Intimate Herbal Retreats

Intimate Herbal Retreats

Enjoy the hands-on learning experience an
Intimate Herbal Retreat can offer!


September 25, 2018
Are you inspired to learn more about growing herbs? Do you enjoy growing an herb garden but know very little about herbalism or crafting remedies with your plants? Have you grown culinary herbs such as basil, oregano, sage and rosemary, or medicinal plants such as lemon balm, yarrow, mint, or elderflowers, but not sure of what to do with them? Do you want to learn more about increasingly popular medicinal plants such as tulsi, ashwagandha, skullcap, and astragalus? Are you wondering how best to store your herbs, using different drying methods, or how to craft herbal remedies such as teas, tinctures, salves, syrups and more? Would you like to turn your culinary and medicinal herbs into remedies for your winter medicine chest? Are you wondering how you can improve your health and well-being with plants that you can easily grow or purchase? Are you trying to improve your health and diet and limit your need for prescription drugs?  Have you ever wanted to understand the traditional method of planting by the moon and learn how timing planting to the moon’s cycle can improve your gardening outcomes? Did you know that every plant has a planetary ruler? Intrigued?? Hungry to learn more?? Then you might enjoy the hands-on learning experience an Intimate Herbal Retreat can offer!

Herbal medicine is humanity’s oldest and most widespread form of medicine. It is one thing to grow a garden, which so many people do, and quite another thing to transform your plants into valuable herbal remedies, which so many people do not. Why??  Lack of time? Uncertainty of how to do it? Not realizing how easy it can be? Relying on buying herbal remedies vs making them yourself? Most people have simply forgotten about the traditional uses of plants. Much of the traditional knowledge of herbal medicine has become a lost art, lost to a culture where a constant barrage of pharmaceutical commercials is incessantly being sold to us as the only choice to treat (not heal) our ever-growing number of diseases and chronic ailments.

Herbal medicine is a practice that is as old as mankind, and certainly older than agriculture or writing; every human culture on every continent of the Earth has practiced herbal medicine of one form or another. The history of botanical remedies dates back to the dawn of man’s existence on earth. People have always turned to plants for help with healing. All major cultures have known the virtues of herbs and plants. Examples are TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurveda, Traditional Indian medicine, both dating back thousands of years. In the Middle Ages women were primarily the healers-wise women, herbalists, midwives, “green” women, who used herbal remedies to mitigate the suffering of women in menstruation and childbirth as well as ministering to aristocrats and soldiers and the dying. More than nine million women, herbalists, healers and midwives were put to death as witches between the 14th and 16th centuries. As women passed down these traditions from mother to daughter verbally, much of this wisdom was lost to us. Ancient Egyptian traditions, traditional African medicine, Native American and Mesoamerican, Aboriginal traditional healing and wisdom from every area on earth benefited from plant-based healing. Hippocrates, the Greek physician developed the philosophy of human ecology during the 4th century B.C. He is famously quoted as having said,
“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine be your food”. I interpret this as let herbs be thy food and your medicine as herbs are deeply nourishing as well as healing. Herbs are powerhouses of nutrition.

Herbal knowledge once handed down from generation to generation, historically a female tradition, has been systematically wiped out since the early 1900’s, disconnecting people from nature and plant-based medicines.  Government regulations, licensing of physicians (traditionally mostly male), and insurance company practices have changed our relationship to herbal medicine, something 75% of the world relies on for their primary medicines. A return to the forgotten “green medicine” and the ways of the wise women is returning, not as a replacement to modern medicine but as a powerful adjunct to it.  Traditional herbal medicine has been We can learn to prevent many of our endless health problems by accessing plant medicine, nature’s prescription, or recipe, for supporting the health of mind, body and spirit. The return to nature is something we deeply desire but are for the most part unaware of how to obtain. If you long for self-empowerment, desire better health and wellness, and are seeking a more natural approach to prevention and treatment of common ailments or simply want to take back personal control of your health care choices then learning about herbalism may be just for you!

The “intimate” aspect of an Intimate Herbal Retreat describes the personal attention and hands on learning experience one has at a retreat. Shared with a limited number of people an Intimate Herbal Retreat offers a warm and welcoming, informal and relaxed setting to experience plant medicine. The setting is a private home nestled along the beautiful Bald Eagle Creek in The Pennsylvania Wilds. Learning the value of ancient plant wisdom, in a modern setting brings traditional herbalism alive in a relevant, accessible and fun way.

Herbal retreats offer a hands-on learning experience, focusing on how to grow and harvest herbs, then craft them into simple herbal remedies.  Gaining a deeper understanding of the connections between plants and their medicinal, nutritional and ecological benefits is emphasized. The focus is understanding how plants foster healing on personal as well as global levels.

Additionally, understanding connections between plants and the celestial bodies, planetary correspondences of plants and planets, best timing practices for planting and harvesting herbs make for learning a unique perspective on learning more about plant energies.

While sharing home cooked meals and drinking herbal tea on the porch with a few likeminded souls, a retreat offers the opportunity to leave behind the stress of life for a few days and truly retreat from the world. Nature will surround you during your stay in an historical house built in the early 1800’s as the Lock Keepers house along the once Lock Haven Bellefonte Canal system. The front porch overlooks the Bald Eagle Creek flowing downstream toward the Susquehanna, often flowing downstream with kayakers and Canadian geese enjoying the ride. The rural environment where plants, trees, rivers and streams surround you is especially beautiful in north central Pennsylvania, an oasis of peace and refuge from the hectic world of larger towns and cities. Many people who have come to the Intimate Herbal Retreats have expressed their desire to get away from the city and urban areas, wishing they could relocate here.  In fact, some have actually have!! Nearby there are Amish farms and authentic markets to explore.  The Susquehanna River walk along the dike levy in Lock Haven offers a beautiful view of the river and the Bald Eagle Mountains, and attractions such as The Piper Museum and The Woolrich Original Factory Outlet are nearby. Within 20 minutes there is hiking along the Pine Creek rails to trails, and the beach at Bald Eagle State Park. There is much to do in this area referred to as The Pennsylvania Wilds.

Create a retreat with a few close friends, or as a mother/daughter or husband/ wife, sharing the experience, or come on your own and share the time with people you’ve never met before.  Attending an Intimate Herbal Retreat offers a relaxed setting, rekindling your connections to nature and to one another in a deeply personal way. Whether you are an absolute beginner or a seasoned gardener, there are many aspects of herbal medicine you may want to learn. Returning home with your own herbal remedies can refresh your spirit and motivate you to live a healthier life. Gaining the skills to create your own “green medicine” can impact your approach to health for a lifetime. My passion is to share a love of herbalism and plants in a way that encourages you to live the healthiest life possible, exploring the choices of nature’s remedies over pharmaceuticals, helping you with the tools to prevent and care for many common ailments. Together let us acknowledge our reverence for nature, returning to our god given right to use plants as medicine.
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