Interview in Loam Magazine
I tell some medicine tales and what brought me to herbalism, discuss the deep cultural healing plant medicine has to offer, share my philosophy on healing, bust the myth of "invasive" plants, and describe why working with Dandelion is an act of resistance!
Jade Alicandro Mace practices community and clinical herbalism in western Massachusetts. She started studying herbs formally in 2005- coming from a background in botany- and has been intertwined with them ever since. She has a background rich in Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Western Herbalism in the Vitalist and Wise Woman Tradition, and brings this diversity and breadth of knowledge to her teaching and clinical practice. Her work as an herbalist revolves around self and community empowerment, equal access, community resilience, promoting local and plant-based healthcare, and the sharing and spreading of herbal knowledge.
Jade teaches herbalism avidly throughout New England, and leads an 8-month apprenticeship and 3-month seasonal class series in bioregional herbalism. She has also been an herbal educator with Herb Pharm since 2015. Jade sees folks in her clinical practice for consultations in Greenfield, MA and in 2012 she co-founded the Community Herbal Clinic, where she sees clients on a sliding-scale basis. Her writings have been published in the Journal of the Northeast Herbal Association (NEHA), the Herbstalk blog, Birthing Mama online holistic pregnancy program, Loam Magazine, Plant Healer Magazine, Herbaria Monthly, and the Birth Institute's Birth Wisdom Blog. She has taught at conferences including the Northeast Permaculture Convergence, Radherb, Herbstalk, the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) summer conference, and will be teaching at the Good Medicine Confluence in May of 2019 and American Herbalist Guild (AHG) conference this October. She is a perpetual lover of the weeds and her current favorite plants are Wild Rose (Rosa multiflora), Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale).
Jade has completed a 2 year training in Clinical Herbalism at Clearpath School of Herbal Studies, and is also a graduate of Blazing Star Herbal School, The Gaia School of Healing & Earth Education, the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, FEAST Permaculture Design Certification, and the Goldthread Apothecary Clinical Herbalism 200 hr Training. She has also completed advanced clinical training and a clinical mentorship at the Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism. She holds a B.S. in Plant Biology and a B.S in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.d
My Herbal Journey….
Plants have always been a love… I studied Plant Ecology in college and after graduating I had a summer field tech job with the US Forest Service identifying plants out west in the gorgeous region of the inland Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon and eastern Washington). In certain circumstances we had to collect specimens and I found the experience to be so incredibly engaging yet I wasn't really behind the cause....a random scientific study. So I began studying the herbal uses of these plants I was constantly working with and fell in love with herbalism.
I have been thoroughly intertwined with the green world ever since.
In the winter of 2004, in-between 2 summers in the field working for the Forest Service, I decided to spend 3 months traveling in South and Central America volunteering on organic farms that had an herbal focus. I made my first tincture in the middle of the Ecuadorian jungle with an American ex-pat who had studied with Susun Weed. She also taught me how to harvest and tend the Nettles patch on their off-the-grid homestead on the western slope of the Andes. I was hooked.
So, in early 2005 I moved back to Western Massachusetts with the intention of rooting down and studying herbalism in earnest. That spring I took my first herbal apprenticeship with Tony(a) Lemos at Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA. There I learned the ways of the Wise Woman Tradition of herbal healing, and consider this to be my foundation. This tradition focuses on using local, abundant plants (aka the weeds!), nourishing and food-based herbal preparations, and re-claiming our innate power to heal ourselves.
That same year I began working at Goldthread Herbal Apothecary in Florence, MA and began learning from the practicing Clinical Herbalist and Licensed Acupuncturist there, William Siff. I spent 7 years there as a staff herbalist, helping folks who came in with every ailment under the sun! I gained an invaluable amount of clinical experience- it was a very rich and fruitful time.
During those same years I also completed a 2-year training at Clearpath School of Herbal Studies with Chris Marano, receiving my certification in Clinical Herbalism, deepening my studies in Chinese Medicine that I had begun at Goldthread Apothecary. At the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine in Ithaca, NY I completed a 7-month apprenticeship with 7Song, honing my botany and plant identification, wild-crafting, and herbal first aid and clinical skills. I spent a whole growing season apprenticing at Wilder Hill Gardens in Conway, MA with Lilian Jackman, learning the ins and outs of successfully raising healthy medicinal herbs. And finally I studied Shamanic Herbalism at the Gaia School of Healing & Earth Education with Sage Maurer in Brattleboro, VT. I have also taken numerous weekend workshops along the way, studying with Matthew Wood, Phyllis Light, Margi Flint, David Crow , Rosemary Gladstar among others and also completed a Street Medic training. It was during this rich time that I founded Milk & Honey Herbs and began leading herb walks and teaching classes! In 2011 I received my Permaculture Design Certification through the Permaculture F.E.A.S.T.. program in Northampton, MA and have been incorporating the permaculture principals and philosophy into my life ever since. Most recently, from 2015-2017 I studied with Katja Swift and Ryn Midura and the Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism, where I completed advanced studies and a clinical mentorship in the Vitalist Tradition of herbalism.
Milk & Honey Herbs has changed and morphed throughout the years, and- as gardening and cultivation have always been a passion- from 2013-2017 I ran a medicinal plant nursery from our home, offering a huge variety of live medicinal plants to the herbal community both local and beyond! These days I can be found focusing on my practice and herbal education, seeing clients at the Community Herbal Clinic, which I co-founded in 2012, at Blue Dragon Apothecary in Greenfield, MA, and also in my private practice. I am passionate about educating the public about the wonders of herbal medicine and regularly lead herb walks and classes all throughout the Pioneer Valley and at conferences. And I've been offering a seasonal class series on bioregional herbalism since 2013, which has now blossomed into a full 8-month apprenticeship!
I am married to Stephen Mace, Licensed Massage Therapist and Energy Worker Extraordinaire, and am the proud mother of 2 gorgeous little girls. We make our home at Ripplemead Farm in Shutesbury, MA, our permaculture-inspired homestead and medicinal plant garden-farm, that we share with our chickens, cats and bees, and of course, the plants!
firstname.lastname@example.org |Milk & Honey Herbs at Ripplemead Farm | Shutesbury, MA 01072
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