Mason is our Events and Outreach Coordinator here at Mountain Rose! Eugene born and raised, Mason found an early interest in nutrition which eventually brought him to the world of herbalism. When not busy planning events and traveling around the country, Mason studies herbalism and wildcrafting at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies and volunteers at Occupy Medical. He's also papa to a sweet baby daughter and enjoys sharing many plant adventures with her.
I'm back from a most excellent herbalism filled event! A few weeks ago, I headed up to Portland for NCNM’s inaugural Traditional Roots Conference. The weekend proved to be a unique one indeed, combining classes from both Naturopathic Doctors and herbalists on topics ranging from herbal energetics, to ethical wildcrafting, and medicine making.
To kick things off, I had the pleasure of attending Dr. Tori Hudson’s class, Women’s Health Past and Present. With 30 years of experience as an ND, and the author of Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Health, Dr. Hudson was able to provide a lot of valuable knowledge in the two-hour class including traditional plant medicines for PMS, insomnia, and menopause. I'm really thankful to have access to information about women's health and herbal applications for common issues, especially since I can pass this wisdom on to my daughter as she grows up.
Glen Nagel ND, "the herbal wise guy," led a fabulous plant walk through the Min Zidell Healing Garden. Glen is the curator of the garden, so he really knew his way around. As usual, Glen started the walk with a group song, playing the mandolin, and giving thanks to the plants. We had some delicious herbal sun-tea that he made with plants from the garden and we were on our way!
I was really impressed with the variety of medicinal herbs throughout the garden. Some of my favorite herbal allies were there to greet me like hawthorn, sage, and motherwort, to name a few. There was a patch of goldenseal which was quite lovely to see. Beautiful valerian was nearly ubiquitous in the garden and Glen hinted that this was the plant helping stressed out ND students the most. We ended the walk with another delightful ditty that I found infinitely adorable. It goes like this...
When I grow up I want to be a tree
Want to make my home with the birds and the bees
And the squirrels, they can count on me
When I grow up to be a tree
I'll let my joints get stiff, put my feet in the ground
Take the winters off and settle down
Keep my clothes till they turn brown
When I grow up, I'm gonna settle down
I'm gonna reach, I'm gonna reach
I'm gonna reach, reach for the sky
I'm gonna reach, I'm gonna reach
I'm gonna reach, till I know why
Lastly, I attended Laura Ash’s class, Preserving Culture Through Documentation of Herbal Medicine. Laura recalled her time spent with the Masaai people in Tanzania where she studied their herbal traditions and shared her concerns about losing traditional healers and with them their medicines. She told stories and detailed the plants most commonly used for medicine in this part of the world. She also discussed at length the importance of how intellectual property law and herbal anthropology can be used as tools. With modern technology and documentation equipment, her work with the Herbal Anthropology Project is able to preserve traditional knowledge and support it’s continued use.
For more information about Laura Ash and her fascinating and important non-profit, please visit: http://herbalanthropology.org/
"The mission of NCNM's Traditional Roots Institute's is to reinvigorate the herbal roots of medicine. It was such an honor to have clinical herbalists, nurses, doctors and acupuncturists come away from the conference with new skills and renewed passion for healing with plants. We are so grateful to Mountain Rose Herbs, our incredible speakers and other sponsors for their support of our inaugural effort. We look forward to seeing everyone again at the conference next year — May 15-17, 2015!" ~ Orna Izakson
The Traditional Roots Conference provided a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with the herbal healer community here in the Northwest. The in-depth classes offered an educational experience that Mountain Rose was thrilled to support. Kudos to Orna Izakson, Sasha Steiner, and their team for creating such a fantastic gathering of herb loving folks!