The Richmond Herbalism Guild

Meet Laura B. and Allie H., the two herbal mistresses behind the magick and wonder that has become the Richmond Herbalism Guild – a group of enthusiastic plant devotees who meet regularly to educate and learn from one another, share homemade medicines, and create healing gardens.

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Founded in February 2016, the Richmond Herbalism Guild (RHG) has grown from an informal peer study group to a full fledged organization – with over 500 members on Facebook and a bountiful calendar of events happening all the time and all over town, to engage every variety of budding herbalist around town.

As the group evolves, so do the activities. Lately there have been plant walks, medic training, dinner parties, an herbal book club (currently they’re reading Matthew Wood’s new book), and even Dandelion wine making!

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Allie and Laura are two peas in a pod, and each boasts about what the other brings to their special partnership. It’s a beautiful thing to behold, and I admit, enviable. Allie talks about Laura’s ability to make things happen, from managing the complexities of Facebook marketing to creating synergistic herbal formulas that highlight each herb’s personality.

Laura counts on Allie as the emotional core of the duo and the group, being the dreamer and ideas bearer. She says Allie’s green thumbs are invaluable to the group, as Allie brings the theory and practice of herbalism literally down to Earth.

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In addition to organizing, coordinating, and managing an ever growing network of herbalists, each runs their own unique herbal business. Laura’s Botanicals is where Laura mentors families and teachers her clients how to make the medicines they need. Moonflower Apothecary is Allie’s project, and she grows every single plant used in her products.

Richmond was ripe for the kind of movement, and I’m proud to be in a city with an emerging grass-roots interest in a way of healing that can only be found off the beaten path. It just so happens to be the path on which I find myself most often, so it’s especially rewarding to see a celebration of my craft. I’m grateful to know these two passionate young women who are doing so much for people, plant, and planet, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for their second year in action. Do check them out,and even if you don’t know the first thing about herbs or plant medicine, you’ll be welcomed into the fold of incredible people sharing their love and joy for all things herbal. Once you learn that first thing, you’ll be hooked!

Thanks for reading, and come back weekly for interviews, reviews, and ideas for getting involved with your local plant scene!

Candice

To learn more about the Richmond Herbalism Guild and to get involved, click here.

Click here to learn about Allie at Moonflower Apothecary and here to check out Laura’s Botanicals.

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Spring Tidings

Wow this weekend has been wild! So much is happening, in sync with the newly emerging Vernal season. Every year the beginning of Spring feels like a brand new year, and I know tons of people who share this sentiment. The first blooms popping up out of a slowly warming Earth remind us that the struggle of winter is coming to end. Winter’s struggle is different for everyone, and it could range from a plain lack of love for cold weather to debilitating mood shifts, getting out of Snowmageddon and off to work, or for far too many, finding shelter and food and safety.

In my not so humble opinion, Winter should really be a time for grounding down, resting, working gentler, going inward, and using less energy overall. Spring welcomes emergence from the hibernation, providing relief and adventure to those who have developed cabin fever, and a glorious opportunity to live as the Narcissus blossoms – brightly shining in sun and cloud, stoked about the fact that YOU, yourself, are an amazing presence to behold – whether you do anything ‘spectacular’ or not!

It’s also a great time to use some of the energy you’ve been reserving during winter – burn it off and generate more – doing things that you love. Creating the life you want and the interactions that feed you. Yesterday was such a day for me. I was exhausted by the end of it, but so satisfied with the Spring-ness of everything that I did, that sleep was welcome and anticipation for the morrow settled deep down in my soul.

What did I do yesterday that felt so good? I used my energy wisely. I got up early and headed to Rag and Bones bicycle coop, where the annual Bike! Bike! Southeast is happening this year. A good friend of mine is very involved in bike culture and all kinds of activism, and has been working at the coop since its inception. When I heard this casual conference was happening here in RVA, I offered to have Rebel Herbal sponsor the event with free tea. I set up a table and a FREE TEA! sign, talked to some folks, ran an errand for the organizers, and a few hours later checked out for a bit.Screen shot 2016-03-13 at 1.48.28 PM

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During the checkout time I went to the second meeting of the Richmond Herbalism Guild. My heart swells to think of such a group existing here in Richmond. There were about 15 people in attendance, and one of the group founders gave a nice talk about Violet. I’m really excited to participate and share in the teaching and learning that will happen in this study group, and encourage anyone interested in learning about herbs to join up. You can find them on Facecrack here: Richmond Herbalism Guild

At the meeting I met so many wonderful, amazing, incredible humans that I can’t wait to get to know better. We talked about future events, planning a garden at the Temple of the Cosmic Mothership, tasted some intense tinctures by a local medicine maker, and shared in the gratitude of this group coming into being. I think a lot of goodness is going to come from it. Rebel Herbal will be sponsoring the group with Free Tea! each month. The next meeting is April 9 from 2-4, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an overview/herbalism 101 type of talk. I’ll be teaching about one of my plant lovers at the May meeting. Can’t wait!

These are the types of days that give me a little of everything I need. Social interaction, education, service, celebrating plant medicine, building new relationships and reunion with existing ones, exercise, and quality rest. This Spring it is my intention to immerse myself fully in all the Earthy-spiritual-healing activities I love, without overextending and with holding space for times of quiet reflection. The plants speak to and through me, and this is their guidance. I encourage each of you to utilize the energetic magnificence of the approaching Spring season to dive deeply into what fuels your passions!