Category Archives: Community News

Herb Walk and Medicine Making Workshop

With Katolen Yardley, MNIMH – Medical Herbalist and host Sharon Brown Horton.

Join us for a day long adventure…. on Gambier Island.

gambier2   howe sound

• Learn about local medicinal plants and herb walk in the stunning rainforest and meadow land.
• Meander to a stunning off the grid property to learn about herbal medicine making.
Enjoy the local animals on property and the gorgeous view overlooking Howe Sound.
• Collect medicinal and garden edibles for salad and enjoy a delicious herbal desert, sip on herbal tea throughout the day.
• Dive into medicine making and learn how to prepare herbal teas, herbal vinegars, a medicinal salve and infused oil – an instruction booklet provided.
• Learn the various medicinal uses of local plants.

gambier  IMG_8356  gambier rooster  salad

gambier walk

The days experience are made more magical by the fact that we are travelling to an off the grid property. This part of the island has no public ferry access, no stores, no paved roads, no hydro, no phone lines… and of course no ATM machines or restaurants. (So bring your own snacks for the day, in case you get hungry).

Access to the island is by water taxi and once you arrive it is as if you are miles away from the city, in a stunning rustic environment surrounded by wildlife (if luck is with us a deer may stop by for a hand fed snack!) and on the property your might meet some friendly hens and roosters, kittens. Stunning views of the ocean and mountains are visible.

Katolen Yardley, MNIMH is a medical herbalist and nature knower with over 20 years of clinical and medicine making experience. Author of the Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies (August 2016). Visit  www.katolenyardley.com for more information

And our lovely host and Thai Massage Instructor, Sharon Brown Horton at www.hummingbirdhillfarm.net

Kat Gambier  sharon chicken gambier

Date: Saturday July 9, 2016Gambier lavender
Time: From 8 am until after 6 pm

Prepayment required. Space is limited –to reserve now.
Medicine Making: $ 115 (Plus $ 45 Water Taxi to island) =
Total: $ 160
Meet in Vancouver for car pool or Lions Bay Marina
More information provided upon registration.

Contact: info@alchemyelixir.com to preregister and pay by visa, mastercard, cheque or e transfer.

Or call 604 683 2298

 

Jardin Botanico ~ Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin- Puerto Moreles, Mexico

Tulum 008One of the very top highlights about being an herbalist is learning about plant medicine and the diverse variation of plant species found in every country. The learning never ends, and since it is a learning which I am passionate about… “double bonus!!” When I travel I welcome the opportunity to visit local botanical gardens. There are ALWAYS more medicinal plants to discover and learn of their traditional application.

This particular journey took me to the lush Mayan jungle where I looked forward to visiting one of the largest botanical gardens in Mexico, Jardin Botanico, named after ethnobotanical researcher Alfredo Barrera Marin, a cultural expert in Mayan and Nahuatl history. Established in 1982 outside of Puerto Morelos, on the coast of Quintana Roo, in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Tulum 015This 160 acre reserve contains kilometers of meandering trails, intermingled with mayan ruins; the lush jungle and mangroves are home to a vast selection of endangered  plant species and is a conservation project intended to protect regional flora and conserve biodiversity in the Yucatan Peninsula. The plant collection was rumored to contain more than half of the plant species identified in the Yucatan Peninsula, both ornamental and medicinal. I was excited to visit the garden to see orchids, palms, ferns, and a huge selection of cactus and over 60 species of medicinal plants used in traditional Mayan herbal medicine. A herbalists dream! In fact many of the conserved plants, such as palm leaves were used for crafts, preservation of food and the roofs of houses. And many species are now endangered.

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Jardin Botanico is one of  the featured gardens of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). The BGCI provides recognition for all botanic gardens worldwide and is one of the largest plant conservation network in the world (featuring over 500 botanical gardens in over 100 countries), taking care to preserve and grow some of the world’s endangered plant species.The BGCI  botanical gardens provide a collection of extensive plants from a local region, supplies seed banks and is a knowledge network focusing on aspects of plant conservation including  education. Its mission is “To mobilise botanic gardens and engage partners in securing plant diversity for the well-being of people and the planet”.

plantSo preparing to visit the Gardens early morning- before the heat became the focus of the day. I was awoken early in my tiny stone and clay mayan hut to the sound of a odd bird – clearly pretending to be a rooster (and did I mention that it was early?) – in short order other harmonies of various birds chirped in to welcome the new day and then finally a real rooster. It was still early – way before my alarm. The morning sun was now just starting to peak. Time to get up and begin the adventure.

