Somebody asked me yesterday what my herbal path was, my story. Here's a smidgin about me (so far anyway) for those who wanna know......
I grew up a naturalist, clinging to the arm of my momma and her picnic baskets and canteens of soup and spent many weekends under the pines and vacations in the forests and the deserts, in tents, in canoes, wading rivers, tip tops of mountains, in caves, fishing, gardening, all of it. She paved my love for life and the outdoors probably without even knowing it. I've always had a close relationship with the plants, like building little fairy houses or big ol bonfires, and whistling with grass blades or pelting someone with acorns and rolling down grassy hills or napping under old oaks.... the peace, the fresh air, the quiet, the play, the smells and the simplicity of it all is so healing and over the years I've grown quite attached. Whether it be wild or cultivated, to this day, this is where I go to play or to heal mentally during trying times. I'm continuing to learn that health as a whole is a blend of emotional health, dietary approaches, balance, spirituality and knowing that the body has the ability to heal itself, if we allow it too. I'm a lover of life and I'm all about happiness, and I'm happiest when I'm mingling with the plants.
I remember being seventeen and being in my high school Ag class. I was weeding through my little strip of veggie garden and my teacher came strolling behind me saying "This isn't a weed, this is food! This is Lamb's Quarters!" And he was popping the trail of plucked plants into his mouth and smiling and munching all happily and his eyes were all twinkly. It was then that something magical happened between me and the plant world. This was the piece that was missing. I realized that there was so much more to the plants, that they had something to teach me. That was seventeen years ago. And today I find myself teaching kids these same things. Funny how life unfolds. Shortly there after, my life long home away from home family, started teaching me about herbal medicines, healing properties of plants, magnet therapy, fermentation..... I started foraging, and cultivating herbs, picking up 'new to me herbs' from the local herb shop, burying my head in the books and making herbal medicines, practicing on myself, my friends and my family. I brewed up herbals for the sneezy and coughing, and the hungover, concocted my own herbal cigarettes, and smeared cayenne on bloody scraped knees and knuckles, found yarrow for fishhook puncture wounds, and read everything I could on herbs and medicine making and plant identification. It was so fun. I've slowly and steadily practiced and incorporated herbs into my everyday life. This was me then.
When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter thirteen years ago, I started brewing up my own nutritional herbal pregnancy tea, and drank it through three more babies. I made my own herbal sitz baths and nursing teas, and baby butt salves. I still blend these to this day and they were the seed and founding products of Morgan Botanicals. I never would have known then that so many women would be enjoying my herbal brews now, but it makes me happy to know they do!
I've spent the last ten years pursuing my 'formal' education. I'm currently an herbalist and environmental horticulture and crop science graduate; a certified CA master gardener and junior master gardener teacher, and still a forager and wild foodie. I've taken Aromatherapy classes, online classes, canning and food classes and get in on any and all webinars I can. Before creating Morgan Botanicals I was a botanical research biologist for the University of California Stanislaus- working to protect endangered CA native plant species, specifically: Beavertail Cactus - (Opuntia basilaris) and Kern mallow - (Eremalche kernensis). I have been a practicing herbalist for seventeen years (self taught and mentored) but have completed a three year course of herbal study under Michael Tierra at the East West School of Herbology. My continuing education includes all aspects of the science and art of Herbalism including Traditional Chinese Medicine, Native American Medicine, Ayurveda, Vitalism and Botany as well as some Clinical Nutrition and Aromatherapy. I have recently relocated from California to Colorado and am attending the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism and preparing to mentor for AHG recognition. My lifelong passion for herbology, holistic nutrition, and gardening have led me to develop Morgan Botanicals where I can share not only my knowledge of plants, but also to help people reconnect with the healing powers of the plant kingdom.
Today you're likely to find me roaming the wilderness oohing and
awing and botinizing, wildcrafting, twig collecting, tree climbing,
plant pressing, plant tickling, brewing and photographing; teaching in
my food and medicine garden surrounded by children or crafting herbals
in my herb shop.
I offer medicine making workshops, children's classes, plant walks, garden and crop advice as well as private consultations and custom blends.
I live in the beautiful Loveland, CO area with my adventurous, twig and rock collecting worker bee husband and our four children, three of which were born at home accompanied by our midwife.
As always, please email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.
Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.
Jessica Morgan, Herbalist