Interview with Herbalist and Author Rosemary Gladstar

| 11/14/2014 8:50:00 AM

Author and herbalist Rosemary Gladstar has been described as the “Godmother of modern American herbalism.” Rosemary’s life story is fascinating, and her accomplishments are an encouraging example of the type of life one can lead if you listen to your heart and pursue your passions. Continue reading to see how Rosemary has turned a lifelong passion for herbs into a fulfilling career, or, click on the video below to watch an interview with Rosemary Gladstar, during which she discusses her current projects and future goals with MOTHER EARTH NEWS editor, Hannah Kincaid.

A Budding Herbalist

Rosemary grew up on a dairy farm in Sonoma County, California. One of five children, she was surrounded bya close family and immersed in life outdoors. Rosemary’s grandmother, who survived the Armenian genocide, was an inspiration to Rosemary and introduced her to gardening as a form of solace, in addition to sustenance.   Rosemary first learned about plants from her grandmother, and the tiny Armenian woman showed her “this weed for the compost, this weed for the kitchen.”  Rosemary went on to study herbs with a number of mentors and teachers, and she started the small herb shop Rosemary’s Garden (which is still operating in Sebastopol, California).

After years of blending teas and working with herbs at her shop, Rosemary’s bootstrap business evolved into Traditional Medicinals tea company. You may recognize the Traditional Medicinals label on such popular organic tea blends as “Gypsy Cold Care” and “EveryDay Detox,” which are still available in health food stores across the nation.  In 1978 Rosemary founded the well-regarded California School of Herbal Studies and in the 1990s Rosemary moved to the mountains of Vermont where she founded Sage Mountain Retreat Center and Botanical Sanctuary, a gorgeous 500-acre learning center and wilderness retreat.

In the mid 90s, Rosemary, along with a team of her peers and friends, founded the International Herb Symposium and the New England Women’s Herbal Conference, both of which provide valuable learning opportunities for beginning and advanced herbalists. The International Herb Symposium is one of the largest herb conferences held in the United States, and it’s the only worldwide herbal conference with an explicit international focus.

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