The Herbalist

Heather as Herbalist

Heather Wood Buzzard is a wildcrafter in both the obvious and abstract senses of the word - she harvests wild plants for medicine for herself and others in the community, while she also works to craft the wild, with words and photographs, into a way of being wild in a world in need of exactly that.

After graduating from Emory University with a degree in people, poetry, nature and god - sociology, creative writing, environmental science and religion - Heather completed an artist residency at a treehouse community in Georgia. It was here in the swamp of saw palmettos that is the Hostel in the Forest that she began to seriously follow the plant path.

Many herbalists are swept along into the calling of medicine man or woman after having themselves fallen ill and having experienced herbal healing in their own bodies - Heather's story is no different. She became very sick; thinking herself too young and too healthy to be this sick, she turned to the conventional medical establishment to treat her. No healing was found there, and after several years of struggle and search, Heather found the answers that she sought in the plants that grew nearest to her doorstep. Journeying on with these new floral friends, it became clear that this experience with disease would be a catalyst to a life spent facilitating health, nourishment and closeness to the earth.

Amidst freelance writing, music and poetry performance, and teaching homesteading and nature poetry to young kiddos, Heather decided to focus on understanding herbal medicine as a way of knowing herself and her own story of healing. She apprenticed at Herb Pharm, the largest producer of medicinal tinctures in the US, where she completed a season engaged in deeply learning and integrating a range of herbal knowledge from the production, processing and medicine making side to the anatomy and physiology, botany and plant spirit medicine side. Heeding the call of the healer, Heather has since completed over 1000 hours of self study with various herbal mentors since leaving the Pharm Farm. She has taken courses at the Vitalist School of Herbology, the Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism, and with the faculty of the Hawthorne Institute, and attends a wide range of herbal and natural health conferences throughout the year.

Heather, her partner, and their dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys and rotating ark of pigs, llamas, and alpacas live cozily together in the botanical abundance of Madison County, the Jewel of the Blue Ridge, and of their own hearts. While Heather's current focus is general phytotherapy as it applies to women's health and the endocrine system, she has also studied Holistic Veterinary Medicine and deals with almost as much fauna as she does flora. Over the next few years, Heather will be receiving her clinical herbalist training at the Appalachian Center of Natural Health and her MA with a Certificate in Narrative Medicine.

She can be found most often in the fields and forests. For a full resume or to know more, send Heather a smoke signal.