I’ve been studying plant medicine formally since 2010, but practicing since childhood, without knowing it was called “medicine”. As a kid I spent so many days walking through the woods of Eastern Long Island. I filled bottles with plants, rocks, salt water. Not to be ingested, but to act as spells to heal myself and my friends.
I started studying herbalism in 2010 and was thrilled to have the magic of my early plant experiences validated by Karen Rose of Sacred Vibes and all of the teachers at Third Root Community Health Center. I learned latin botanical names, plant constituents, and the chemistry of medicine making, all of which I use in my herbal practice; but most powerfully, I learned to identify the plants around me, to connect with plants as sentient beings, and to listen for their communication. I moved on to study further with Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism for 1.5 years, where I gained a deeper understanding of the energetics of herbs, food as medicine, and flower essence therapy among other topics.
In addition to herbal schooling, I have spent two years apprenticing with Lata Chettri-Kennedy at Flower Power Herbs & Roots, a sanctuary of plant healing and magic in the East Village since 1993. Feeling the pull of wilder spaces, I spent the summers of 2015 & 2016 working with plants outside of the city. First, planting American Ginseng and cultivating medicinal mushrooms in the forests of the Catskill Mountains, and most recently growing organic cut flowers and vegetables in the Hudson Valley. Farm work has been a powerful learning experience – deepening my connection to plants and my sense of feeling at home on this planet, which I am incredibly grateful for.
Nature persists in the city also. The weeds of New York City are often powerful healers, and we have a lot to learn from their resilience.