In Favor of Herbal Outlaws

I just listened to this podcast (you can listen to the second part here).  It’s from the Free Herbalism Project lecture series hosted by Mountain Rose Herbs. Rosemary Gladstar was the main speaker for this portion of it.  She’s a pioneer of the modern herbal movement and ‘godmother of American Herbalism’. Rosemary, in herbal circles, is kind of a big deal.


I wish I could have been there to see this live, because she is such a great speaker and is really passionate about herbalism. I’m glad to have her as a figurehead for wildcrafters, foragers, herbalists, and everyone else who puts their hands in dirt and green things to cultivate miracles.

Now — the part that where I got angry.

Rosemary talked about how practicing herbalism in the US is illegal. That fact surprised me — I didn’t know that at all.  Herbalists have to practice secretly and recommend that their treatments are just for “educational purposes”, rather than medical use.  She explains that most medicines and their side effects are worse than any effects you can get from plants and she gives a great call to action to change laws to include herbalism as a legitimate practice.  It makes sense, as 75% of the world uses herbalism to great effect in regular medical treatment.

Rosemary is a badass herbal outlaw and I want to be just like her.

As a forager and kindred spirit, this two-part podcast seriously pissed me off and made me want to change things.  I love the idea of healing the body with plants and healthy foods rather than using medications as a temporary fix, and think everyone should try it out *within reason*.  I hate that my insurance won’t support any kind of treatment along these lines. If you have any questions about my sordid past with medication, as me about my experience with hormonal birth control.  I get pretty passionate about it and have very good reasons for never touching hormonal anything again.

Anyway, I think public education and debunking myths is the best way to get people interested in making a more inclusive change in the medical industry, so I figured I’d start here on my little blog.

– This link will lead you to more information about Rosemary and how awesome she is.  She also is a part of Health Without Harm, which is a non-profit advocate against animal testing for herbal use in cosmetics, etc.

– Want to hear more podcasts like this one? Check it out here.

– For those of you who are readers from back home in the Appalachias, there’s a botanical sanctuary you can visit in Rutland, OH sponsored by United Plant Savers.  It’s super close to Huntington/Parkersburg area, so I will judge you if you are still in the area, love plants, and don’t visit for me.  Seriously considering a Christmas trip there with my mom.

– If you want to throw even more support in this direction, head to the National Health Freedom Coalition site to donate your time or money to changing laws related to botanical/herbal use in the medical sector.


~ Meg

3 thoughts on “In Favor of Herbal Outlaws

  1. This is fascinating to me. I am currently looking into visiting the sanctuary. I’d love to learn more about how to use these types of herbs…I just don’t know much about their specific medicinal properties and such. Let me know if you have any good resources for learning!

  2. Interesting, I never heard of the term Herbalism but I am definitely going to check out that podcast. Coincidently, I have a post to go up soon about “strange” health remedies. I’d be interested to hear what you think of my story 🙂

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