About the Herbalist

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My name is Violet and I am a certified clinical Herbalist, apothecarist, and medicine maker. I work and practice in Oakland California: occupied Chochenyo Ohlone Territory.

I love people, and I love working with plants. I opened the doors of my clinical practice in the fall of 2017.

In the years before my formal education, I was passionately engaged in self-study of herbal plants. Bringing us to the present: I have studied at the Blue Otter School of Herbal medicine, completing both the full time 4-month intensive and year-long advanced curriculum (2018-19). I also apprenticed with herbalist and apothecarist Stascha Stahl (2017-present), who I continue to mentor with today. In 2021 I completed the Wild Current School’s Clinical Mentorship Program (146hours), and am currently undertaking their Advanced Clinical Skills Curriculum. I have over 600 hours of clinical training.

here is a downloadable file of my herbal resume

I am a community herbalist. My practice is a balance of teaching, one-on-one client centered work, and the focus on giving generously of my time, medicines, energy and knowledge to those in the community who are most in need.

I am trained in both western, and energetic schools of herbalism. Western herbalism is a conglomerate of european and settler/colonial medicines, that also incorporates shared and appropriated medicinal knowledge from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurvedic medicine, and medicine practices from nearly all indigenous peoples from all parts of the world. (I’m acknowledging this and the harm caused by western herbalism’s history of colonization, white supremacy, and erasure, so that I can also uphold my inherited responsibility to help end these systems for good, and make amends for the past by showing up for reparations, land back, and BIPOC liberation movements. Recognition and action are integral to the process of lasting change.)

Energetic herbalism is an indigenous, Native American lens of herbal practice. The origins of my training are from my teacher and friend, Karyn Sanders, founder of the Herbal Highway and the Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine. Both projects are co-lead by Sarah Holmes. Energetic herbalism has its own system of energetics, and focuses on the spiritual aspect of our well-being and imbalance, as well as relationship to community, land, and ecology.

I hope to offer an herbal and clinical experience for my clients that is different from western, institutional settings. Western medicine at its worst: separates the mind, body and emotions, discounts the spirit, and separates the individual from their psychological, political and social environment. It maintains a power imbalance between expert over subject, and gate-keeps access to information and medicines. Hospitals and clinical settings are often rife with racist, trans-phobic, classist, and sexist behavior. They can be toxic, disrespectful, and infantilizing.

Herbalism by contrast, is at heart: people’s medicine. Herbalism, at its best: approaches well-being and dis-ease through holistic, vitalist, culturally sensitive and de-stigmatizing lenses and protocols. It takes into account the impacts of systemic oppression and trauma (both immediate and ancestral). It stands in opposition to gate-keeping and power imbalance: it can be practiced by anyone, anywhere. It shares information and resources freely and equitably, and operates from a place of compassion and generosity toward those who lack means and are most affected by systems of oppression.

My work is rooted in the ethics of harm-reduction, client centered care, and individual and community empowerment. It is also rooted in a lifelong pursuit of systemic change, social equality, and collective empowerment. I recognize that systemic oppression, white supremacy, poverty, colonialism, environmental desecration, imprisonment, and exploitation are the main catalysts for suffering, imbalance, illness and disease in our world. Health is not just a matter of ‘personal choices’ and genetic predisposition. Disease is also a symptom of war, trauma, and dispossession.

My herbal work is non-secular, but I do incorporate skills from my Buddhist practice and study (in both the Theravada and Tibetan disciplines, since 2015). Buddhist practice has  profoundly positive impacts my life and herbal practice: in the development of strong listening skills and presence, in undertaking daily practices in the cultivation of non-judgment and compassion, and ultimately grounding my herbal practices in tangible acts of generosity, gratitude, and commitment to non-harm and collective liberation.

In my time as an Herbalist, I have addressed: trauma, PTSD and CPTSD, gender dysphoria, transitioning support and transgender care, depression and mental health diagnosis, panic and anxiety, auto-immune disease and chronic illness, grief, allergies, reproductive care, hormonal issues, colds and flus, hormonal imbalance, generative/reproductive issues, stress, wound care, digestive issues, sleep, mitigating negative effects of cancer treatment, detoxing and sobriety support, common colds/flus, animal care, and more. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in herbal medicine and are experiencing any of these symptoms. If what you are experiencing is beyond my scope and experience, I am more then happy to refer you to a more experienced herbalist!

Commitment to non-harm, love of people and people power, and trust in plant wisdom all lead my herbal practice. Thank you for taking the time to read this and explore my site <3.

Sincerely,

-Violet

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