There was a rumor that the botanical garden also holds a large animal population, including the only coastal troops of curious spider monkeys still left in the region, colorful birds, sunning iguanas and wild boars. As I love monkeys, I was hope-filled to spot some and inquired about their general location on the kilometers of meandering trails.

On the path I discovered a traditional mayan house- an example of traditional architecture and also archaeological Mayan ruins of an alter dating back to 1400 AD. Various sink holes are also  visible, and scattered shells from sea life visible underneath…. and a special collection of Mayan Medicinal Plants. I am not certain if I visited off season- but I was disappointed by the lack of selection of flourishing plants in the medicinal garden.

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Tulum 114As I neared the last third of the walk, my heart began to sink… there were still no monkeys. I was holding back my disappointment and kept my hears open. Rounding a corner I startled a shy wild boar, who ran for the exit … still no monkeys.Tulum 117

 

 

Another turn in the path and I discovered an amazing mushroom and I stopped to take some photos of this impressive fungi.

Once quiet I could hear some rustling in the far off distance… could it be a troop of monkeys? I wait, quiet, not moving…. strangely after a time, I begin to feel like I am being watched and I have a sense to look up above my head into the towering trees.

There is a monkey- quietly sitting in branches directly above my head -observing me.  I bring out my camera and begin taking photographs – thrilled that my wish was granted.

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The last section of the garden consists of the evergreen tropical forest reaching up to  25 meters in height. With a 130-foot suspension bridge (or wooden slat bridge), which climbed up to a scenic tower overlooking a panoramic view of one of the last preserved areas of mangrove in the region. Off in the distance impending construction and development can be seen.

Tulum 127    Tulum 126

So when I speak of jungles and mangroves… I need to emphasize, this is one area is of the LAST conserved forest areas between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. And this is also one of the last undisturbed ecosystems and homes to thousands of rare animal species (including black spiny-tailed iguanas, leopard frogs, and swamp crocodiles.

During my entire stay I read and hear of protests from locals over the large amount hectares of jungle which are being destroyed IN A DAY to make room for concrete developments of condos and tourist properties at the cost of the  homes of rare animal ecosystems and plant biodiversity. Protesters make note to mention that no animals were re-located, instead they were simply a part of the bulldozed mix of destruction.

Over the past 40 years, the coastal state of Quintana Roo has lost nearly 55 percent of its mangroves to developers in real estate and tourism. The village of Puerto Morelos had 409 hotel beds in 2003; now it has over10,000. Referenced from Mother Jones. In 2016, Santiago Tello from the Riviera Maya News quotes local biologists and environmentalists observing the growing extent of deforestation in northern Quintana Roo, “We went from 3,429 hectares of mangrove to 1,569 hectares” in 1976 to 2013. Countless acres of mangrove forests on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast have been lost — to make way for tourism chain hotels.

A Holistic Approach to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (and associated mental health issues)      

 

Presented by Katolen Yardley, MNIMH

During the  2 hours we will:

  • Explore the impact that long term stress has on the body, including the HPA Axis, and some theories behind PTSD and related mental health issues (anxiety and depression)
  • Investigate the connection between systemic inflammation and optimal digestive function and dis-ease and the role which healthy microbiome plays in  mental  health
  • Cover tools for re establishing health including:
  • Herbal Medicine options
  • Tips for Nutrition and supplements
  • Lifestyle considerations and
  • the role which ‘Connection’ has on our state of mind

Date: Thursday April 28, 2016    

Time: 2 hours from  7-9 pm  

Location: Kings College, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Trauma, Rest and the Role of Nature in Resetting the Nervous System

Having recent opportunity to teach in the certificate program “The Holistic Approach to Trauma,” at Langara College in Vancouver BC. The impact of extreme stress and the chain reaction that stress has on the body is fresh in my mind.

PSTD can be triggered from a traumatic event which creates emotional upheaval, flashbacks and anxiety which is re-lived again and again in both the mind and the body.  Rather than integrating the experience and moving forward – which is our bodies normal way of adapting, the trauma of a stress filled event can overwhelm the body, impacting resiliency and ones ability to cope; creating a looping state where the body re-lives an event which occurred in the past. PSTD and chronic stress can create a domino effect, impacting all endocrine  hormones throughout the body, altering immune system, hormones, thyroid function (the bodies motor for functioning) and adrenal health and can trigger inflammatory conditions leading to chronic dis-ease.

