Meet Kathi Keville!

 

Kathi Keville has been teaching and writing about herbal medicine, aromatherapy, herb gardening, and ethnobotany for over forty years. She is the author of 14 books, hosts an herb centered radio show, is the director of the American Herb Association, founding member of the American Herbalist Guild and United Plant Savers, was given honorary membership to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy and the American Aromatherapy Association for her work, and much more as this impressive list of experience goes on! We are thrilled and honored to have Kathi share her wisdom with us at this year’s Rootstalk Festival! 

The Giveaway!

To celebrate, we are giving away a copy of her book Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art  along with one of our Classic Essential Oil Kits so you can experiment! There are 5 easy ways to enter for a chance to win this awesome prize:

1. Read our interview with Kathi below and leave a comment telling us your favorite herb for aromatherapy and why you love it.

2. Post your own answer to question #3 on your blog with a link back to this giveaway. Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog so we can check it out!

3. “Like” the Rootstalk Festival on Facebook: Rootstalk Facebook Profile

4.  Follow us on Twitter at MtnRoseHerbs and tweet about this giveaway with the tag  #Rootstalk.

5. Leave a comment on one of our previous blog posts that you find interesting and include the tag #Rootstalk.

Submit all of your entries by next Tuesday, April 5th and we’ll announce the winner on Wednesday!

Good luck and enjoy the interview!

What classes will you be teaching at Rootstalk this year?

– Medicinal Herb Gardens for Sustainability

A self-sufficient approach to growing and wildcrafting herbs you and your family need for medicine. Replacing the exotics in your backyard pharmacy.

– Aromatherapy with Conscience, Safety & Sustainability

Choosing good medicines that are safe and sustainable. We’ll discuss conditions aromatherapy treats the best and which oils to use, and aromatherapy products you can make from your garden.

What is one of the most powerful moments you’ve experienced in the wild or through your work?

After working with medicinal plants for over 40 years, what comes to mind is a mosaic of experiences that mesh into a deep appreciation for the wonder and power of plants. There’s the first time I saw lavender and helichrysum growing in the wild in the mountains of Provence or the experience of traditional Mayan or Native American healings, or connections to the plant world through deep and amazing meditations on plant energies. But then, there’s also simply walking through the woods around my house or seeing the first seedlings emerge in Spring. Perhaps the most powerful of all is every time someone tells me they’ve been healed by a plant. 

What is your primary environmental concern?

I’m deeply aware of many concerns about the environment because I write about what’s new on the ecological scene in every issue of the American Herb Association Quarterly. My focus is most often the unsustainable use of natural products, so ways in which we can stop depleting our native plants from the wild. There are also newly-created, modern compounds that tax the liver, kidney, and immune system, such as the toxins in some plastics used to store food and herbs. Herb plants that are not organically grown can contain pesticide and herbicide residues. Imported herbs may be fumigated. Synthetic essential oils permeate many products on the market, even creeping into products sold in natural food stores. These essential oils are especially worrisome because they are composed of small molecules that can be absorbed through the skin and inhaled.

Wonderfully aromatic lavender reaching for the sun!

What can people do to help combat this in their community?

As an educator, it is my responsibility to the environment to discuss these issues as much as possible in seminars and on my radio show. As a writer, it is a subject that is often addressed in my books, magazine articles, as well as my AHA Quarterly. I encourage other writers and educators to do the same. The environmental concerns around herbs and essential oils can be controlled by us as consumers when we do become educated and then make choices in what we choose to buy, or not buy. It is our job to spread the word so more people become aware of the facts, verses the fiction. We can all support sustainable products and environmental causes with our money and time. I suggest buying herbs and associated products that have been grown organically and sustainably–or even better–growing your own.  I suggest that my students join United Plant Savers <unitedplantsavers.org> and attend their conferences, helping organize carpools and caravans with herb-related stops on the way. 

Are there any projects that you are working on and would like to share?

For a long time, I’ve been studying and working with the local medicinal and edible plants around me, including those that are native to the Sierra. I’m always seeking to learn more and expand my experiences, then share this with my students. For several years, I’ve been working on a book covering the edible and medicinal plants of California.

What do you hope to experience at Rootstalk this first year?

People of like minds coming together to celebrate our plant allies!

What is your favorite plant and why?

This question is too difficult to answer. It’s like asking about a favorite child or friend! When I give herbwalks either in the wild or my garden, I find myself repeatedly saying, “This is one of my favorite plants” depending upon what is in front of me at the time. I see them as a united plant community that come together in different combinations and in so many ways to heal us in body, mind, and spirit.

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For more information about Kathi’s amazing work, visit the Rootstalk website here:

http://www.rootstalkfest.com/page/kathi-keville

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Congratulations to the Winner!

Thanks to everyone for sharing your herby knowledge and stories with us this week. Lavender sure does have some big fans out there!  

And the randomly selected winner is…

54. organic says:

Hard to choose… I definitely use lavender all the time but another great favorite of mine is yarrow… I love the blue color and properties that match chamomile (another great scent and the German strand is also blue)I grow yarrow in my backyard and come fall I harvest the plant, let it dry and make a pretty dry arrangement for my table. Ingesting it as a tea is pleasant and subtle and easily mixes with other herbs to create herbal flavors of your liking : )

We’ll be in contact to make arrangements for you to receive the prize!