There was a time around here not so long ago (relatively speaking), when curing what ailed you meant tracking down the appropriate herb in your garden.
Sure, medicine’s advanced light years since then, but a lot of those herbs are still in play among our modern-day remedies. Before you dismiss them as obsolete, know that there’s a growing interest in turning to nature to try to resolve what conventional medicine can’t. One estimate pegs the number of people in the United States who rely on homeopathy at six million strong, and that’s likely fairly conservative.
Not to mention, there’s a certain comfort in a concept that’s so pure and simple: What you need is literally right outside your window.
Compassion and conservation
Piqued your interest yet? Consider tagging along for a guided walk along the towpath for a plant walk in Stockton on August 24. Kathryn Moxham, who’ll be leading the walk, has encyclopedic range when it comes to the Delaware River Towns’ native plants. She runs Cultivating Roots, which is comprised of a small-scale herb farm in Bucks County and an apothecary across the river, in Titusville, where she makes and sells customized herbal blends.
Moxham holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, and she planned originally to attend graduate school and become a physician’s assistant. But something shifted in her somewhere along the way. “I knew I wanted to help people, but I also felt like I needed to be closer to nature and help protect it in any way I could,” she says.
She realized how she could combine the two when she became aware of medicinal herbs. She’s spent the last several years studying under a series of herbalists. Most recently, she completed a two-year clinical training program at David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies, in Riegelsville. Moxham’s now working to become a registered herbalist through the American Herbalists Guild.
She’ll begin the plant walk on Aug. 24 at 11 AM at The Alchemist’s Kitchen at the Stockton Market. Following a tutorial about how to spot and collect useful plants, Moxham will lead the group over to the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath, next door, for some hands-on exploration.
Even if you opt to stick with your over-the-counter remedies, you’ll never look at the wildflowers brimming along the canal the same way again. And, you know, should you ever find yourself in a pinch, you’ll have a leg up on most.