I like my herbs just like my food: real, whole, and grown with love. Herbs have incredible properties… but what happens before they’re in the bottle? Everything is energy and if herbs are not treated appropriately as they’re grown, that’s not something we want in our body. This is one of the 1000 reasons why I am incredibly proud to be partnered with Herb Pharm: their commitment to making herbs accessible in the right way is so important. This summer, I toured their farm in Williams, Oregon, (outside Medford) and it was the coolest experience. I learned how much goes into growing their 70+ organic herbs and sourcing even more from around the world, how they extract them, and how they create their incredible tinctures.
I had the opportunity to interview Herb Pharm’s Herbalist & Botanical Affairs Supervisor, Alexis Durham on the Meathead Hippie Podcast.
In episode #100, we chatted about her work with herbal education, sourcing and farming practices with herbs, and focused on a few herbs that are just magic:
- Let’s start with your own journey into herbs. Was it something you grew up with? Or something you were exposed to? Tell me a little bit about getting into herbalism?
- It was really accidental to be honest with you. I had no idea this would ever turn into a career for me or that it even existed as a career. I grew up in a really small town where we didn’t have access to alternative forms of care so when I found out about herbalism and that these plants can support the body it was kind of shocking to me. I mean we had certainly cooked with them in my home and used mint in tea and things. But that really expanded my view of what plants are able to do.
I had initially obtained a business degree, which has actually served me really well. But at the time that I graduated I worked for a few years and found that that wasn’t very satisfying, so I started looking into ways that I felt like I could do more to help people.
Q: Being an herbalist feels like a dream job. I would love to hear more about your experience day to day with Herb Pharm.
A: I really LOVE my job – I feel incredibly fortunate to do this. The biggest part of what I do is education. I’ve been heavily involved with our internship program and educating customers. I’m the first line of contact when customers have questions about products, plants, or how things are made. It’s fun to talk to people and have a positive impact in your work – herbs make a difference in people’s lives. It’s an honor to be a part of helping people create a relationship with plants.
Q: What should everyone know or care about when sourcing herbs?
A: If your herbs are farmed, you want them to be Certified Organic whenever possible. These are plants we are taking to support our own health, so you don’t want them to be sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. If you’re purchasing local, sometimes the Certified Organic seal can be costly, so talk to your farmer!
We focused on herbs and IMMUNE SUPPORT* in our second episode (#119) after my visit to the farm.
Q: Do you have favorite drink or tonic you recommend to support the immune system?*
A: Chai is great- it contains a lot of herbs that support healthy circulation, digestion, and the immune system.* Definitely one of my favorites to reach for in the winter.
Q: What about herbs as immune support for kids?* Where can parents learn more if they are new to herbs?
A: Our ‘Kids’ section on the Herb Pharm website is a great resource. You can also call us so that we can walk you through how to use certain products with children’s serving sizes. We have new collections of products as well; our Kid’s Immune Collection* is a great place to start for kids: they have a high safety profile and taste great too.
I’m just so in love with what the Earth provides us. I want everyone to experience what this world looks like and feel a little more connected to it. I’m in love with everything Herb Pharm is doing, the ecosystem they have created, and their mission to connect humans back to the earth. If you want to start dabbling in herbs, they are the perfect place to start. Be sure to use EMILY15 for 15% off!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.