|Linden Tree Herbals||
|Linden Tree Herbals||
From the archives! Originally written February 2015.
One of my personal goals for this year is to offer my plant medicine and herbal crafts to the wider world. I intend to help build an awareness of herbal options for your average person, both by education and providing hard-to-find herbal resources in the form of tinctures, teas, salves, oils, balms, honeys that I make myself from local plants I've harvested myself. Most importantly, I intend to do all of this with integrity and care for the plants and for the environment we all live in.
The guiding principles of my herbal experience and consequently Linden Tree Herbals are these:
Wildcraft ethically. Make positive identification. Harvest abundant species in clean habitats. Never over-harvest. Always leave a population with plenty of flowers to turn into seeds, seeds and roots to sow the next generation, leaves to provide sustenance.
Encourage new growth of plants and people. Plant seeds. Create lovely gardens for plants not found abundantly in my area (Calendula, anyone?). Provide information via blog posts, website, email, and discussion. Create and foster open-minded, non-judgmental dialogue with others - about plants, medicine, health, healing, and all the different ways we choose to live our lives.
Use what's around you. If I can't find it in the wild or grow it in my garden, I'd rather not make medicine with it. The deep connection that comes from knowing the entire lifecycle of the plants in my medicine is worth so much more than convenience. If this means I offer less quantity or variety, so be it.
Continually test and experiment. I test everything myself. Often I have one or several of my group of unofficial (and super helpful) herb testers try things out too, before they are included in my official herbal repertoire. Try new things all the time, and have fun experimenting.
Environmentally-conscious supply decisions. Wildcraft ethically. Use organic, sustainably grown ingredients (base oils, alcohols, butters, beeswax) whenever possible. Use locally-made products whenever possible. When local, organic and/or sustainably grown ingredients are not possible, consider the source. Before making supplier decisions consider the following: origin of harvest, origin of manufacture, sustainable or 'green' business practices, transportation and shipping costs, supplier's treatment of their workers, environmental condition of source area (for consumable supplies), recycled content and recyclability (for packaging materials).
Environmentally-conscious packaging decisions. Package using recycled, recyclable, biodegradable, compostable containers whenever possible. All effort will be made to NOT use plastic containers - even those made with recycled materials. Seek to package products using materials that consumers can reuse, recycle, or compost.
Support other herbalists. Promote the work(s) of trusted herbalists. Refer clients when appropriate. Always give credit to another herbalist for their work, ideas and teachings. Share experiences, observations, results, recipes, and guidance when requested.
I readily admit, at times these principles (especially those around source material and packaging) feel...overwhelming. It can be hard work to use unconventional methods. For example, I have been researching and making decisions on packaging, labeling, and other supplies since October. I am often surprised by the depth of research and all the factors to consider when it's time to choose something as seemingly simple as business cards, or salve jars.
At the end of the day, it is important to me to create and sustain the type of business that I wish was easier to find - trusted, reliable, environmentally conscious and operating with integrity.