Friends outside the herbal-realm, are often a little confused by what it is that I do and that’s understandable. I wear a lot of hats, possibly because I get bored doing the same thing all the time.
I teach classes on herbal preparation and self-care at a local community college and I work with a small group of students each year who want to dig a bit more deeply into the subject of herbs. I have private educational consultations with people who want to safely incorporate herbal preparations into their self-care regimen. I have a handful of clients (mostly doctors) for whom I write patient handouts that incorporate an integrative medicine approach. I also travel around a bit, because I teach at conferences and am the Event Manager for the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference.
When I really want to get my nerd on, I dig out my research and write articles for various herbal publications on the history of healing incorporating some modern research or clinical experience, which backs up the old ways.
I call myself an ethnobotanist, because it is a term that at least some people vaguely understand, but my anthropological focus in college was ethnomedicine.
I investigate far more than how plants were used by a culture because I was taught that to understand a native healing practice, you have to know a place. You have to understand that culture’s history, social structure, agricultural practices, and spiritual beliefs in a way that gives you a complete picture as to how healing occurs in a society-both physical and emotional.
Because I was interested in connecting with my ancestors, my focus has been on historical healing practices in Ireland and the British Isles. This means I have compiled a pretty massive library of electronic sources and actual books, written about stuff that only a handful of people would truly be interested in reading.
Recently, Kiva asked me to share some of my research and I got a LOT of response to that post and realized my research was in a mess. At the same time, the Universe also contrived to keep me at my desk. So now some of you, may benefit from my broken foot, some rainy weather and a pretty impressive display of OCD on my part.
All of my sources have been plugged into my OneNote or Zotoro and are easily exportable. Though it meant putting other projects on the back-burner briefly, I think this will help me be more productive in the long run.
Hopefully, if I have managed all my tech right, you will be able to click on the image in this post and download my 20 page research bibliography.