Reframing Our Approach to Health: Why Herbalism Doesn’t Just Swap Pills for Plants

Folks who are new to plant medicine may think that herbalism exchanges pharmaceuticals for plant-based pills. But in reality, herbalism approaches health from a holistic perspective, considering the whole health of the body beyond an allopathic approach. Our conversation will explore the unique ways herbalism views health to empower students to understand their bodies in a more dynamic way.


Join us for the YouTube Premiere  – Sunday, July 4, 4:00 pm
If you cannot join us during the scheduled premiere, please view it later on our YouTube Channel.

Suggested price: $5.00

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Join us for the YouTube Premiere, and join us on – Sunday, July 4, 4:00 pm

If you cannot join us during the YouTube Premiere, please view it later on our YouTube Channel.

Photo by Herb Swanson

Emily Ruff, Executive Director, is a community herbalist who has practiced the art and science of plant healing for over a decade. Her studies have taken her around three continents where she has studied under healers of many traditions. Her background in gardening and botany came in childhood while wandering the wilderness and digging in the sandy soils of Florida with her grandfather, a tobacco farmer turned urban gardener, and her father, a botany and astronomy professor. Her journey into herbalism continued through apprenticeships in Guatemala under the tutelage of local healers on the southern coast of Lake Atitlan, in the mountains of Vermont at the feet of Rosemary Gladstar, and in the Central Florida apothecary Leaves & Roots with herbalists Carolyn Whitford and George D’Arcy. Emily’s academic studies include Ethnobotany, Philosophy, and Women’s Studies at the University of Central Florida and Curanderismo with the University of New Mexico. She is a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner.

Emily’s dedication to preserving bioregional medicinal plant traditions and ecosystems led her to become active in the organization United Plant Savers. Inspired by a need for greater connection among her regional community, she founded the Florida Herbal Conference event in 2012, an event that continues to sell out annually. In past years, she served multiple terms as president of the Herb Society of Central Florida and as co-founder of Homegrown Local Food Cooperative. Most recently, in response to the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub, Emily founded the Orlando Grief Care Project. From the community relationships cultivated through the national response to this tragedy, Emily formed the Herbal Action Network to continue weaving the web of compassionate herbalism into community engagement. Emily is an instructor in the Herbal Academy Advanced Herbal Training Course. Sharing her time between Florida and Vermont, she currently serves as director of the Sage Mountain Botanical Sanctuary.

Emily’s classes have been described as “heart-filled,” “enriching,” and “empowering,” creating a bridge between the teachings of our ancestors and the technologies of our modern world. Emily can be found in joy cooking, practicing yoga, writing, photographing flora, creating music with family and friends, and digging her fingers in the dirt. The plants continue to be her greatest teachers.

See Emily’s classes at this link.

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