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