Kat Maier is the founder and director of Sacred Plant Traditions, a center for herbal studies in Charlottesville, Virginia. In clinical practice for over 30 years, Kat teaches internationally at universities, conferences, and herbal schools. Her latest book Energetic Herbalism: A Guide to Sacred Plant Traditions through Integration of Elements of Vitalism, Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine will be released Fall of 2021.
In the beginning of our conversation, Kat talks about her experience in the Peace Corps back in the 1970’s. Her journey with plants began in Chile with a life changing cup of herbal tea! This magical tea was a blend of plants, which she recognized immediately was real medicine. To this day, she remembers vividly the sensations that she felt.
Energetic herbalism is an ancient tradition. She explains: “This mode of healing is based on the truth that the vital force of nature and the vital force of the human are one and the same.” For Kat, plants are the greatest teachers because of their incredible healing abilities.
Kat reminds us that herbal medicine was the main health care system only one hundred years ago. In addition, Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine have been utilized as sophisticated botanical medicines for the past 5000 years.
Earlier in her career, Kat completed a physician’s assistant program in allopathic emergency medicine. For Kat, the American Medical Association (AMA) is more accurately the Alternative Medical Association. It should be used in cases of emergency when all else fails. According to the World Health Organization, 80% of the world’s population uses some form of herbal and natural medicine. It’s not “alternative” to the vast majority.
For someone looking to get started in herbalism, the first step is to find a local herbalist in their community. Bottom line, she says you want to get out there with the plants, smelling them and watching them grow. It’s also critical to start growing rare and endangered plants right now on our lawns or backyard. And it’s also important to utilize plants that are already abundant in one’s area.
Spending time outside and really looking at plants help Kat to enter a relaxed parasympathetic state. She also uses a powerful technique to access the heart called “the wide-angle technique.” She walks us through this technique later in the episode!
Her words to her younger self: relax, enjoy the journey more, and don’t be so frightened about not reaching the goal.
You can learn more about Kat and her work right here: https://www.katmaierherbalism.com/ And you can pre-order her new book Energetic Herbalism right here: https://www.chelseagreen.com/writer/kat-maier/
You can also check out Kat’s Center for Herbal Studies here: Sacred Plant Traditions