Finding my own self in urgent need of rest after a unique year, I sought out the most possible peace filled environment I could imagine. A small cabana hut, complete with a book and a hammock right on the ocean. Time to reconnect with nature and simply exhale.

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My temporary home, a one room hut with a thatched palm roof and outside my door was nothing but a wide stretch of  pristine white sand beach (noted to be some of the most beautiful in the world) and awe inspiring, magnificent views of  turquoise waters.

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Perhaps the very best therapy for trauma (or simply overload from stress) is the quiet calm, the lush green, serene stillness of NATURE. The simplicity of nature assists in our remembering that we are all connected and mother earth is our playground and a healer on this journey called life.

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Studies have been conducted on immersion in nature and its benefits for individuals suffering from stress and extended trauma. Nature can play a fundamental role in the photo 3restoration of a healthy nervous system, providing an opportunity to re-set a hyper functioning overly sensitive state. Immersion in nature is hugely beneficial for those suffering from PSTD. It matters not where ones makes contact with nature to experience the healing offered through contact with her trees, plants and the earth – gifts of mother natures and her green allies. Contact with nature can occur in ones garden, a local community park, or in the countryside, a meadow or at ocean level; remote wilderness, a jungle or high up in the mountains.  It is the benefit that fresh clean air, stunning beauty, walking barefoot in the soil, hugging a tree and experiencing the soothing sounds of mother nature. There is growing evidence that our green friends – trees, plants, flowers can improve our health and well being and reminds us of the connection we have to inhabitants  on this planet -plants, animals as well as each other. We are a part of a larger community.

photo 1 (2)In my soon to be released book “The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies” I speak of the urgent importance of recognizing mother nature and all she provides as necessary for the health of all life on this planet.  Mother nature provides plants which are our nourishment, our foods and our medicines – plants are our healing allies – we co exist together on this planet. We could not exist on this planet without plants. It is essential that we recognise her essential value in our life and seek to protect her gifts which are disappearing at a rapid rate. 

photo 5 (2)   photo 3 (8)  photo 3 (7)

IMG_0270The beach road outside of Tulum, Mexico is known for its bohemian new age feel, live music, plenty of yoga, juice bars, plenty of ecologically conscious retreats and small boutique hotels – a far removed sanctuary from sprawling busy resort hotels miles away; this lush beach front is still largely surrounded by palm trees, green jungle plants, mangroves and animals. No pressure to do anything except to enjoy the sparkling Caribbean Sea and stunning shoreline. The first night I took in some late night music therapy – feeling the reverberations of vibration soothe my tired soul.

photo 1 (8)  photo 4 (6)  Tulum 232

Further south of the Riviera Maya,  past the Tulum Playa coastline, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere is a world renowned Ecological Reserve and designated World Heritage Site (UNESCO); extending roughly 120 kilometers of coastline, and over 400,000 hectares of land. Sian Ka’an currently is the largest protected area in the Mexican Carribean. This biosphere reserve contains tropical jungle forests, marshes and wetlands, freshwater lagoons and mangrove forests, palm savannah and intersects  the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (the second largest barrier reef in the world) with its white beaches and sand dunes.  It is the home for an thousands of plant and animal species, a habitat for more than 300 species of birds, (including the great blue heron, jabiru, ocelot, margay and wood stork, American flamingo, toucan, vultures, ) spider black howler monkey, crocodile, black iguana, puma,  jaguar, brown pelican, puma, ocelot, tamandua and tapir, It also is home to a great diversity of marine life: nesting marine turtles, rays, coral fish and numerous fish species.

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Studies confirm that peace filled green environments such as those found in nature have an impact on mental well being, reducing fears, anxiety, anger, tension and depression.  Recognizing the challenges and stressors of daily living in our western industrialized society, nature can provide the needed reset button and perhaps may just influence our own future choices and the direction – if we recognize mother nature as valuable we might be more likely to fight to preserve her own health.

