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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

Herb of the Month - Changemakers

Herbal Community Game Changer Rosemary Gladstar

by Mary Blue and the Farmacy Herbs Crew

One of the biggest game changers in herbalism is Rosemary Gladstar, a pioneer in the herbal movement who has been called the godmother of American herbalism. More than 35 years ago she began developing herbal formulas in her herb shop, Rosemary’s Garden in Sonoma County, California. She is the founder of the California School of Herbal Studies, author of 12 herbal books, and is the organizer of the International Herb Symposium and The New England Women’s Herbal Conference. She is also the co-founder of internationally known Traditional Medicinal Tea Company and Mountain Rose Herbs.

Gladstar’s greatest passion has been the work of United Plant Savers, a nonprofit organization that she founded in 1994. United Plant Savers is dedicated to the conservation and cultivation of at risk North American medicinal plants and to preserving botanical sanctuaries across the U.S. to help preserve the land that these precious native species thrive on. She is also co-founder of Traditions Not Trademark, a nonprofit group working to keep traditional herbal terms free of trademarks.

Some local herbal game changers include Herb Wyfe Lesley Wooler of Belmont Market (, Bonnie Kavanaugh at Seven Arrows Farm (, Kim Falcone at Lily’s Garden Herbals, (, Jessylou Rodrigues at Parcel Apothcary (, Joanna Cassino at Flipp Salon and Apothecary (, and the social herbal group Ocean State Herbal Association.

This month, Farmacy Herbs, in Providence, is offering a free community class as a primer to the Level 1 Herbal Foundations Program that starts in November.

Mary Blue is a community herbalist and educator, author of Herbal Foundations, and owner of Farmacy Herbs, located at 28 Cemetery St., Providence and co-owner of The Sage Clinic, 201 Waterman St., East Providence.  Learn more at 401-270-5223 or