I am an herbalist, a wisewoman, sometimes called medicine woman, or yarb woman ... one who loves the earth and gives voice to the healing wild food and medicine plants which surround us and a teacher of Wise Woman Healing Ways of Herbal Health. It is my calling to help women (and men in touch with their green heart) remember our healing heritage and people's medicine/medicine of the people.
The wise woman, community yarb (herb) woman is the world's oldest healing tradition and is practiced in most cultures worldwide. It encourages me to use the common plants and healing garden weeds that grow locally. I know my plant allies deeply, their possibilities, their energies and uniqueness, as I would close friends. I can count on them in a variety of ways for a variety of circumstances. It is whole person/whole plant understanding and practical ways of empowering others to work with plants themselves, rather than be dependent on someone else for some special pill or elixir, exotic plant that grows in another country, or expert technique (that means you cannot do it for yourself). It is bioregional sustainable ethical plant practices (which also means utilizing natural scent therapy—the fragrance of the growing plant itself—or making plant infused oils, which requires far less flower/plant than the enormous amount essential oils wipe out.
My remedies may be nourishing stews and soups, slow sipped teas, herb infusions to drink, tinctures, elixirs, vinegars, honeys, or oils and salves and topical applications. The medicine plants give their healing and I am their voice and co-creative potion maker.
I come from generations of healers: country doctors to grannies versed in Appalachian healing lore, an Oglala Lakota herb woman, from diggers of roots and plants to my pharmacist father, who first introduced me to medicinal plants. My father was an "old school" pharmacist in the days when everything was compounded and hand mixed; there were no or very few "over-the-counter" preparations you could get at grocery or today's stores. You went to the pharmacy or apothecary for everything from cough syrup, a salve to draw a splinter out, a liniment for sprains. My earliest memories are of him giving me a peppermint leaf to taste, showing me foxglove/digitalis in bloom, or applying a sprain liniment of witch hazel and arnica to my sore wrist. At home, he'd let me play mixing and grinding things with a mortar and pestle. My mother loved gardening; as a small child, I had plants to hold, like periwinkles and marigolds, while she put them in the yard. They both instilled an appreciation for beauty of the outdoors/nature.
Prior to getting back to my plant healer roots, my Master's degree is in clinical psychology with an emphasis in health-physical rehabilitation. Previously, I counseled individuals and families coping with chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury,stroke, COPD, MS, cancer, arthritis, and other health conditions.
Green Blessings to you~
I am Joanne Bauman (Prairie Magic Herbals), a Kansas herbalist, teacher, writer, plant grower and remedy-maker over 20 years. Let me teach you to connect with the plants, to appreciate and collaborate with them to empower your health. My easygoing teaching style makes learning and using plant based healing accessible to everyone. Joanne is a presenter at The Mother Earth News Fair, writes for Herbal Living online, and podcasts Heirlooms & Herbals on the Mother Earth News Network. She has taught at numerous venues and herb conferences in the US. Joanne has a Master's degree is in clinical psychology with an emphasis in health-physical rehabilitation. She volunteers with Herbalists Without Borders International community apothecary to provide herbal disaster assistance and healthcare access to all.