Get to know our Happy Herbalist
We sat down to have a chat with our new herbalist, Tamara Welsh. If you have a question pertaining to herbal health you’d like to ask her, please fill out this form!
How did you get into herbalism?
I think the seed was planted when I was young. My mother loved to garden and cook so I spent a lot of time around plants both outside and in the kitchen. But it wasn’t until my 20’s when I brought back a little “friend” in my GIT from some overseas travel that I really got into the health and wellness scene. I had a strong science background from studying at University and Herbal Medicine just seemed to be a natural progression for me.
What are your favourite herbs?
Where do I start!? I really have so many favourites! I love herbs like St Mary’s thistle and Gentian for their liver loving properties, Passionflower and Kava for their ability to calm the nervous system, Ginkgo and Gotu kola for their ability to enhance our cognition and Astragalus and Echinacea for their immune modulating abilities. I could keep going….
If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have one herb with you, what would that herb be?
And I thought the last question was hard! Wow, just one!? Ok I think I’ll be very practical here and say Calendula.
Calendula aids wound healing, it’s lymphatic (promotes lymph flow), it’s also styptic (stops bleeding). Calendula is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and it has antimicrobial and antifungal actions. It can also be used topically. Seems to tick a lot of boxes for desert island survival!
In your opinion, what is the most underrated herb?
Chamomile. I think most of us just think of Chamomile as a sleepy tea, but it has a huge range of indications. Don’t make the assumption that because Chamomile is gentle it is also weak- not true! Chamomile shows us that gentle can still be potent. A herbalist may use Chamomile to treat digestive issues, food sensitivities, ulcers as well as the nervous system. It also has topical indications for wounds, dermatitis, mouth ulcers, rashes and bites. It’s a very versatile herb and so pretty to grow in your garden.
Why do you think others can benefit from herbalism?
I think the beauty of herbalism is its ability to connect us back to our roots. Humans and plants have evolved side by side since our existence began but somewhere along the way we seem to have lost touch with the plants and the wild. Herbalism is a way to reconnect with that wildness and once you find that connection, you’ll never look back, it’s soul healing.
What is one piece of advice you’d give someone who is just beginning their journey with healing herbs?
Pick one herb and get to know it well. How many different ways can you use the herb? What does it taste like and how do you feel after ingesting it? Does it have any topical uses? Where does it grow and what country is it from? Did any traditional cultures use the herb? Just knowing one herb intimately can really open your eyes to power of herbs.
Why does herbalism / healing plants inspire you?
Watching the ability of plants to bring balance back to the body continually motivates and inspires me to learn more. I am forever a student of herbal medicine. There is so much to know and so many wonderful people (and plants!) to learn from.
Anything else you’d like to share with our Happy Herb community?
As I am fairly new here, I’m really looking forward to getting to know the Happy Herb community. Please don’t by shy, reach out if you have any burning questions related to herbs and let us learn about them together.
Learning more about herbs is so empowering. It doesn’t take long before we begin to realise that we have access to a wealth of wonderful medicines just outside our front doors.