At the Spring Show recently held by Artisanal LA, at downtown Los Angeles’ The Reef, last month, among the numerous displays was one that delighted those appreciative of all things herbal. The Plantfolk Apothecary booth was indeed a welcome refuge to those seeking natural alternatives to many of life’s modern complaints. (For those unfamiliar with the word “apothecary”, it is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “one who prepares and sells drugs or compounds for medicinal purposes” as well as a “pharmacy.”) This oasis in the concrete desert that is Los Angeles brought the goodness of the green world into the festival.
Packets of dried herbs, infusions, essential oils, products for hair and skin, books, whatever a person interested in the benefits wrought by plants may have sought, could be found within the confines of the small space allotted to this vendor. A perusal of the wares was bound to unleash dozens of queries as to not only their potential uses but in regard to the whole herbal world. This is not a matter of simple botanical applications for spicing up your meals or making a room smell nice. The plant materials available were meant, in current times as much as in those long past, to be employed in daily health routines, in prevention of illness, and in alleviating conditions of all sorts. Whether the problem was called by another name hundreds of years ago or has only recently been identified, herbal solutions have been, and still are being, adapted for use by humans and animals (pets and livestock) to make life livable and better.
A chat with the operator of the display shed some light on the availability of specific herbs that a person might seek for specific causes. While some plant materials may be in hot demand in some regions, they may not always be readily found throughout the country. The proprietor was knowledgeable about some herbs that can be picked up gratuitously in, for example, the Midwest, yet are unknown here in California. It certainly is refreshing to be able to converse with a person who is aware of what grows where and what it’s for! That is not always the case when you shop for herbal remedies, which all too often come pre-packaged and shipped from China or other far-off lands. In such cases, you don’t really always know what you’re getting (in regard to purity or even accuracy). It often also happens that the person behind the counter has little clue what specific herbs are all about.
Not the case with Plantfolk; run by a genuine expert in this field, Kate Clearlight, originally of Vermont, is well-educated in plants’ uses for health. Established in New Mexico in 2010, her business is both on the internet and on the road, making use of shows such as Artisanal LA to both educate and supply the public. You can find out more about this amazing source of natural wellness at her website: http://www.plantfolkapothecary.com/