HerbDay is a coordinated series of independently produced, public, educational events that celebrate the importance of herbs and herbalism. HerbDay was conceived of by the HerbDay Coalition, a group of five nonprofit organizations that have interest in these areas, to raise awareness of the significance of herbs and the many ways they can be used safely and creatively for health, beauty, and culinary enjoyment. Greater familiarity with herbs will increase informed use of herbal products and build public support for maintaining personal choice in the use of botanicals. The HerbDay Coalition is comprised of the American Botanical Council, United Plant Savers, the American Herbal Products Association, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, and the American Herbalists Guild.
The first HerbDay was held on Saturday, October 14, 2006. HerbDay 2012 and all future HerbDay celebrations will be scheduled for the first Saturday in May. Participants in HerbDay include individuals, businesses, and organizations that share a love of and passion for herbs and herbal medicine. These include herbalists and health care providers who use herbs in their practices; authors, teachers, and lecturers with expertise in herbs; herbal product manufacturers and marketers; retailers and distributors of herbal goods; botanical gardens, parks, and schools; and, most importantly, individuals and families who love to use herbs.
Numerous harmonized, independent activities occur on HerbDay, as well as during the weeks leading up to and following the actual day. Events are held at retail stores, botanical gardens, and parks throughout North America and around the world. HerbDay is decentralized in that hosting venues have significant autonomy in developing activities and designing their own site-specific events. Events include lectures and workshops by locally and nationally known herbalists; book signings and talks by renowned herbalist-authors; herb walks guided by experienced botanists familiar with regional habitats; in-store cooking demonstrations featuring fresh and dried herbs and spices; displays of seasonal herbal handcrafts; and in-store beauty product demonstrations.
Events hosted at retail venues include presentations by herb company representatives and herbal-themed children’s activities. HerbDay brings key industry members together with the entire herbal community to deliver a cohesive, honest, and positive message about herbs and herbalism to the entire nation. The vision of HerbDay is realized each year when thousands of Americans gain access to this message. Like any healthy plant, HerbDay will continue to grow and spread.
Officially, HerbDay is the first Saturday in May, but we encourage every person who loves herbs to celebrate HerbDay any day of the year! Start planning now, and be sure to let us know about your event so we can publicize it.