An integrative approach to healing ourselves and our world: honoring people, plants, planet

Posts tagged ‘medicinal plants’


Women’s 2020 Nature Retreat: 3-Day Effect in Nature, Disconnect & Reconnect

Into the Wild: A Wise Woman Herbal Gathering

On top of the beautiful Lookout Mountain in Northwest Georgia, we will be gathering for a wonderful herbal experience this September. I will be teaching a class on Herbs for Stress and leading a Forest Bathing experience to calm our nerves and enliven our senses. I’m excited that herbalists Ila Hatter and Lauren Haynes will be leading herb walks and teaching medicine making. You won’t want to miss this herbal gathering for women.

For more information and to register click here for the Into the Wild Herbal Gathering.


The Art of Botany at the Hunter Museum of American Art: A Focus on Poppies — Saturday, June 17, 2017, 1:30-3pm

poppiesThe Art of Botany looks at the cross-pollination of art and plants, uniting artists and naturalists into dialogue. This program will feature three Knoxville-based artists and creatives, Margaret Scanlan, Norman Magden, and David Denton, who collaborated on the multi-media, experiential work, “Poppy Project,” at the Knoxville Botanical Garden in 2016. Local therapist, herbalist, and naturalist Holli Richey will respond to their work, speaking on the cultural use and medical history of poppies. Join us for a fascinating discussion on the generation of creativity by, and healing from, the humble plant.

Medicinal Plant Symposium, Oct 15 at State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Artemisia annua, or sweet Annie, is related to wormwood which is the key ingredient in Absinthe. Sweet Annie has been used effectively in Africa for malaria. Traditionally in Appalachia it was made into wreaths to hang on the door, smelling sweetly all winter.

Artemisia annua, or sweet Annie, is related to wormwood which is the key ingredient in Absinthe. Sweet Annie has been used effectively in Africa for malaria. Traditionally in Appalachia it was made into wreaths to hang on the door, smelling sweetly all winter.

I hope to see you at the 2013 Medicinal Plant Symposium. I presented two years ago on the healing chemistry of plants. Topics this year are on Traditional Chinese herbs, Latin American Ethnobotany, growing and using medicinal plants through the seasons, and a special talk on the anti-malarial properties of Sweet Annie (Artemisia annua).

This is my topic:

A Professional Herbalist’s Perspective in Matching People with Plants

People have a personality. Dis-eases have a personality. Plants have a personality. Professional herbalists play match-maker in introducing plants to people who are experiencing an emotional-physical-spiritual imbalance. This whole-systems approach to herbal medicine recognizes the complexity of plants and people, going beyond the reductionist model of active constituents for physical symptoms. Using case studies, Holli Richey will illustrate how herbs in their whole form provide a healing complement to mind-body illness.

Attached is a pdf of the brochure.

Annual Spring Native Plant Sale at Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center

Spring Equinox at the Chattanooga Arboretum.

THE SPRING SALE DATES: Friday April 27th and Saturday April 28th, 9-5pm

The annual spring native plant sale at Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center (Reflection Riding) is always a huge success. Very few garden centers and nurseries offer such a wide selection of plants native to the Cumberland Plateau and Ridge and Valley ecosystem.

Medicinal Plant Symposium and Plant Sale

I’ll be speaking at the Medicinal Plant Symposium at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia on Tuesday, October 18. My topic is on the Basics of Medicinal Plant Constituents. I’ll break down the medicinal constituents of plants into understandable terms. The entire conference includes wonderful medicinal plant speakers from around Georgia.

9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Callaway Building Auditorium

Bot Garden member $60; non-member $65 (includes lunch)

During this day-long seminar, five medicinal plant experts will explore a variety of medicinal plants and some of the belief systems that guide their use.  The program will introduce medical botany both in the botanically rich southeastern U.S. and in other parts of the world emphasizing traditional as well as current uses of medicinal plants. The program will also explore cultivation of drought resistant native medicinal plants in Georgia and herbal medicine making.  Please visit our website at  for a complete agenda.

This program serves as an Elective for the Certificate in Native Plants.

To register go to

Cleavers for internal spring cleaning

Cleavers in Athens, Georgia, US at the Brick House

Before there was Velcro, there were cleavers, a bristly, weak-stemmed annual with whorls of narrow leaves and inconspicuous white flowers. Arising from its winter bed during the seasonal transition into early spring, cleavers (Galium aparine) embody juicy, springtime vitality.

Growing in areas of moist, partial-shade, cleavers, also known as goosegrass and lady’s bedstraw, typically are thought to have originated in Europe. According to the USDA Plants Database, however, cleavers are considered native to the United States. Whether native or not, cleavers are found throughout the entire North American continent and have been used in Native American medicine.

According to traditional Western herbal healing, cleavers cleanse accumulating toxins from the fluid and its channels, such as the blood, lymph, sweat, bowels and kidneys, which can become stagnant during the colder months.

The fresh, brilliant-green cooling juice released from its stem and leaves contains citric acid, sweet-smelling coumarins (which is not the same blood-thinning compound, Coumarin), and asperuloside, a laxative.

Signs of stagnation for which cleavers are used in order to nudge the fluid channels toward more efficient elimination are swelling of the hands and feet, or nodule-like cysts on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet; fibrous tissue in the breasts; inflammation in the kidneys or urethra, or kidney “gravel”; constipation; and cystic acne.

The Nitinaht people of British Columbia are reported to have used cleavers as a hair wash to make the hair grow long.

Harvest the above-ground parts while they’re bright green, before the weather becomes too hot in late spring when cleavers become stringy, yellowed and has gone to seed. On a daily basis while locally available, gather a handful of cleavers – carefully removing co-existing plants unless it’s chickweed (Stellaria media), which has properties similar to cleavers – and either juice them, or chop the herbs, putting them in a pitcher and pouring about 32 ounces of boiling water over them. Allow the cleavers to steep for 8-10 minutes. Strain and drink a couple cups a day. Cleaver tea smells like spinach-water and tastes like grass, so one might want to add lemon juice for flavor.

A member of the Madder family (Rubiaceae), the same family with coffee, cleaver seeds can be roasted as a caffeine-free coffee substitute.

One can experience spring by drinking cleaver tea, bathing in cleavers, or wearing sprigs of cleavers, which make a natural springtime corsage, adhering to any article of clothing when applied.

Paying attention to the plants of the season, and accepting their gifts, brings us closer to the natural, healing rhythm of Earth.

Edible & Medicinal Garden & Weed Walk at Brick House Studios

The ornamental Datura with a mysteriously bizarre past. Very toxic in small doses, though historically used as medicine.

Mark your calendars and register early to join Holli Richey for the Edible & Medicinal Garden & Weed Walk at the Brick House Studios Saturday August 7th from 10am-2pm. $35, Lunch included.

Participants will meander through the gardens of the oldest standing brick house in Oglethorpe County (c. 1820), while learning the medicinal and edible attributes of the garden flowers and wild weeds.

Included is a gourmet lunch served on vintage tablecloths, either outside in the shade or indoors, depending on the weather. The menu will be offering wild delectable weeds, fresh-from-the-garden vegetables, edible flowers, herbal infusion teas, and refreshing mint & lemon balm “mock”-tails.

Elephant Ears (Taro) at the Brick House.

Space is limited, so register early by either calling or emailing Holli Richey, 404-695-1812;


1892 Athens Rd. Crawford, GA 30630

On Hwy 78, 12 miles east of Athens. On the left. 1.5 miles passed the Oglethrope County line.

Brick House Studios behind a beauty-berry bush

What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday!

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