By Sanjeev Selvarajah
Like a scented candle seemingly extinguished with breath, the fragrance of the candle-essence lingers and perseveres with summer’s early breeze. Such is the trace of holistic and homeopathic medicinal aids. They bring you full circle by prompting a memory of a toddler’s lazy afternoon slumber or a surge of stubborn adolescent adrenaline. High and low, the herbs have a goal, and they mean to transport you to a frame of reference, the closest real-time capture of shamanistic astral projection.
Herbstalk is quickly becoming a fixture of Somerville, acting as the middleman who brings the curious to farm-grown boons handmade by Mother Nature.
This is the second year of the event. This past weekend, it was held at the Center for the Arts at the Armory. The hall was packed and many were there for the classes as well as the goods. The classes taught lessons such as how to make your own tinctures and your own herbs for those suffering under disease and addiction problems.
One simple fact that strikes fear into the hearts of pharmaceutical companies is the day when their industrial gauge pills become obsolete because of the potential for each individual or family to possess their very own medicine cabinet stocked with herbal alternatives. Is there any surge in research to push our lazy plant friends to work for us?
Start of your day with Black Magic coffee a branch of the Tandem brewing company. How about a donut or Echinaca. That’s what Leota, a long time patron of the herbal arts bought from one of the tables. The tables were proudly featuring their respective brews. And noncompetitively reaching across the aisles to the curious participants making pleasant chatter, the herbalists answered questions and fulfilled requests.
“The Ingredients are raw, wholesome and pure,” said Rachel, who didn’t mind the question “What do you think makes this conference special?” Herbstalk’s first response to the curious is its webpage herbstalk.org that answers questions and points the way to its highly focused blog that covers the average inquiry. It’s important to consult with an herbalist and learn how scientific research corroborates the potential of east meets west. Check out Somerville’s own new age frontiersmen at NaturalStandard.com, a scientific endeavor that parallels the zeal seen in Herbstalk.
Steph Zabel, founder of Herbstalk and organizer of the event says, “Through education, Herbstalk seeks to change the perception that herbalism is something strange, dangerous or on the fringe, into something that is a natural, easy, and healthful part of daily life.”
“Our second annual Herbstalk event was a success and exceeded my expectations. I was really happy to see the wonderful and diverse turnout of people over the whole weekend, and that all 40+ classes were well attended. There is definitely a growing interest in herbalism and natural health and our goal is to make herbal education accessible to everyone. The entire weekend was joyful, inspiring and community-oriented” said Zabel on the event.