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  • Writer's pictureEmily Martin

What Herbalism Means to Me

My grandmother passed away in 2004, just a few short months after I graduated high school. I remember visiting her on several occasions and seeing books of natural remedies. She would often spout out information about drinking this or that for a stomach ache, or rubbing your hand in such a way to rid yourself of a headache. Even as a teen I thought it was an interesting concept. It wasn't until my 20's when I had a headache that I thought, "Well, I can take a pain reliever for my headache, but I wonder what's causing it?" In my 30's I found herbalism, not just herbalism, but Traditional Chinese Medicine. In TCM, we don't just teach you how to get rid of a headache, we dig deeper to tell you why you have them and fix that issue. A genuine holistic approach to medicine.

Herbalism to me, isn't just addressing illness symptomatically, but getting down to the root. To me its using a gentle approach to balance our body and using what God gave us to heal and nourish ourselves.

I love the idea that herbalism has been passed down from generation to generation, mother to daughter to son. Herbalism is finding what works from one person to the next. Its going on instinct about what plant to use and when and how much. Its barefoot in the kitchen simmering a pot of ginger root and steeping peppermint leaves to make a tea for a stubborn cold. Its going out to the yard to find plantain leaves to give to the neighbor boy who got stung by a wasp. Its helping your neighbor when she has a sore back or passing along bottle of freshly made elderberry syrup to the family down the street. Its about sharing what you've learned and continuing the traditions that have been passed down from the ages. Herbalism is timeless.

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