Plant Medicine Stories From Childhood To Motherhood With Sonya Yamaguchi
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I had so much fun getting to chat with Sonya Yamaguchi in this episode! Sonya is a fellow momma herbalist and the author of Plant Medicine Stories, Super Noni and Friends.
Sonya shares some great stories of her plant fascination & how it started when she was a little girl, living on the island of Kauai, down a dirt road along a river. She would spend countless hours in the jungle talking to and becoming friends with the plants around her.
When she got a little older her parents split up and Sonya found solace in the trees. They provided her comfort, and she would spend hours sitting in them feeling supported and held. She has carried that support with her since then, and now when she goes back home they have a special tree friend they always visit and hug.
When Sonya graduated from high school, she wanted to study herbalism but could not find any in-person courses in Hawaii. Maybe you can relate to this where you are?
She decided to go to massage school and learned this type of healing modality which carried her through a big part of her life, getting in tune with the healing touch.
Eventually, when she had children, she returned to the idea of becoming an herbalist so that she could find medicine for her children in her backyard or nearby woods. She didn’t want to rely on medicine at the drugstore, she wanted to know what was going into her children’s bodies.
Nourishing, Empowerment, & Support From Herb Friends
Sonya places a great importance on plants and herbs in her life, because they provide her with a sense of support and nourishment. It’s not only physical nourishment from the plants but there is also spiritual nourishment when you go out and connect with nature and harvest the beautiful plants.
Knowing how plants can help her family and passing that information down to her children leaves her feeling confident and resilient. Her children know that mom always has something in her back pocket to help them when they get ill or need nourishment. Such an empowering feeling
One thing she talked about that I can fully resonate with, is how the plants are always there for you, they’re there for support, for food, for medicine. It’s soo true, have you noticed that too?
Lately Sonya’s been using white sage a lot to help anxiety, drinking it in tea to help calm her spirit. She uses one white sage leaf to make tea at night, and she knows that it will help calm her. What a feeling of peace!
Sonya has spent time learning about herbalism through hands-on experience with plants and through online courses, and she shared some of the pros and cons…
- In-person learning allows for a more collective and shared experience, learning from others in the group, and getting to learn about native plants where you live and see and touch them alive, not dried.
- Online learning can connect individuals to a global community. You can also have access to people that you normally wouldn’t and have the freedom to do your classes when you have time, like when the kids are napping.
In Sonya’s book ‘Plant Medicine Stories; Super Noni and Friends' she brings 10 plants native to Hawaii to live in character, with their own fascinating stories to share.
Take Mama Mamaki, who is a cousin to nettles, and Adventurous ‘Olena, who is turmeric and travels the world.
Not only does she share the fascinating stories of these plant friends, filling kids with curiosity, wonder, and joy, she also includes recipes and an herbal learning curriculum for children.
Sonya believes it is important to learn about the plants that are around you, so don’t you worry, she is dreaming up similar books for different regions & new plant friends, such as white sage and elderflower.
As I always do, I asked Sonya what her one plant would be, if she could only choose one.
She chose Mama Mamaki, native Hawaiian plant. She recommends it for its positive domino effect on the body. Momma Mamaki is a blood builder that’s super nourishing and loaded with iron. She has a mild, earthy flavor and a high tannin content, as well as that mucilage that can be so healing.
Sonya’s got a piece of advice for you, if you’re a new momma looking to use plant medicine with your family…
Just get started and start small. It can be overwhelming if you try to learn it all. You can start with one pot, one plant, like thyme. You can make tea with the thyme you grow, it’s a great herb for colds, coughs, and flus. Starting with culinary herbs is great because you can use them in cooking and you can start to learn how to use it as medicine with your family.
And my piece of advice…
Go buy Plant Medicine Stories; Super Noni and Friends here, and share the magic of plant medicine, and beautiful stories with your babes!
And, if you’re ready to dive even deeper, join us inside of Apothecary Momma, where I’ll guide you into the world of herbalism, and help you learn to use them in the most safe and effective ways.
And, if you know a momma that needs to hear Sonya’s inspiring story, be sure to share this with your friends and together we can make herbalism #SpreadLikeWildFlowers