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            What is Nurse-Herbalism?


Nurse-Herbalism Services at Golden Apple Healing Arts
Healing plants are foundational to the healing services provided at Golden Apple. Dr. Martha has been partnering with plants in healing for nearly 30 years. She was first taught about plants by her Cornish-Celtic grandfather and mother. She began forming her nurse-herbalist practice from 1984-1986. While attending nursing school she apprenticed for 2 years in the clinic of a German herbal healer and foot reflexologist. She was the Director of herb programs for an interdisciplinary integrative practice (and farm) in Montana from 1989-1995 during which time she studied and became certified in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (TCM). Her TCM education included herbal formulation. Dr. Martha oversaw the cultivation and harvest of hundreds of medicinal plants as well as herbal product development and preservation. She also designed and implemented numerous herbal protocols for the care of patients - infants to elders. Dr. Libster further integrated her nursing, botanical, and technology skills as the Director of the Natural Healthcare Hotline for the Herb Research Foundation in 1997. Since then she has been an avid translator of herbal research and historical/traditional evidence into nursing practice. She published her first book and CD-ROM on the subject in 2001 - a 900 page work called The Integrative Herb Guide for Nurses. Her most recent book, The Nurse Herbalist (2012) is considered a pre-eminant text on the subject. Dr. Martha's books are used by nurses and herbalists around the world.

Golden Apple Nurse-Herbalist Services:
  • Begin with Topical Herbal Remedies (Foot Baths, Wraps, Packs, Salves, Compresses) and Herbal Simples - 1 or 2 plant remedies to introduce you to plant medicines. Your responses to these simples also provide Dr. Martha with important health pattern information related to the health of your physical organs, your mental and emotional strengths, and spiritual vitality. this information helps in providing you care and comfort that is effective and efficient. These may be provided from Golden Apple gardens and organic bulk herb sellers or purchased from trusted herb companies, local pharmacies, and health food stores.
  • Herbal Education (Handouts, Websites, Educational Programs)
  • Self-Care Recipes - Kitchen "Homework" to deepen your connection with the "medicine" within you and within healing plants.
  • TCM Formulations when indicated. To ensure purity and quality of the "Chinese" herbs used at Golden Apple we provide herbs for our TCM formulations from herb companies that certify their herbs as pesticide/herbicide/pesticide free and organically grown (when possible). According to nursing and TCM tradition, our herbal formations are comprised of whole bulk herbs that you will cook in water to make a tea (decoction).

Excerpt from Dr. Martha's Book The Nurse-Herbalist

"Herbalism, the study and application of medicinal plants, is a nursing tradition. The modality of herbalism is not a passing fad that some nurses may choose to occasionally use with conventional nursing practice. Herbalism is nursing practice. Herbal remedies—like touch, compassionate communication, diet therapies, and creating a healing environment—are essential elements of nursing and midwifery care. Historically, nurses have championed, promoted, and protected the American public’s safe use of herbs for centuries. Nurse-herbalists partner with plants to explore the clinical applications of providing human comfort with plants as a catalyst for change. They are guided by principles and practices from science and the healing arts, demonstrating their commitment to providing counseling and care that flows from the center of a living ethic. Nurse-herbalists’ work is informed by knowledge, experiences, and beliefs about healing plants as well as by the insight that comes from their personal relationships with plants. They use herbal remedies today when caring for clients in their community hospitals, public health facilities, hospices, outpatient clinics, schools, and skilled nursing and psychiatric facilities.

People are most often familiar with the television portrayal of nurses as hospital workers and supporters of physician practice. Therefore, they may assume that nurses’ uses of herbs, historically and contemporarily, reflect the way herbs are used by physicians. Nurses, however, have their own history of herbal practice that is distinct yet complementary to that of physicians and other community and traditional healers. It is important that nurses who partner with plants mindfully actualize that distinction so that nurse-herbalist science and healing tradition is not only preserved but advanced.  I know the necessity of this work because I am a nurse-herbalist who has partnered with plants in the care and comfort of people, families, and communities for twenty-five years."



Buy Nurse-Herbalist by Dr. Martha