Someone must be saying nice things about me. I've had a flurry of new subscribers (Welcome!) over the past several weeks, the type of traffic that arrives after a news article or a radio spot, neither of which I've done recently.
With so many new subscribers and it being a while since my last letter, I figured I should introduce myself, again. I'll say it differently so that those of you who've attended classes or spent time decanting tinctures with me might remain engaged.
I'm an herbalist but I don't have a brick and mortar shop. I work from "the herb room", my daughter's former bedroom that's now my workroom/office. I have a son, too. Now in their 30's my kids are sharp herbalists in their own right and often tell me what I should take for whatever thing I'm complaining to them about.
I'm an environmental scientist who's internship included collecting, identifying and preserving wildflowers for a desert wildlife refuge. The project kickstarted my lifelong research on plants and how they interact with human physiology. I took that environmental science degree and worked at an environmental education center leading outdoor labs with school children. A few years later I became a high school biology teacher and worked at a self-paced high school, meaning in each school year I might teach chapter 41, the reproductive system, around 40 or 50 times. Self-paced classrooms count teaching years like dog years. As a consequence of this, my herb lectures are biology lectures. My current continuing education class for massage therapists is a biology class. I'm told that whenever a person communicates their passion, it is invariably interesting. I know that cannot always be true. But I feel strongly that when a person understands the workings behind the scenes, they're more invested in the process and thereby become empowered to act on their own behalf.
I'm a business owner. My online herb shop is called La Yerberia Botanicals. Yerberia means herb shop in Spanish and there are many tiny yerberias where I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas-Mexico border. It was a slow start when I founded the company in 2009, but today I'm kept busy making salves, lotions and tinctures for retail and wholesale. When I look back I realize I owe all my success to clients who shared with their friends and acquaintances about me and the whole herbs I represent. I am fortunate to have dedicated cheerleaders (you know who you are <3) who continue to promote my formulas and make it possible for this life as a plant medicine advocate and facilitator.
I'll leave you with a link to an interview from a year ago. It's me talking about the aroma of desert rain and the plant responsible for that scent, Creosote (Larrea tridentata). The monsoon has recently arrived here in Tucson and every desert creature is happy for these annual rains.