I recently got to meet Lara and am really impressed by all the important work she is doing. Check out her site for upcoming class listings and all her other wonderful offerings!
What motivates you to work within the health field?
To help empower people to cultivate an awareness of their bodies, and of the plants and landscapes that surround them and how they can help heal. Seeing people develop this awareness is inspirational and deepens my own work in health and healing.
Is there a certain piece of advice you find yourself giving to your clients often? If so, what is it?
Cultivating self love by carving out space and time for themselves that entails some piece of self care, whether that's making time for tea, good food, or meditation. Also, illness seems inextricably linked to emotional well being so having clients understand the importance of working through emotional baggage is vital to improving their physiological well being.
Favorite books within your healing modality?
I reference Peter Holmes, 'The Energetics of Western Herbs' a great deal, also Donald Yance's 'Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism', Aviva Romm's 'Botanical Medicine for Women's Health' and always love reading and sitting with Stephen Harrod Buhner's books, especially 'The Secret Teachings of Plants'.
Are plants part of your practice and if so, which do you find yourself using the most and for what reason?
Plants are the primary part of my practice, other than recommendations for diet and lifestyle changes. Plants are not only magical and beautiful, but when the craft of matching specific plant medicine helps resolve a specific situation a client is facing
What are the tools of your trade that you couldn't live without?
Going out into the woods and being with plants or growing the plants I work with, this is essential to the work I provide.
What do you turn towards for inspiration?
Spending time in the woods and sea, sailing and playing music. Reading writers like Ursula LeGuin and Mary Oliver. I love reading from other herbalists like Fellow Workers Apothecary and Renee Davis and Sean Donahue.
Dandelion Vinegar recipe and visualization
Well there are two parts to this, but since we're entering Spring movement, I think making herbal vinegars is the simplest and most gentle way to get things moving that might have been otherwise stagnant. So just picking some dandelion buds, flowers and some of the leaves and placing them in a pint jar of apple cider vinegar at a 1:2 ratio is a great way to assimilate nutrients and support the hard work your liver is doing. You can have those buds sit in the vinegar for a couple of weeks, no set time is necessary except your own, strain it and dilute some in water. Take this elixir, if you will, and find a spot outside on warm day. Take a couple of sips and taste what you're sipping, notice how it affects your body and lay on the earth/ground/grass and breathe in the air. Breathe in the trees that might surround you, the birds, the plants and imagine that life that's bubbling all around you, is also animating inside of you. Do it for as long as you can stand, but even starting with a few minutes can have a profound impact.
Lara Pacheco is a clinical herbalist who founded Seed and Thistle Apothecary, which offers a monthly herbal subscription of seasonally based herbal preparations from plants she grows and ethically wildcrafts. Within this model, she also offers consultations and customized options where individuals are matched with specific plant medicine to help support their health. Lara is a Latina community organizer and teaches classes, builds gardens, and advocacy around women’s health and access to alternative medicine for the underserved. Lara learned from the plants originally in the farm and field then pursued further studies in the Pacific Northwest with the School of Traditional Western Herbalism and worked with Scott Kloos for his one time offering of the Cascadia Folk Medicine Herbal Apprenticeship.