Continued and frequent contact with mother nature may be a necessary contact to sustain IMG_0297balance – sustainable and ecological friendly practices for tourism are desperately needed. New levels of ecological tourism are needed to prevent the destruction of the beauty which tourists flock to enjoy; currently at the cost of the plant life and animal species that call this backdrop home.  Perhaps it is a timely call for mutual healing – for both ourselves – humans suffering the consequences of our industrialized lifestyle – insomnia, hypertension, plagued by anxiety and worry.  And our own active involvement the natural world, ensuring she is flourishing, healthy and well for our mutual growth/ nourishment on this planet.

Yet during my stay I was aware of the urgent need for more environmental conservation practices in the Yucatan Peninsula to sustain this exquisite environment.  This very land which provides such great beauty and deep healing is in desperate need of saving, as large resorts and fast moving developments destroy miles of mangroves creating irreversible destruction to the fragile ecosystem of this land.

What we do to the planet we do to ourselves. It is time that we take responsibility for the state of the environment and make personal and conscious choices for its improvement.

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When I awoke in the morning, and took my first morning ocean swim, I could SEE the truth of the situation! Before the local beach groomers had swept the beach to remove the proof -at night the ocean would deposit ALL that was being held in her waters – plastic, plastic, and more plastic! Bottles, containers, plastic chips, hundreds of colored plastic bits littered the beach. Resembling little colored fish, I could imagine larger fish ingesting these plastic parts thinking they were nourishment. An example of xenoestrogens and a visual example of the impact that tiny bits of plastic can have on marine life and aquatic species.

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Ecotourism and the issues surrounding growing coastal urbanization is a focus as locals seek to preserve the beauty of the environment and retain the biodiversity of plant and animal species in the Yucatan. Environmental groups are committed to protecting the local areas and fragile ecosystem and attempt to slow down or prevent the ecological problems that have already taken hold in Cancun and Playa Del Carmen.

 

Many smaller hotels are conscious of the need for sustainable tourism and take steps to  minimize the environmental impact on this fragile ecosystem, supporting existing conservation projects to help preservation for future generations. Some of the challenges of this area:

  • there are well-documented garbage and sewage problems: septic tanks from larger (and even smaller) hotels may be dumping soap water from their laundries into the mangroves or nearby cenotes polluting the underground river system.
  • chlorophenoxy herbicides from pesticides and chemical fertilisers used in green lawn areas and golf courses are now major threats to the fragile barrier reef
  • due to a lack of proper man made drainage, the hydrological cycle is short, and over time the vegetation in existing mangroves ends up dying
  • contamination of drinking water and ocean life from both untreated sewage and containing byproducts found in human urine (containing traces of pharmaceutical medication (such as xenoestrogen chemicals found in birth control pills, premarin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen and residue from beauty care products containing plastic beads, antiseptics (aka antibiotics such as triclosan) are a major problem
  • traces of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) have also been found in ocean water and has an impact on coral and marine life
  • documented climate change, raising temperatures and water levels, pollution and contamination has damaged local mangroves and reefs

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Taking small steps to be  eco-friendly, many smaller boutique hotels have no electricity past midnight. Toilet paper is not flushed  and it is requested that water and other resources be used sparingly. Many showers are refreshing one tap cold ocean water rinses. Solar panels provide electricity and many hotels take steps to reuse and recycle offering filtered water (refills) rather than selling bottled water containers.  Many environmental agencies make recommendations such as the use of impermeable liners beneath golf courses, improved wastewater treatment infrastructure, prohibition of dumping treated sewage into saltwater and protection of remaining mangrove habitat, which buffer coastal areas from pollution.

Centro Ecológico Akumal is a non-governmental organization that focuses on sustainability-related issues and improving ecosystem management in and around Akumal.

Statistics from the Mexican government state the the mayan riviera is the fastest gowing resort area in the world. Mangroves that once covered all of the coastal area, have now been bulldozed and paved over. A jarring example of how NOT to create a sustainable tourist area. Scientists now believe that mangrove forests can help slow climate change, by purifying the water from human wastes and pollutants, and in doing so, coral reefs are less effected. The roots of mangroves act to trap sediments that would otherwise be washed back out by the waves. Moreover, mangroves provide a habitat for many different species of animals and suck a large amount of industrial carbon out of the atmosphere and bury it deep within the underground network of roots.

Mother natures offers us her gifts – nature is a stunning reprieve from hectic city life. It is essential that we recognize and preserve her qualities and  value her continued existence and seek to protect her gifts which are disappearing at a rapid rate. 

