|Fire Cider, the first herbal medicine I learned to make at Twin Star.|
This past March I started Foundations of Herbalism a beginner’s 8-month course to learning about herbs and herbal medicine. I am taking the classes through Twin Star Connecticut’s School of Herbal Studies in New Milford, CT. I have wanted to take this program for a year but was hesitant due to the time and financial commitment. Now two months into classes I am so incredibly grateful for this experience.
|Stinging Nettle a powerful diuretic and astringent herb.|
Herbalism or Herbology is the use of plants for medicinal purposes. Although the practice of herbalism dates back to 60,000 years ago, today herbalism is scene as an alternative to modern medicine. Herbalism’s history runs deep in Native American, Greek, Egyptian and Chinese culture. Currently Asian and African countries still use herbal medicine for 80 percent of their primary health care according to the World Health Organization. In America the FDA regulates herbal remedies as dietary supplement. Herbalists can’t make any medical claims that herbalism is scientifically proven. Through Twin Star I have learned that although the plants for centuries have proven to be effective. As a society we have shunned away from the herbs and have been driven to believe by the pharmaceutical businesses that pills can fix are aliments.
|Bloodroot Flower, native to Connecticut its root is blood red.|
This course has taught me that plants can help us tremendously with life’s health bumps. Modern western medicine is great for urgent care. If you get into a car accident go to the hospital. But in terms of the smaller day-to-day issues herbs can be very useful. Whether it be a winter cold, headache, chronic pain or depression there are a variety of herbs that can be of aid to us. As American Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar states in her book Herbal Recipes, its is not about getting sick and fixing the sickness its about living a life to your healthiest potential so you don’t end up sick at all.
|Making herbal oils with my classmates|
|Lupo reads from a flower identification book.|
|Yarrow in West Philadelphia|
|Mugwort smudges made by my friend Isabelle|
I am looking forward to continuing on with this course. The process has been transformative. I feel more connected to nature than I ever have before. I look forward to sharing my herbalism experience here with you all. I already know that this is a journey that won’t just shape the next year of my life but will last a lifetime.
|Chamomile in West Philly|
All Photos taken by Arvolyn Hill