We are happy to continue our interview series with Lana, a college professor, drug information pharmacist and herbalist. She teaches pharmacy students how to take care of their health
with the right herbs, food and self-care techniques and also hosts a wonderful weekly
podcast called "Wellness Insider Network."
I began becoming interested in herbal medicine during pharmacy school. Even though I was learning about conventional ways to treat patients with complex illnesses, I didn’t know how to take care of myself. Soon enough I began exploring herbal and vitamin shops, and as a pharmacy student began digging into databases and books.
What challenges did you face when you first started?
One of my biggest initial challenges was learning from books. It gave me a lot of comfort to see that people were writing about natural therapies, but evaluating the recommendations were tough. The other difficult element was fear of experimenting with plants. I got over that fear by taking classes with herbalists and by trusting their guidance.
If you could go back in time to meet yourself when you were just starting on the herbal path, what would you say?
Find that tribe of people and teachers that you trust and start experimenting with confidence.
What is the main focus of your work within the realm of herbalism?
In addition to being an herbalist, I am a college professor and drug information pharmacist. Working with college students is where I feel I can offer the most impact. I hope that my journey and new podcast, Wellness Insider Network, will help my students to take their first steps in exploring the amazing world of herbal medicine in their lives.
My typical go-to books and resources are written by Rosemary Gladstar and David Winston, but there are new younger teachers that I very much enjoy learning from -- Maria Noel Groves and Rosalee de la Forêt are some of them.
Do you have a favorite plant or two at the moment?
Tulsi! Somehow I always come back to it.
And what would be your top five deserted island herbs? (the only herbs you could have around while stuck on a deserted island)
I would choose: Calendula, Chamomile, Yarrow, Thyme and Ginger.
Herbal medicine is a lot like cooking, trying new ingredients and flavors make you more comfortable and confident in the long-term.
What’s one fun thing that most people don’t know about you?
I got interested in Astrology a couple of years back (I took a course on the connection between planets and plants), and love exploring natal charts of friends and family.
What made you want to be a part of Herbstalk?
This is a vibrant community in my native town. I respect and admire the creator, Steph Zabel, and the mission of the organization to get more people to become educated and comfortable using plants.
Where do you see the future of herbalism going in the next few years?
I hope that more people will continue discovering this important and empowering way of taking care of themselves and their loved ones.
You can learn more about Lana's work and podcast at her website
and can join her intensive class, "Herbal Safety & Drug Interactions" on Saturday, June 2.
Check out the full class schedule here!