Allison Austin

Allison Austin, Duluth Folk School instructorI’m Allison – head herbalist and owner of Birch Botanicals. Plants have been my passion since I was a little girl. Some of my fondest memories growing up in the countryside of Minnesota were those of crushing up flowers, berries, and barks- and making “potions” with them in antique glass bottles. In the 4th grade, while out in the woods carving little bowls out of wood, I formally decided I wanted to be an herbalist when I grew up.

I did a lot of self study throughout high school, and took some formal botany classes while Studying at the University of Minnesota. I studied under herbalists in Austin, TX while living there for 5 years, and learned so much about herbalism for pregnancy, birth and postpartum during this time, as I went through 2 pregnancies and births myself.

Moving to Guatemala in 2015 was my greatest adventure and biggest teacher, yet. I was able to work closely alongside Mayan elders in the small village where we lived, and after finding out through a DNA test that my own grandmother is 100% Mayan, I realized why I had felt such a deep connection to the land and the traditional ways of utilizing the plants my ancestors once used.

Now, I’m back in Northern Minnesota where my plant studies originally began, and I’m so happy to be offering classes and high quality herbal products to the community, in the place where it all started for me. Education and information is so important, and I feel its our birthright to know about and be able to utilize the healing plants all around us, to take charge of our own health and be more self-sustainable beings on this earth. My biggest hope is that I can do my small part in spreading knowledge, offering tools, and maybe some inspiration to people about herbalism, and how we can heal ourselves and our planet with plants.

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