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Athena Herder


Athena Herder

Growing up I was exposed to many of Nana's drawings and other artwork. My favorites have always been plants. I remember our kitchen wall with the mural of Saguaro National Park that I loved, and an airbrushed yellow rose that was so realistic and beautiful.

I always wanted to draw like that, but that was not my fate. In high school, I was introduced to Photoshop, which opened a whole new world of art for me. Maybe I couldn’t draw but I could work artistic magic with the right software. I loved it at the time and still do, to this day.

When my oldest was a toddler, we were part of a group including a woman named Kimberly Gallagher. She was an herbalist and taught some of us how to use plants to help with cuts, bumps, and bruises. I wanted to know so much more, but sadly our lives went separate ways. Kimberly went on to start Learning Herbs with her husband John Gallagher.

I went on to raise and homeschool our boys, learning about herbs whenever I had the chance, but they weren’t the focus. Herbalism was a hobby that I would come back to again and again over the next 20 years.

As COVID lockdown hit SC (March 2020), I realized that my job as a homeschool teacher was coming to an end, with my youngest graduating high school in May. It was time to figure out my next steps.

Having done a lot of self-study and taken a handful of herbal classes online, I knew that this would be something I would enjoy. I was beginning to understand Clinical Herbalism and realized that this was the path I would love to take. In February of 2021, I started taking classes to make this a reality.

I recently heard someone say, “I wish herbalists would give a list of herbalists they follow and or their favorite books so that you could see if you have common ground as people do with movies, music, and other things.” In that spirit here is my ever changing list.

Herbalist References:

Current favorite herbal books:

  • Botany in a day

  • Veterinary Herbal Medicine

  • Herbal Constituents

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