This Special Edition (and Silver 25th Episode!) of The Walking Herbalist Podcast features Iris Weaver, a shamanic herbalism practitioner from the north shore of Massachusetts. You can check out her website here. Marc and Mindy had the chance to meet up with Iris, go on a plant walk with her in downtown Beverly, MA, and then sit down with a microphone to record her fascinating decades-long story of working with the plants.
Near and dear to our hearts, Iris’ introduction to studying herbalism was a chance encounter with some influential books, namely “Kitchen Medicines” by Ben Charles Harris, and the Euell Gibbons classic “Stalking The Wild Asparagus“. (If you would like to hear an interview with Ben Charles Harris from 1976, we found one here! In fact it is rather adversarial — you can listen to the interviewer challenging Mr. Harris by saying that foraging plants are dangerous and should not be encouraged!)
We learned all about Iris’ childhood, her growing up in England, Paraguay, and the Northeastern United States. We listened while she took us down the path to her descent into depression, her trauma history, and how the plants around her revitalized her. And how she had to make it as a single mom, eventually earning her Master’s Degree and becoming a small business owner. We learned that her influences included renowned herbalists Susun Weed and Sean Donahue. And that as an herbalist, she considers herself an autodidact…a self taught person! We learned her style/brand of herbalism, and what it means to be an shamanistic herbalist. Interspersed throughout Iris’ story, we have added bits and pieces of the Plant Walk that she led, and graciously let us record. She will be leading a Plant Walk at this year’s Herbstalk as well.
We hope you will enjoy the episode, and appreciate the interesting story and sage advice from one of our local herbalist Masters! Iris is available for private consultations, plant walks, home plant identifications, and classes as well, and we are sure would delight in you reaching out to her.