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A woman in the kitchen, chopping a fresh parsley, studying herbalism

Source: Marko Jan / Getty

On this episode of Black Health 365, co-hosts Britt Daniels and Jackie Paige welcome Jennifer West for a conversation on herbalism. West is a clinical herbalist who founded Plant Mama Alchemy. She’s also currently working on becoming a nutritionist.

West first took an interest in herbalism following her mother’s cardiac arrest. After that devastating event, the holistic healer wanted to learn alternative ways to treat the numerous ailments that plague Black women at higher rates. Today, West is an expert on healing herbs.

The Plant Mama Alchemy founder shares tips on how listeners can incorporate everyday herbs and ingredients into their holistic healing journey. She also drops a little knowledge on the history of herbalism, which comes from Black people in the African Diaspora who brought the practice with them to the states during the transatlantic slave trade. At one point, traditional medicine was rarely available to Black folks, leaving herbal medicine as their only option.

This ancient practice is deeply woven into the roots of Black history, and West is keeping it alive with her business.

Medicinal Fresh Herbs used in herbalism

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Britt and Jackie get advice from West on which herbs to use for common issues, from indigestion to insomnia to anxiety (the latter of which Britt is dealing with mid-episode). They also ask her advice on how novice herbalists can get into the practice and ways herbalism can be more accessible to all. Plus, they bust a few myths and misunderstandings surrounding the plant-based practice (like herbal tea doesn’t exactly count).

The hosts also consult the Plant Mama Alchemy owner on whether herbal and traditional medicine can be used together. They can, says West, but there are essential things to know before you mix the two.

Listen to the full episode to hear West’s wisdom and learn easy ways to incorporate herbalism into your holistic healing journey.

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