We want to thank everyone who participated in the first Virtual HerbDay. Whether you watched one video or all of them, read or downloaded all, one, or none of the written materials, we appreciate your participation. The goal of the HerbDay founders is to create a celebration of herbs that promotes a greater familiarity with them, increases their informed use, and builds public support for maintaining personal choice in the use of botanicals. Most of all, we want HerbDay to be educational, entertaining, diverse, inclusive, and accessible to all. To that end, please consider filling out this short survey so that your feedback can be incorporated into Virtual HerbDay 2022. Thank you.

~ ~ ~

Welcome to Virtual HerbDay 2021, a full day of education and entertainment with video presentations, virtual herb walks, spotlights on specific herbs, downloadable materials, links to useful resources, and even a little music. New items will appear on the hour and the half hour on the American Botanical Council and Official HerbDay Facebook pages, but we are providing them all at once here on the HerbDay website.

We are happy to present the full Virtual HerbDay 2021 program and we hope you enjoy it. Please click on the bold text to access the content.

7:00 AM CDT
Virtual HerbDay 2021 Welcome Video: We’ve prepared this lovely video for you with a little background on HerbDay and some photos from previous live events. We hope you enjoy it and the rest of the day’s offerings.

7:30 AM CDT
Win a Year Long ABC Academic Membership!
Due to technical difficulties the pop quiz has been taken out of our programming. Instead, register on ABC’s website to automatically enter a drawing to receive a complementary Academic Membership in the American Botanical Council. Register before midnight (CDT) on Sunday, May 2nd. A winner will be chosen and notified on Monday, May 3rd. Only one entry per person please. 

8:00 AM CDT
Many of us have been adapting Rosemary Gladstar’s recipe for Fire Cider since she first introduced her recipe decades ago. She is delighted to share this video and the accompanying PDF with some of her recommendations on how to build your immune system. As a special HerbDay gift, Rosemary is generously offering a $75 discount on any version of The Science and Art of Herbalism Home Study and Online Course. Use the code HerbDay between now and May 31, 2021.

8:30 AM CDT
In its Liberation on Land Skillshare Video Series, Soul Fire Farm generously provides numerous videos of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color farmers and land stewards sharing practical tutorials on growing food and medicine for life and livelihood. This one is on harvesting, drying, and using herbs. You can easily navigate to their other videos from this one.

9:00 AM CDT
“In the garden of the spirit lies the pathway to the senses.” Listen to aromatherapist, herbalist, author, and educator Mindy Green talk about the connection between aroma, spirit, and mind from inside Il Giardino della Spirito (The Garden of the Spirit) at the University of Perugia in Italy.

9:30 AM CDT
Looking for good sources for herb seeds and plants? The Chestnut School of Herbal Studies has provided an extensive list of ethical seed suppliers and nurseries along with tips on how to choose suppliers, seeds, and plants.

10:00 AM CDT
The Sustainable Herbs Program (SHP) is an initiative of the American Botanical Council focused on helping ensure medicinal plants are available to help heal people and the planet today and in the future. The challenges facing herbs include overharvesting, depleted soils, a changing environment, and social issues. SHP is collaborating; researching; and creating, storing, and sharing critical educational information to enable everyone to ensure a brighter future for herbs and those they help. This 6-minute video introduces Sustainable Herbal Medicine from the perspective of those involved in botanical companies working not only to source the highest quality raw material but to use sourcing that material to change the world.

10:30 AM CDT
The skin is not only the largest organ of the human body, but it is a waterproof shield that insulates us against extremes of temperature and protects us against damage from sunlight and other things that bombard us on a daily basis. Learn how you can help your skin do its job from this blog from Ayo Ngozi about plants that can help and how to do an herbal skin steam and make an aloe-calendula cleanser. Brought to you by The Herbal Academy.

11:00 AM CDT
Roy Upton is an herbalist and executive director of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, one of the original organizations that conceived of and launched HerbDay. Roy has an exceptionally holistic view of herbalism and how it can be incorporated into your daily life, as discussed in this video.

11:30 AM CDT
Bitter is the least favorite flavor for many people, especially in the US. It often stimulates a response of alarm and danger because, on a gut level, humans recognize the bitter taste as a warning of potentially harmful toxins in plants. However, bitter is good for the gut. Learn about bitters and how to make them with this information provided by Susan Belsinger.

12:00 PM CDT
The American Herbal Products Association is the leading trade association in the herbal industry with more than 350 member companies. AHPA’s Mission is to promote the responsible and sustainable commerce of herbal products to ensure that consumers have informed access to a wide variety of safe herbal goods. AHPA’s Vision is for high quality herbal products to be readily accessible and broadly used by consumers. Here’s a look at how AHPA staff is celebrating HerbDay.

12:30 PM CDT
Are you looking for a school or educational program where you can take a deep dive into studying herbs and/or related studies? Check out the newly updated Schools/Educational Programs page on the American Botanical Council website. If your school is not listed, it is not intentional. Please use the submission form to let us know about it.

