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How I Became An Herbalist

Welcome to The World of Herbalism

Since I was a child the plants spoke to me, I would grab peppermint and chamomile that grew across the street in country ditches. I’d run inside full speed ahead and ask my mom to please make me a cup of tea. When I was 5 watching the movie medicine man and sipping my hand picked brew I would have never imagined these were all subtle signs of where my adult life would lead. I too ended up sauntering around the Amazon studying medicine with a medicine teacher, however that’s a story for another entry. This, this ones about being state side and meeting the medicine women who would change my life completely, a true kindred spirit- clinical herbalist Kara Timmins. To say Kara is brilliant isn’t even beginning to touch on her full essence, for she is beyond brilliant- she is an herbalist who understands the world in a truly WHOLEistic approach. She has the ability to see the person in front of her and listen thoroughly to each word they share, along with an uncanny ability to also hear the unspoken needs they hold. Ontop of being a clinical herbalist Kara also is a physician assistant giving her a deep understanding of the western medical world, Along side a deep knowledge,wisdom,and connection with the natural plant worlds. I stumbled upon Kara while I was attending massage school. I had become increasingly ill with doctors being unable to properly diagnose me. Each day I was growing weaker and in more significant pain as my body seemed to be fighting directly against itself. I could no longer move forward in my massage program for the pain was hindering my ability to concentrate and be present. The day I decided to resign from school another brilliant women and teacher named _____ told me absolutely not, not until I left immediately and met with the women who owned at the time the Apothekara in Ithaca,NY. Off I went thinking “great another holistic healer that’s going to sell me snake oil.” See by this time I had already lived in multiple hippie towns like Chataqua and Santa Cruz CA, you know the places that have acupuncturists,yoga teachers, homeopathy, and co ops around every corner saying they have the next cure all. I was on every diet and cleanse you could possibly think of at this point with absolutely no avail. Raw food vegan didn’t do it, the kava tincture the acupuncturist fed me made the symptoms worse, and the herbs from the local hippie shop were browned out, old, and had zero nutritional value left in them- so here we are AGAIN. However this time everything felt different as I walked through her doors. Shelves up to the ceiling with brilliantly fresh colored herbs and medicines. A wooden bar that stretched across the shop and had a mosaic of bright colors and images of goddess women dancing. Behind the bar stood the goddess Brigid herself-bright eyed, red headed, with a welcoming smile. Maybe the comfort came from the fact that I was standing across the room from another red head and you know how it is- us gingers stick together, but seriously the warmth of the Apothekara swept over me. I nervously explained my issue, what brought me in, and Kara immediately sat down with me and starting taking inventory on everything that I was experiencing. “Hmmm sounds like Interstitial Cystitis”…. I remember the room paused, wait a minute is this the first time I’m hearing and actual term for what I’m experiencing. See I was 13 when I started suffering with what felt like constant bladder infections. These issues got increasingly worse and was in and out of doctors being tested for bladder cancer, kidney failure,and more. Doctors prescribed me antibiotics with the request I take them daily even thought all of my UTI tests came back negative, absolutely zero bacteria. So why exactly the antibiotics? No one could tell me, but I knew they didn’t help and I knew that a constant popping of such a drug would ultimately deplete my body of any positive defense- benefit of being in pain- I had become a health nut prior to meeting Kara. Convinced healthy lifestyle would fix the issue. It would stop the symptoms for a time, but ultimately it would always come back swinging. So now, here I sit in front of this women and for the first time I. Almost a decade I’m being told something that made 100% complete sense. I was suffering from extreme inflammation of my whole urinary tract and it was unable to stop being inflamed, because it wasn’t getting a break to heal the trauma. That’s when Kara made me the two tea blends that forever changed my life, the plants that not only stopped the symptoms, but healed the core issues. The medicine that completely long term cured me, took away 10 years of my silent suffering. One blend was nettles (yes the stinging nettles were familiar with from walking in the woods), corn silk (yes the stuff we so often toss in the compost when husking the corn on the cob), and just a sprinkle of lavender, because come on lavender essence is simply magic. The other bled was the holy savior- Marshmallow root (a root that once was the inspiration for those marshmallows we love to roast over an open fire- more info on this magical ally in another blog), slippery elm (yes from an elm tree),birchbark (yes, this bark does have that delicious root beer flavor along with strong anti inflammatory properties and more),and lastly ashwagandha (lovingly translates into “the smell and strength of a horse”, which is so very true and once again for another blog). So there it was the blends we made up with love. I was told to drink 3 cups of each, she explained I’d need to remain on them for an extended amount of time to give my body a chance to fully heal. Over a month supply for like $20 and within one week I was pain free, In two weeks I had energy again, and by the end of my time with the blends I was healed. I was so blown away by what this women had done for me I wanted to be able to do the same for others! Kara recommend I start by going to herbal school and gave me info for Heartstone- a local Ithaca apprenticeship. So I did and the rest is history. And as for Kara, well she became my soul sister and we’ve been pretty irrespirable since. Her apothecary ha since closed down, however she now offers it out of her home in Ithaca, along with having a strong online presence. Now anyone around the world can connect directly with her and do online consultations, something I highly recommend! You can check her out, listen to her blogs, and book appointments with her on Take your healing into your hands and who knows where it may lead you next, maybe on the path you were always supposed to be on, the path of freedom.

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