This is the landing page for The Business of Botanicals book club. Stay tuned for a discussion guide and links to resources! The discussion will go live on April 5th. If you want to join but haven’t signed up, go here. And sign up for the Facebook group here! Thanks so much for joining the conversation!
Do you believe in the power of plant medicines to heal?
Do you ever wonder where the elderberries in your syrup or the echinacea in your tincture comes from? Or how it has been handled on its journey to market?
Do you know how to find the herbs that actually work?
People often believe that herbal medicine is better for the earth and the people growing and harvesting the plants. But did you know wild harvesters in Bulgaria live under sheets of tin because they make pennies for their work? Or that only 5-10% of botanicals are certified organic and even fewer are certified fair trade?
Most botanicals are sourced in the open market which means the brands who’s labels are on the bottle can’t trace those herbs back to the fields and meadows where they grow. This means there is no accountability for the impacts of sourcing and processing those botanicals on the plants, the harvesters and processors, or the ecosystems.
There are companies working hard to source responsibly and to make sure that the products they produce really are better for the plants, the people, and the planet. But it can be hard to find them on the grocery store shelves where they compete with brands that aren’t so careful.
It’s up to us to change this!
The first step is understanding the industry and the challenges companies that are trying to make a difference face. The next is figuring out what each of us can do to make a difference.
Join The Business of Botanicals book club to participate in a community discussion about these issues! We’ll discuss topics explored in the book and listen to guest speakers who have dedicated their lives to maintaining the integrity of the botanical industry. And we’ll share ideas about how we can be part of the solution!
We’ll have a private Facebook group where author and SHP Director, Ann Armbrecht will post discussion questions and share additional resources and content (This information will be shared on the SHP website for those not on Facebook). You can join the Facebook group now and introduce yourself. The book group will begin actively on April 5.
And we’ll have four live sessions with quest speakers to learn more about their perspectives and experience. Confirmed speakers are below and additional speakers will be announced soon.
Deb Soule, Claudia Ford, and Steven Foster
Date: April 13, 12 pm Eastern
Date: April 28, 12 pm Eastern
Date: May 12, 12 pm Eastern
Nioma Sadler and Sebastian Pole
May 26, 12 pm Eastern
Ben Levine will also join us for a bonus session to talk about his course, Herbs in Commerce, and discuss ways herbalists can incorporate these issues into their curriculum.
Standing in the supplement aisle can be completely overwhelming. We want to make a difference but it can be so hard to know how to make a difference. You’ll leave this book club knowing how to navigate that aisle! You’ll know what to look for on labels, what questions to ask of companies, and, most importantly, how to help make sure herbal medicine heals us all, not just those who buy products. Not only that, we’ll build a community so that our actions have a bigger impact!
You will need a copy of The Business of Botanicals to join the discussion. You can order one from your local bookstore (here are some options) or ask your library to order a copy and read it there!