How does herbalism work?

It's not "herb X is good for condition Y"



2/13/20241 min read

Good herbalists don’t treat conditions: they treat people. Instead of relying on rote memorization "this herb is good for X condition", Lily looks at you, your constitution, your condition, your current diet, lifestyle, pharmaceuticals, exercise, stress, and more to create a custom plan and possible supplement just for you.

Lily has helped thousands one-on-one through Lily Kunning, Community Herbalist, at Haven Herbs, and at Boline Apothecary (her former shop). When doing consultations, she puts together customized herbal and lifestyle programs to help with a variety of conditions. Herbalism works best when combined with a lifestyle that includes clean water, whole foods, gentle exercise, and plenty of self-love. Lily prefers to help her clients stay well, rather than treat illness- but she does both.

Anyone calling themselves an herbalist should be a highly trained practitioner skilled in the art and science of matching medicinal plants with people. Botanical medicine is both incredibly simple and amazingly complex. An herbalist has extensive knowledge of not only the medicinal potential of botanical medicines (from phytochemistry to pharmacology) but also a solid understanding of human physiology and pathophysiology. Combined together, this allows an herbalist to provide holistic treatment of varying illnesses and conditions using the therapeutic potential of medicinal plants (custom compounded to fit each individual need).

In the United States, there is no licensure or regulations of who can call themselves an “herbalist” or who can practice using that title. It is extremely important to do your research and feel comfortable with your herbalist's level of training. Some calling themselves herbalists have only attended weekend seminars, online classes, or read a book. This means that they begin practicing with little actual clinical experience and no mentorship or guidance. Some others have simply read recipes off the internet and think they know stuff!

Lily is trained and has over a decade of experience treating people, making medicines, and educating others.