Josh is a staple of the Salt Lake City herbalism scene. He is a graduate of the country’s most respected clinical herbalism program with a focus on the synthesis of Western, Ayurveda, and Chinese Herbalism traditions. He is the founder of the Salt Lake Public Library’s Tea Tuesday program which recently celebrated its first birthday. Josh is the co-formulator of Quit Tea, has authored several books on the topic of healing with herbs, and is co-host of the Snowbrush Herb Festival and co-founder of the Utah Tea Guild. As a leader in the local Druid community, Josh has a deep and abiding focus on creating community saturated with spirit.
Josh’s clinical focus is on mood, stress, rest, and spiritual wellness. He is both a clinical and spiritual herbalist with a passion for deepening our work with the plants. Josh currently studies with Paul Beyerl, one of the most respected spiritual and magickal herbalists in the West.
A Personal Journey Of Plant Medicine
An excerpt from an essay for Hermit’s Grove coursework / April 2, 2018
I honestly have no idea where to begin on this topic. I have been in such negative, imbalanced places in my life and while many therapies and people have helped me find balance and wellness, nothing has been more effective and transformative for me than plant medicine. As a child I often felt different; alienated, alone, and disconnected. I had relationship with plants from a young age that helped me feel part of something bigger- nature. I also felt that plants responded to me from early on, and that’s something I still hold to be true today.
As a teenager, nearly crippling anxiety and depression became part of my life. Somehow the plants called me and showed up as my most important medicine. It was at that time that I really got serious about study and experience with herbalism. They helped change the way I see and perceive the world and how I process moments of stress and fear. The plants have been my ever-allies, and that relationship continues to deepen all the time.
I think that, in addition to the physical healing I have received from the herbs, the spiritual healing and empowerment I have received has been most important to me. Plants have been a literal and symbolic gateway for me to traverse the worlds and find deeper spiritual connection. I have worked with the symbol of the World Tree / Axis Mundi for over a decade, and have gained plant allies that solely work with me on my spiritual growth and development. The plants have helped me to understand more about love, power, and magic; and they have continually helped me identify and call forth the best versions of myself.
I look at the plants and see them firmly rooted in Mother Earth and reaching up towards Father Sky. They are bridges that allow me to find balance and connection.
I think that living in a world where the plants are important has changed the way that I see the world and the people in it. I feel safer, more connected, and more surrounded by love. I also feel like I can find healing and balance no matter what may come up for me. I still have to do the work, but the plants will be my allies and help support and nourish me on every level through that work.
My health, mind, emotions, and spirituality have all be changed in one way or another over the years by the plants- and this continues to happen. Just when I think I ‘have it’, something new comes up and I am able to grow a little more and delve a little deeper into green wisdom.