1:00 PM CDT
Rising Appalachia has a strong connection to the earth and all its living beings, including the medicinal plants and the people who value and work with them. Have a listen to their song Medicine and see if you don’t agree. Here are the lyrics in case you want to sing along.

1:30 PM CDT
If you are familiar with 7Song, you will know that he is one of the most generous herbalists, indeed humans, on the planet. Here is his school’s Resources page where you will find downloadable articles on botany, first aid, medicine preparation, clinical skills and practice, specific health issues, book/tool/equipment lists, and various other topics.

2:00 PM CDT
James A. Duke, PhD, renowned ethnobotanist, author of dozens of books and hundreds of articles, merged the science and traditional knowledge on medicinal plants, and wanted to be remembered for helping turn the trend from synthetic medicine back to natural medicine. The American Herbalists Guild, one of the founding members of the HerbDay Coalition invites you to read articles that Dr. Duke wrote for the Journal of the American Herbalists Guild.

2:30 PM CDT
The Herb Society of America promotes the knowledge, use, and delight of herbs through its publications and educational programs. HSA is a founding partner of HerbDay and hopes you will enjoy the information on its Herb of the Month page. Scroll down as the featured herbs go back to 2013.

3:00 PM CDT
Mark Blumenthal, American Botanical Council Founder and Executive Director, addresses Herb Safety in this short video. Mark has commented that nothing has really changed his thinking on this topic since this video was filmed in the Amazon around the turn of the 21st century.

3:30 PM CDT
Jennifer Galuska wrote the attached blog post on the Healing Ways of the Navajo People in honor of Native American Heritage Day in November 2020. She is a student at the American College of Healthcare Sciences, one of the earliest schools to partner with HerbDay to celebrate medicinal plants each year. ACHS will offer a program later in May celebrating Stinging Nettles with Glen Nagel.

4:00 PM CDT
David Winston is a renowned herbalist with more than 45 years of study and research in Chinese, Western/Eclectic, and Southeastern North American herbal traditions. Take a walk with David in the herb garden at his home.

4:30 PM CDT
Calendula is known as the “comforter of the heart and spirits” and embodies sunlight and healing in its bright orange and yellow flowers. Learn about Deb Soule’s Grow a Row initiative in which she encourages everyone to grow calendula and supply it, and salves made from it, to women’s shelters.

5:00 PM CDT
United Plant Savers (UpS) is one of the five organizations that started HerbDay for people’s enjoyment of and education about herbs. Their mission is to protect native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come. In September 2019, UpS opened its Center for Medicinal Plant Conservation outside of Rutland, Ohio. We hope you enjoy this video of that wonderful celebration.

5:30 PM CDT
Did you know that the American Botanical Council currently offers 58 eCards for birthdays, health conditions, holidays, special occasions, and recipes that anyone can send for free just by registering on its website? New ones are added regularly and the newest features holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) in an elixir. Our apologies! Due to a technical difficulty, the ecards will probably not be available today. Please check back at a later date. Thank you.

6:00 PM CDT
Rosalee de la Forêt is a true community herbalist, always offering something openhanded and openhearted to the public. Watch and listen to Rosalee explain the differences between how elder (Sambucus spp.) flowers and berries are used.

6:30 PM CDT
There may have been some terminology used in today’s presentations that is unfamiliar to some folks. The American Botanical Council has been expanding its Terminology resource page since it was started in 2009 by former ABC employees, Kara Dinda and Nicole Telkes. Our gratitude to ABC Education Coordinator Jenny Perez for the latest updates.

7:00 PM CDT
As we bid you adieu, we will let renowned ethnobotanist Jim Duke, whom we lost too soon at age 88 in December 2017, entertain you with his song and comments about the uses of mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum). Here are the lyrics so you can sing along.

Mayapple Lemonade. ©1985. Herbalbum; An Anthology of Varicose Verse.

Penobscot Indians up in Maine, had a very pithy sayin’,
Rub the root most everyday, and it’ll take the warts away.
Farther south the Cherokee, echoing Menominee
Made a tea out of the roots, to keep the bugs off potato shoot.

CHORUS: Mayapple lemonade, wildest thing my momma made,
Coolest thing there in the shade, fruits of amber, leaves of jade.

They couldn’t know etoposide, nor of its aid to homicide
Nor could they know the course it charts, for cancer of the private parts.
I’ll venture to prognosticate, before my song is sung
This herb will help alleviate, cancer of the lung.

CHORUS: Mayapple lemonade, wildest thing my momma made,
Coolest herb in the summer shade, swing your partner’n promenade.

Thank you for joining us for this first ever Virtual Herb Day. We hope you enjoyed yourself and learned something new about herbs and the part they play in our lives. We hope to do this again next year, so we will be providing a survey here in the next few days so you can give us feedback on this year’s virtual event, or if you have ideas for next year, or want to participate yourself. HerbDay is an inclusive, grassroots effort and everyone is welcome to get involved as much as they want. All the links to today’s offerings will remain on the ABC and Official HerbDay Facebook pages as well as here on the HerbDay website.