's the lesson for this week: Please do your own research and seek out those herbalists who are well-established and have been out there doing this for a reasonable amount of time, especially if they are going to charge you for whatever they are suggesting.

Run, do not walk, if someone uses the word "cure" relating to herbs. Now, as a disclaimer, those of us who have walked this path for some time have some tried and true "remedies" that we use and fall back on, but most of the really good herbalists I know would never promise a cure or even use that word. It's irresponsible and can be dangerous, so please take all advice with a grain of salt, and educate yourself. The Internet is full of information that is, dare I say it, FREE for the taking! I am amazed at what some folks are charging for info that is very basic and readily available.

I will take a moment to put in a plug for one of my favorite herbalists, Tina Sams. She is the editor of The Essential Herbal Magazine and it's been around for quite a while. (Is it 7 or 8 years, T?) is the address and it is a great place to start if you want to learn about herbs, their uses, their history, folklore, etc. Lots of great herbalists contribute to the magazine and it's always full of interesting, useable information. (T, just put the check in the mail!!)

If you have questions about health and wellness, feel free to contact me at Others learn by your questions, so don't be shy. I'll never use your personal information and love answering questions and helping you down the herbal path. Don't be a stranger!

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