I'm an herbalist living in Berkeley CA. I grow and prepare organic and wildcrafted herbal tinctures, as well as some flower essences, such as the night blooming cereus.
If you are interested in a consultation, where I can provide a special formula just for your needs, please contact me using the contact form on this site. Please include your phone number, and I'll get back to you soon.
My name is Lauren, I am originally from England, I have been living in Berkeley since 2007 with my husband and daughter.
I plant, eat, juice, drink, harvest, make tinctures, treats and salves with herbs, and love plants and the myriad ways we interact with them on a daily basis.
My intention is to be of service to a wider community, to help people help themselves with plants as food and medicine. I am continuously learning and ready to work with others to help them treat themselves and their loved ones with herbs.
I have always been interested in health and food, having been sick a lot as a child, from scarlet fever as a baby, having a squint correction and every childhood illness including whooping cough, measles, german measles and chicken pox, later to glandular fever and eating disorders as an older teen.. I felt like I was always ill and perhaps that it was a comfort zone for me as it had happened so often since I was little. There always seemed to be a zone of healing within the sickness that I was fascinated by and was untouched by anything doctors spoke of.
In my family also, there was a lot of illness.. my mother was always looking after her chronically sick parents, and did til they passed away over twenty years later, and she eventually got sick herself with M.E - an illness often passed off as 'in the mind' by those around her at the time and the lack of 'cure' which prompted her and myself to look at other forms of healing.
I encouraged her to use herbs instead of hormones during the menopause and my mother went through it using only herbs, vitamins and evening primrose supplements.
I have been a vegetarian for twenty years, and vegan at times as well and would always seek out health foods and alternative nutrition from the standard fare that just turned me off in many ways. I didn't know it then but i was looking for alive foods, raw and juicy, nutritious and organic and bursting with flavour and nutrients the way our food and consumption should be. It was part of my relationship with food and eating..I was disturbed by the packaging, processing, animal industry and testing and monoculture intensive farming with chemical and pesticide use that took any life or wholeness out of our relationship with food and life.. I wanted no part of it and in rejecting it I was rejecting a whole way of consumption that felt wrong to me, soulfully speaking.
There was a huge weight on my mind about the famines in Ethiopia and the way our distribution is organised worldwide that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.
At University I learned more about Aid and World Trade, Development issues, Environment, and Global Culture. Only then did I realise how deep the rabbit hole goes! However, no amount of guilt is going to change the situation for better, but what we can do, starts at home.. With our relationship to food, where it grows, how, why and where we eat it and with whom.
I met a special friend and teacher who knew a lot about plants and herbs and vitamins and minerals as well as chemicals and their effects on body and mind.. he taught me a lot about ways to use different plants and how to respect them as allies and teachers.
We got to know through first hand experience the personality of so many different plants and herbs in ways that steered me in to deep herbal waters!
I continued on from this learning in later years by making my own herbal tinctures mainly with and for friends and family, having much fun and success in helping different ailments. In 2006 I lived and studied in Israel with a herbalist who had lived in Berkeley. He had a Herb Lab that I lived and helped in, as well as taking his Herb course for six months. His wife makes excellent herbal salves and together they make delicious babies who grow up in a seriously open hearted, natural and wholesome home environment that inspires me very much for my own family home.
When I arrived in California, I began to take classes with Charles Garcia, from the Hispanic School of Herbalism and kept on taking classes, as many as I could, for a year and a half.. the only reason I stopped was because I had a baby and do not drive and therefore the BART rides at night don't work for her much! I love his way of teaching, very informative yet informal, always filled with stories and jokes and food and warmth and his knowledge of herbal lore is excellent, as well as having a fine flair for folk remedies which I love! The thing that makes me stick to Chuck is his down to earth practical survival skills, no nonsense, what to do when it really counts, with heart and with all you've got around you herbalism. And his wife can out cook anyone in any surrounding county and knows just as much as her husband about survival skills and first aid.