faq and site map
A Note about me and email. I am notoriously behind on emails frequently, so this section can help answer questions that I get frequently. If you have sent me and email and I am slow in responding, it's not you, it's me! I am a single body operation who manages financial constraints, chronic pain and daily trauma work, all of which soak up time. I'll be in touch soon!
Now for some info:
Did you used to call yourself a 'crazyherbalist' and/or use that website name?
Yep! I did. From about 2015-2017 and then my site was a floating page for a bit. Initially, when I claimed that name, it felt really good to be honest about being someone who managed mental health stuff, who wasn't waiting for that to get miraculously healed before knowing I could work with and offer value to my community, etc. But, as I continue to mature in the kind of relationship I want to have with the plants, with others, with my ancestors, it became clear that 'crazy' was no longer a reclamation but a way of othering. Also, my commitment to exploring ableism, neurodivergence, non-pathologizing mental health and the language which promotes diverse human experiences has deepened. The more I study trauma dynamics in a context of cultural oppression, the less crazy any one who struggles with their mental health seems at all. So, I legally changed my name at the end of 2017 to gwynnie, and simultaneously surrendered crazyherbalist to the compost pile.
What herb is good for.........
Herbs are not pharmaceuticals, nor is the approach to matching herbs and people purely prescriptive in a modern sense. A single plant has interactions with several physiological systems and has a unique signature of energetics (like drying and warming and stimulating for example) just as unique individuals might experience similar symptoms "coughing" for example in very different ways. So, using more pharmaceutical-conditioned and commerce conditioned (what plant can I buy to fix _____ ) makes answering the question really challenging in general. Via email (this goes for social media too), it can be limited because we might not have all the information needed to actually make a good recommendation (what do you mean by cough? is it dry? Hacking? Painful? Comes and goes? Accompanied by fever?.....) Same applies to 'anxiety' and 'depression' which are largely constructed words that have a variety of different expressions for different folks. I don't give out herbal recommendations via email. Folks who I am doing some plant work with there is room for more chat because we are familiar with each other. In order to give good recommendations for herbs via email I have to do a lot of work with back and forth emails and that is a lot of unpaid work I can't sustain. I tried for quite a while. Herbalist jim mcdonald has a great list of links to herbal articles divided by category and I am likely going to build one here soon too.
What are the best CPTSD/Trauma books to read?
This is surprisingly a tough question to answer at this point. Trauma books I read a few years back, many of which I have recommended to others before doing a deeper reading of them, contain a lot of crap. Most of them that get mass circulation are written by white folk, who not only lack any real critical analysis of their own lenses (as whiteness does) but can also contain triggering content, super hetero or gender-essentializing stuff and reflect much of the white-academia driven-psychological assumptions: that healing means assimilating to dominant cultural norms, 'healing' is the responsibility of the 'traumatized' person, that 'healing' (whatever that really is) is the point. I'm starting over with thinking about what to recommend and going to be doing a series of trauma-related book reviews to highlight some of these things, so stay tuned. The best question I could offer to help find the 'best' books would be, what do you want to learn? Who understands your experience most? Where do you find healthy relational dynamics thriving that can be observed and learned from if you are already bored of books about pathology and psychological theories?
Why do you keep talking about whiteness/white supremacy?
Because I'm committed to using my life as a part of its decay. Because I believe black, indigenous and people of color and value their lives. Because whiteness was born through a group of people who normalized patriarchy, embraced the exploitative nature of capitalism, normalized genocide and set up systems of power which relied on the exploitation, suffering and diminishing of black, indigenous and immigrant communities of color. Because my ancestors' choices cannot be trivialized or sustained. Because white culture is based in trauma patterns and the erasure of land-based identities and bonds. Because 'traditional western herbalism' has attempted to universalize herbal knowledge via capitalism and has failed to acknowledge the queer, femme, indigenous and black communities which it thefted information from, something I am only really aware of (and indebted to) due to those who are naming the violations and erasure they are experiencing.
Why do you have some affiliate links in a couple resource posts?
I seriously debated about this for over a year. Here's what sold me on letting some float on a couple posts: I like being able to support someone when budget wise, I don't have the same means. As someone who has spent most of my life low income and not able to always be as generous as I would wish to be, having an easy way to support someone's work (like watching a YouTube video I appreciate and knowing that supports them) without money actually leaving my hands feels kinda good. Many links offer something to both parties which I really appreciate. I won't be shy about being honest that struggling for 20 years with panic, anxiety and severe depression, as well as chronic pain with little to no family support has had a hard toll on my financial security in this hyper-individualistic culture. I share that because I also feel strongly about access, about not making huge marketing claims for mediocre work so that I can charge large sums of money (3 payments of $97 blah blah). Basically, all support, even little referral bonuses help me sustain my work. I'll never make 'product' recommendations that involve referral links as that would erode even my own trust. Any link that is a referral one is something I would share regardless of a link bonus and can be avoided if that feels better by googling the service/app in another tab, I trust what feels right to you and your boundaries. This is definitely not my get-rich-quick-scheme :P If you do use one of the links, thank you thank you thank you.
Who did your website?
I did! it was a serious amount of work, I have a whole new appreciation for design processes and bringing a project from desire-to concept-to life. All images are my own unless otherwise noted. Here are some of the tools I used to create it (some links are *affiliate): Squarespace for template + hosting, *PicMonkey for image creation/design (I am teaching myself photoshop, especially with *PHLEARN, but wow what a huge learning curve that program is!), *PNGTree for some fun free elements. When I was really struggling with executive functioning stuff I watched little courses on Lynda.com (which works with *Ebates and has 30 days free) as well as YouTube videos. In terms of keeping things going, I love *Acuity Scheduling, Dropbox, Zapier (I am just figuring out how to automate things, work smarter not harder, no?) and for video/audio meetings with folks, *ZOOM is by far my favorite service because of their app, closed captioning, screen sharing and much less freezing and dropping the screen that others I have tried. Everything here is copyright me, Gwynnie B Hale, and please offer appropriate attribution if using stuff.
The legal scope of practice for an herbalist is to educate. I do not treat disease or diagnose and anything I say about plants is for contemplative and educational purposes Nothing stated on this site is meant to override qualified medical care and professionals who are licensed.
Will you come teach/speak at/be on my podcast for......
Maybe! Shoot me a line: email@example.com
I still have a question, can I email you?
Yes! Use the email above or the contact page on this site.
Do you think you know everything?
No. Not really. The more I learn the less I know that I know. But I'm a Sag sun with a Leo rising, so it can definitely seem that way sometimes. :) This site is meant to reflect the best of what I, one person, one survivor, one plant-lover with a specific set of privileges and identities and longings have to share. It's not perfect or meant to be so. It really is true that the more I attempt to learn, the less 'knowing' I really have.
Links to WELCOME INDEX, A brief video introduction & newsletter sign up