My journey in natural healing began almost 20 years ago. To overcome a recurring bout of bronchitis, a friend suggested I try an herbal remedy instead of the usual course of antibiotics that were obviously not working very well. I was amazed when I recovered in half the time I usually did. What was even more amazing was that my episodes of recurrence became less and less frequent until bronchitis became a thing of the past for me. That did it…..I was hooked….
Within a couple of years, I decided to undertake a course of study in Herbal Medicine with well known herbalist, Cascade Anderson Geller, in Portland, OR. After completing beginning through advanced courses, I was unsure of how to put my new-found knowledge to best use. I was not comfortable with the responsibility associated with asking people to put their health in my hands. However, I had a genuine desire to work with herbs. So, after some brainstorming, and a serendipitous class in herbal soap making, I decided to start a business hand crafting herbal soaps and skin care products. My Christmas gift recipients that year became the guinea pigs for my new line of products. Fortunately, they were all well received and Herbs of Grace was born. (Herb of Grace is one of the common names for Ruta graveolens, or Common Rue.)
My main marketing venue for the first several years, aside from my website, was the local farmer’s market in Vancouver, WA. I had a steadily growing base of clientele and the part-time schedule worked well with my growing family which now includes a husband and three daughters.
When my second daughter, Scarlet, was 10 months old, we attended a birthday party where we later learned we were exposed to strep throat. Right on cue, my daughter developed symptoms that led me to believe she had contracted the illness. After calling our naturopath and describing her symptoms, he confirmed that she most likely had scarlet fever (what did I expect, naming a child Scarlet…) After some research, he advised us to give her Belladonna 30C every 20 minutes for 1 hour and then 3x/day for the next 2-3 days. He said she would probably fall asleep right after the first 3 doses and her fever should break. He also mentioned that the fever may spike again in the evenings, but that was normal over the course of the illness, and that after 2 or 3 days, she should be well. To my delight and relief, she recovered *exactly* as he had described. This experience was a huge turning point in my life and eventually my business. Treating my own illnesses with natural modalities was one thing, but trusting my intuition to forego the mainstream conventional medical treatment in favor of traditional healing wisdom with someone else’s health, moreover my baby’s health, was another thing altogether. This experience not only cemented my trust in alternative medicine, but it also strengthened my trust in myself and my intuitive healing abilities.
In 2004, within months of the birth of our third daughter, our family had the opportunity to move to Japan for a year. I had just debuted a new line of mineral makeup based on the needs of my clients and it was very well received. Somehow, in my sleep-deprived, post-partum state, I decided that it shouldn’t be too difficult to pack up my business and 3 babes, move to a foreign country where I don’t speak the language and set up shop….So, off we went! That year proved not only to be the most challenging, but by far, one of the most enjoyable I have ever had. One of the biggest obstacles I had to face during the course of our stay in Japan resulted in my decision to stream-line my product offerings by discontinuing everything except the mineral makeup line. While this allowed me to focus on what was really selling well, it also took me away from working with my beloved herbs.
However, my business continued to grow, and by the time we came back to the states, my husband and I decided to take the risk and see if my business could provide for the family on a full-time basis, so we incorporated in January 2006. Since then, we have been working from our farmhouse in rural western Washington, unschooling our girls, growing some of our own food, teaching belly dance classes on the side and now have Herbs of Grace Natural Look Mineral Makeup placed in over 60 retail locations nationwide.
Our decision has required us to forgo many things. We live closer to the earth, which has been a blessing to me. It has afforded me the chance to grow, harvest and use my own herbs for the first time, and I feel like I am literally getting back to my roots as an herbalist. Having these experiences has ignited in me the desire to incorporate natural medicine into my business… and having had so many wonderful experiences with homeopathy over the years, such as the one I mentioned earlier, I feel like I am now ready for that responsibility. These events led me to the British Institute of Homeopathy to enroll in the General Diploma of Homeopathy program.
I have a deep passion to continue the herbal and homeopathic traditions of the past and expand awareness of more natural, gentle forms of healing. I believe it is important at this point in time to remind people not only of their innate power to heal themselves, but also their responsibility to do just that. Herbalism and homeopathy have been a very empowering force in my life and I hope to share that experience with others. As I continue to add to my knowledge of natural healing modalities, I have decided the best way to share my skills is to put the “herbs” back into Herbs of Grace by offering consultations in natural health, specializing in herbalism and homeopathy.