Ontario Herbalists Association

Promoting safe & natural healing with plants since 1982

The Essence of Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is the original medicine of all peoples of this Earth. It is a traditional medicine that contains within it the voice of our ancestors – reminding us who we are and where we come from. But it is also a living, vital medicine that evolves with us through time so that it will always remain relevant and current.


Herbal medicine can never be taken from us because the healing power of plants is ubiquitous and untouchable.

Herbal medicine is of and for the people. There is no separation between us and our medicinal plants, and no process that is absolutely necessary before they can be used, so that anyone can have access to the profound healing the plants offer. But it is also a medicine that has been shaped into a diversity of systems by many gifted women and men over the millennia of our existence. Herbs offer us systems of medicine that can be as complex or as simple as needed to reflect the understanding of the person using them.  Each plant has such a beautiful and astounding complexity that it could take a lifetime to understand completely. This complexity inspires the intelligence and creativity of the practitioner to co-create with the plants a diversity of healing systems. So in this way it is a living medicine that is reborn each time it is used.

Herbs contain within them an ancient knowing; a resonance of home. They remind us that we have not been abandoned here without the means of surviving and thriving. Just as the Earth provides us with everything we need for food and shelter, she provides us our herbs that give us the ability to heal ourselves from whatever ails us.

Plants have not been altered by social mores or technology. They heal our flesh and teach our souls how to be our greatest potential because they have never wandered outside the natural laws as we have. Plants provide us a path back to our greatest health of body, mind and spirit. They are our older siblings and have always lovingly sung their healing wisdom into our ears and our hearts. They have adapted to the same conditions that we have and their adaptive strategies are familiar to our flesh, so that the healing they offer us is deep, multi-layered and lasting.

When the herbs flow through our veins we instantly become connected to an ancient way of knowing, of connection and belonging. We are reminded of our place on this Earth and in this universe. Our illusion of separateness becomes less opaque and while our minds may miss the subtle shift, our cells vibrate with the joy of coming home. This is the medicine that we were born into, and it is the medicine that will sustain us. It is our birthright and it is ours.