Evan Silver, March 2020 – East West School of Planetary Herbology

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I grew up in San Francisco, CA, just a short walk from the city’s famous Chinatown neighborhood. As a child, I was fascinated by the interesting ingredients displayed at the herb shops; I had no idea that years later, I would have my own collection of Chinese herbs. I attended college in Burlington, VT and Boston, MA, completing a BA in Psychology. At the time, herbal medicine was not on my radar.

My exploration of herbs began eight years ago, when my partner found a copy of The Way of Herbs at a thrift store. I almost didn’t buy it, as I didn’t quite understand what it was about. However, she convinced me, and I’m eternally grateful for the encouragement. It quickly became my herbal bible and I soon found myself immersed in my spice rack. I started making herbal teas for myself and friends, enthusiastically brewing up blends whenever anyone had a health challenge. I was amazed by the efficacy and simplicity of spice rack medicine.

In 2013, we moved to Maui, HI, where I eventually worked as an Assistant Teacher (8th grade Home Ec, 6th grade Science and Agriculture) and a Substitute Teacher, grades K-12. I also dove further into herbalism; reading books, watching webinars, wildcrafting, taking classes with local practitioners to learn about the plant medicines and wild foods of the Islands.

I became a regular at the local herb shop, The Dragon’s Den. Run by a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and staffed by an amazing group of herbalists and practitioners, eventually, I was lucky enough to join the team. Working at the shop for three years, I learned so much about herbs, TCM theory and the healing process. Sharing my love of herbs with customers was a wonderful and gratifying experience. Wanting to learn more about diagnosis and deepen my understanding of TCM theory, I finally began the East West course in 2018. I’m enjoying becoming more proficient with herbal medicine, and I’m looking forward to using this knowledge to help people in my community.

This past summer, my partner and I moved to Portland, OR, to explore the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the abundance of herbs that grow here. When I’m not crafting with herbs, I enjoy cooking with wild foods, fermentation, mycology, hiking, rock climbing, sewing and spending time with my partner.

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