Meet Latisha Guthrie!
Latisha is a plant lover and mother of two ‘pixie girls’ born in the heart of the Sonoran desert, and currently resides in the islands of the Pacific North West where she operates a website and blog called HerbMother. HerbMother is a space where Latisha discusses her journey with herbalism, and how it has strengthened her connection with family.
What was the inspiration for bringing plant medicine into your life?
It all started with smells. I had this thing about smelly apartments and shoes. So I set off to figure out how to make my sniffer a little more happy which led me to incenses and smudges. I never liked the lingering smell of the commercial ones so I learned how to mix my own herbs. Then, when I was pregnant, it seemed my senses ached even more to be entertained by the plants. I started to research a bit more and it naturally led to learning more about gentle health alternatives for my children and incorporating herbs into our healthy lifestyle.
How are herbs part of your life today?
We’re a major herb’n family now. Drinking daily infusions, bathing, and cleaning with plants. And using plants first before going conventional routes. Though we use herbs as medicine widely in our home, my first draw toward the plants always seems to be in a playful relationship to entertain my senses with herbcrafts. The health benefits are just a bonus.
Can you give us an overview of your Sowing Sunshine project?
The Sowing Sunshine project was born out of a desire to share the light. As a family, we had just come through a really tough three years. A few months before the project was born, our hard work had finally payed off and we were able to heal and manifest some big dreams. I felt so grateful to all the people who contributed and lit the path, I really wanted to give something back. As I sat on my patio one sunny desert winter morning, my messages flooding with so many people feeling the darkness of winter, the giant 8 foot sunflower seemed to nod in my direction. So we harvested the seeds and sent them out to whoever sent in their address and needed a little bit of sunshine. In all, we shared over 1000 seeds in six countries and 30 states to almost 100 different households, from this one giving plant. It was a wonderful offering of gratitude and community for our many blessings. The pictures of the seedlings are just now starting to pour in and I am overwhelmed with love every single time I see them. We’re hoping to continue the tradition next year and see just how long we can share this lineage of sunshine by offering a bit of the promise of spring light during the darkest parts of the year.
What herb are you most connected to nowadays?
I am in a serious love affair with yarrow. Her earthy smell makes my knees weak. We didn’t have it in Arizona where we lived before. But here, it lines the path toward the beach near our new home in the Pacific Northwest. It seems she has many gifts and lessons to teach me and has been so giving and welcoming with her beaming, bursting umbels of perfect white since the moment we arrived. No matter how often I return to harvest her, she seems to grow bigger and more full.
Do you have any words of advice for someone who wants to begin working with herbs?
Follow your nose. Or your taste buds, or your eyes…. The plants teach us most when we are in the field or the garden with them. Listen to your senses and follow one plant you seem drawn to for as long as your curiosity can stand it. Before you ever get involved with ‘medicine’ play a little. Bring the plants into your kitchen and your craftroom. Make a simple vinegar or an incense. When we use herbs in play, the medicine soon starts to make itself. My favorite books for beginners are anything by Adelma Simmons, “The First Lady of Herbs.” She’s the one writer who really gave me permission to take it all a little less seriously and have fun first.
To find out more about Latisha and HerbMother, visit her website and blog by clicking here!