For more information and information reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/dec/09/cancun-mangrove-paradise-megasprawl

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-mangroves-idUSTRE6AN0YH20101125http://voicesmotherearth.blogspot.ca/2016/02/cancun-quintana-roo-commercial-property.html

S.A.V.E (Society of Akumal Vital Ecology) a non profit organisation involved in preventing construction over mangrove swamps in Puerto Morelos, creation of natural reservex in Xcacel-Xcelito and protection of hundreds of marine turtle nests. http://www.cenotes.com/save/

REDUCE STRESS – EASE TENSION – CALM YOUR MIND

Energy Healing Can Help!

Treat yourself, a friend or a family member to a relaxing session before and/or after the Christmas Holidays to promote balance and harmony for more joy and clarity in your life.

For more information on Energy Healing visit this link to our website.

First session (includes intake) – 1 ½ – 2 hours – Reg. $120.00 – Save $40.00 (Promotion Price – $80.00)

** Packages of 3 – Save $55.00 – Reg. $275.00 – (Promotion Price – $215.00)

Packages of 5 – Save $75.00 – Reg. $425.00 – (Promotion Price – $350.00)

Packages of 10 – Save $125.00 – Reg. $775.00 – (Promotion Price – $650.00)

(Note:  Expires – February 28, 2016); first session is not part of package; packages are to be paid in full after the first session, available days Wednesday and Fridays – some flexibility on Saturdays)

For more information, or to book an appointment call 604-842-5161, or email wing@soulenergyhealing.ca

Wing Piderman, CAIEHP, Certified Advanced Integrative Energy Healing Practitioner, Soul Energy Healing,  www.soulenergyhealing.ca

Honouring Our Elders – Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations

At the Vancouver Island Herb Gathering back in June, it was an absolute pleasure for the Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations to formally honour our Elder Herbalists in a ceremony gathering over 300 participants. With smudging, drumming, dancing and stories shared by elders present so many attendees were moved with laughter and tears hearing reflections and advice offered by our Elders to everyone present. This was an event which will be remembered!

The 36 nominated Elders include practitioner herbalists from across Canada who have spent at least 25 years offering outstanding contributions to the field of herbalism.  Their bios and background can be viewed on the CCHA website Honouring Our Elders page. Many of our nation’s herbal elders have offered years of service to community healing and to defend and establish the right to access herbs in Canada. We honoured their contributions with the announcement at Canada’s first nation wide herbal gathering in 2015. Our herbal elders have gathered vast amounts of knowledge and as they move towards retirement we hope to help them stay connected to the younger herbalists who will look to them for teachings and support.

The CCHA welcomes nomination of additional elders to be honoured at future gatherings,Herb Gathering, Joshua Tree 2015 099 visit the website for more information.

Herbal Associations in Canada

Interested in professional associations of registered herbal therapists in Canada – there are numerous regional associations offering various membership categories- both for professional practicing herbalists and for members with a general interest in herbal medicine.

The Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations (CCHA) is a not for profit organization representing associations of herbal practitioners that unifies, promotes and serves herbal practitioners through active communication with government, the public, and between all herbalist associations in Canada.

Canadian Herbalist’s Association of British Columbia (CHA of BC)

Ontario Herbalists Association – promoting the safe and natural healing with plant medicines and promoting a unified community based on a devotion to the knowledge and practice of herbal medicine.

Herbalist Association of Nova Scotia

Guilde des Herboristes Quebec

Alberta Association of Practicing Herbalists

 

Health Action Network Society (HANS): Mind-Alive Conference: Exploring Natural Medicine for Mental Health

mind alive HANSHANS and Orthomolecular Health are hosting this extraordinary full day event dedicated to the awareness of natural treatments for mental health issues. Our expert speakers will be discussing the siagnosis and treatment options for, eg. anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders.

Katolen Yardley, MNIMH Medical Herbalist will be speaking on the Holistic Approach to Mental Health: discussing nutrition and herbal medicine support.

Date: Saturday October 25, 2014

Location: Vancouver Convention Centre Meeting Rooms 10-12, Vancouver BC

For more information visit:  www.hans.org

 

Kootenay Herb Conference, Creston BC

Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 503The theme of the first Kootenay Herb Conference was “Herbs: The Medicine of the People.”  A weekend of celebrating the centuries-old tradition of using ‘herbs in food and herbs as medicine’; connecting to our past and the healing power of plants.

Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 450 The Kootenay Herb Conference was held just outside of Creston, BC in early July -situated close  to the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area a nature reserve with many trails. This world-Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 434renowned bird sanctuary is located on 17,000 acres of protected wetlands and boasts more than 265 species of nesting and migrating birds.- the location in a valley between mountains and beside a river and we were infused with warm summer weather.

Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 461The was a HUGE success – bringing attendees from all around BC, Alberta and the United States- It was an amazing Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 548opportunity to both infuse oneself in nature and learn about plant medicine – with insight from amazing herbalists residing throughout North America. Presenters ranged from numerous clinical herbalists, wildcrafters, doctors and naturopaths travelling from Seattle, McCall, Idaho, the Kootenays, Vancouver and Vancouver Island and Grande Prairie, Alberta who presented an assortment of health topics through the weekend- from phytochemicals used in salve making and favonoids in foods, to medicinal mushrooms, bach flower therapy, ayurvedic constitutions,  herbal discussions Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 529for various ailments (menopause, respiratory health, herbals for babies and children) and edible herbals- there were topics for every area of interest and level of learning (from advanced practitioners to those attending their very first herb lecture)- everyone took home gems from the weekend.

Medicinal plants are growing in abundance around the area making it an idelic space for herb walks and visual identification of plants growing in their natural habitat.Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 516

Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 549The conference offered delicious food, greens and berries grown specially for the  weekend and generously donated by local markets and farms, the meals were amazing.  A thank you to all the volunteers and organizers to make this event a success- Rachel Beck and others who worked tirelessly throughout the weekend- looking at ways to enhance the experience throughout the Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 551entire weekend.

Look for this conference to be held again in 2016 and spread the wordKootenay  Herb Gatherine 425 – what a great opportunity to expand ones knowledge of plant medicine while being submersed in nature. An idellic setting for learning more about nature’s healers.

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The Oldest Herb Shop in Barcelona


Barcelona 435The Herbal del Rei or Herbolari del Rei in Spanish, is a stunning gemBarcelona 446
 of a herb shop found hidden in the stone side streets of the ancient Gothic district of Barcelona – walking distance from La Rambla.  It is located thru a side passage near to the Royal Square / Plaza Real in the Street of Glass # 1. or Carrer del Vidre, 1, 08002 or through the street Carrer de Ferran. It was apparently created in 1818 and moved to its present location in 1823, and is dedicated to the sale of medicinal plants and natural products. As one of the oldest shops in Barcelona, thankfully it has been declared a  site of Culture and Local Interest and hopefully it will remain open for more people to visit and enjoy.

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Barcelona 442Inside the herb shop is beautiful and needs to be experienced in person for the full impression ( but you can also click on the pictures for a larger view). Decoration is Elizabethan style, dating back to 1857 – with a glass roof, old spanish wooden hand painted drawers housing ancient secrets, arched wood panels, statues, oil paintings and lovely old watercolors; in the center of the shop is a marble fountain (apparently once used for preserving leeches)  and beautiful hand painted tiles of medicinal plants can be found tucked away throughout the shop and then of course there are the Barcelona 461Barcelona 441herbal medicines stored inside glass shelves. An assortment of Catalan herbal products, spices, dried herbs, beeswax candles, teas, licorice and other natural products are found filling every inch of the shop.

Trinidad Sabatés is the shop owner, who Barcelona 457
was honored as a master on Medicinal plants by the Generalitat de Catalunya. When visiting we were fortunateBarcelona 459 to meet both Trinidad and her husband, who spoke more english and offered a lengthy commentary in both english and catalan (thankfully I had a translator) on the history of the shop and herbal medicine and the unfortunate tight regulations of herbal medicines in Spain.

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If you are planning to visit- confirm their business hours first – (Currently they are only open from Tuesday to Friday from 4 pm to 8 pm and on Saturday from 10 am  to 8 pm) and double check the address (google maps) – as it took 3 separate trips to the area to discover the actual address and then find the shop open (the store hours, shop name and address seem only to be located on the inside of the doors and shutters, only visible Barcelona 453when the shop is actually open)… but that is the fun of discovering new places in a new country. Herbolari del Rei is also on facebook and offers periodic classes and tours through the historical enchanting shop – unfortunately the tours are only in Catalan or Spanish- so bring a spanish friend like I did!