Herbalist and Artist Create Everyday Guides for Healthy Living

Reader Contribution by Sarah Baker
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Have you ever wondered how to make your own herb-infused oils, homemade bug repellent or thyme-infused honey? What about the best herbs to use for a good night’s sleep? Those answers and more can be found in some of the many works published by Thyme Herbal with illustrations by Chelsea Iris Granger.

Based out of Massachusetts, Brittany Wood Nickerson founded Thyme Herbalas a teaching platform to instruct courses in herbal cooking and homesteading, to publish supportive and informative works, and to share her knowledge and experiences of herbs and healthy living. The Thyme Herbal website includes a blog in which Nickerson posts healthy recipes and observations.

Granger and Nickerson jointly created the Everyday Living Series that includes booklets and posters designed to educate and share daily tools that can inspire and help cultivate a healthy lifestyle.

The Everyday Living Series includes a kitchen medicine poster, a moon calendar, a spring cleaning pamphlet, and two zines: Cooking for Winter Health Wellness, and Sacred and Mysterious: Healing Wisdom and Herbal Lore for Those Who Menstruate.

These works, Nickerson says, are supposed to serve as supportive guides for individuals to interpret and use as resource for building their own healthy lifestyles. In many of these publications, she writes to the reader about her experiences with these topics and encourages them to create their own experiences with these same topics.

For example, she writes:

Lavender footbaths are a great way to relax. There are many nerve endings in your feet that run up through your entire body. When I waited tables, I used to rely on foot baths to sooth my sore feet and help me calm down after a long shift. Lavender also has wonderful anti-bacterial properties . . . surprise, surprise!

She then follows with more scientific explanations of how lavender affects the body and instructions on making a lavender footbath.

Separately published from the Everyday Living Series, but under the same company, Thyme Herbal, Brittany also wrote a short book entitled Herbal Homestead Journal in 2015. This short book contains herbal recipes, do-it-yourself projects, and general knowledge and advice divided up by months and seasonal relevance, sort of like an herbalist’s version of a farmers’ almanac.

In the introduction, Nickerson writes on the purpose behind the book:

This is a do-it-yourself kind of an experience, starting by pointing out what is happening outside during the seasons, what plants the season may offer and then offering a few suggestions of how YOU can use those plants and how they can help YOUR body. And at the end of the year, you can reflect on your participation in the cycle, the grand cycle of nature.

She then goes on to explain her reasons behind writing the book:

These days, the practice of home healthcare is a form of activism. It requires us to work outside of the conventional systems and offerings of our culture and allows us to take ownership over our own well-being. . . Practicing herbal medicine and other forms of folk medicine at home is one of the most empowering choices one can make; it puts our belief that we can heal into our own hands—helping us to feel in control, capable and . . . healthy!

Nickerson is currently working on another book set for release in the spring of 2017, independent from the series. Nickerson’s text and Granger’s illustrations combine to create a product reminiscent of old-school, 1970s MOTHER EARTH NEWS, and we’re excited to see what their next book brings to the table.

If these works interest you, you can buy any of the works in the Everyday Living Series orHerbal Homestead Journal from Thyme Herbal, or buy a Kindle edition of Herbal Homestead Journal on Amazon. Granger’s illustrations are also available in her Etsy store.