Josh is a staple of the Salt Lake City herbalist scene. He graduated from one of the world’s most respected clinical herbalism programs and has been a student of plant medicine and spirituality for over two decades. Josh works with the plants to approach physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels of being. Josh is a co-founder of the Utah Tea Guild, a certified Craft Cacao instructor, founder of the Tea Tuesday program with the Salt Lake Public Library, and owner of Greenthread Herbs Apothecary & Workshop in the avenues district of Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a member of the American Herbalists Guild, Utah Herbalists Guild, and a contributing member of United Plant Savers. Josh is the founder and organizer of the Wasatch Herb Festival, a springtime herbal event in the city.
Josh’s connection with the plants began at a young age, and over time that connection became the foundation for his spiritual and clinical work. Josh works heavily with tea as both a method of working with plant medicine and as a practice of self care and spiritual work. He is known locally for his custom tea blends that are created specifically for each client to address their individual nature and personal wellness goals as well as his herbal tea ceremonies and meditations.
Josh offers a variety of hands-on workshops and plant ceremonies throughout the Salt Lake Valley all year long. His classes are experiential in nature and focus on giving people reliable information and inspiration to work more closely with our plant allies.
Voted by City Weekly
2019 Best Of Utah – Best Herbalist
2019 Best Of Utah – Best Holistic Health Store
Bryan has been a celebrated presence in the Salt Lake wellness scene for over a decade. With experience at the city’s top holistic health stores, he brings a wealth of wisdom and experience to the shop.
Bryan’s passion for plant medicine, diet, and spiritual development combine to make him one of our community’s favorites. Bryan has worked hard to make Greenthread the very best herb shop in Salt Lake City and continues to bring innovation and progress to the plant medicine community. In 2019 he established the Utah Herbalists Guild and facilitates monthly meetups and events. Bryan has a long history of study in both magical and ceremonial aspects of plant medicine and studied Core Shamanism under Dr. Michael Harner.
Mother earth, source of blessed gods and men, All-nourisher, all-giver, ripener, all-destroyer, Inspirer of growth, yielder of beautiful fruit in due season, Foundation of the endless cosmos, many-splendoured lady, With the pains of child-birth you bring forth all manner of life, Eternal, highly-revered, deep-bosomed, blessed one, Rejoicing in sweetly-breathing greenery, many-flowered deity, Delighting in rain; around you heaven’s teeming stars
Revolve in ever-winding flow most awesome. But, blessed spirit, may your fruits increase, and with joyful heart, Look kindly upon us this time and for ever. ~Ancient Orphic Hymn to Gaia
What is Herbalism?
Herbalism is the art, science, and practice of working with medicinal and edible plants to help facilitate wellness and positive change. There are countless schools of thought within the wide, wild world of herbalism and each school practices a little differently. One thing they all have in common is a deep respect for the plant world and a desire to work with herbs as a primary source of healing.
You Have So Many Herbs! Where Do They All Come From?
We actually spend most of our day working with farms, co-ops, and brokers from around the world. Every bulk her we have on our shelves is organic, ethically harvested when wild, and incredibly important to us. We work with small farms that grow anywhere from one special herb to a handful all the way to giant herbal co-operatives where shared land is home to hundreds of herbal allies. Our per-ounce pricing is based on a small increase from fair price to help cover shop costs- we do our best to keep the bulk organic herbs selection as inexpensive and thus accessible as we can afford to.
How Did You Become An Herbalist?
We like to think of the practice of Herbalism as more a calling and a passion than a career- but ultimately it's a little bit of all three! Many people who practice herbal medicine learn in different ways. Some people are part of multi-generational lineages of medicine people who learn from mothers, grandmothers, and community. Some of us attended clinical herbalism school or other types of formal herbal education. Herb schools are many, but not all give a deeply clinical and spiritual approach to herbalism the way we practice here at Greenthread. For that, wer've spent over 20 years of study, exploration, and experience weaving our unique way of practice. Each person really has their own way with the herbs. Want to learn herbalism? Check out our immersive Herb School and weekly workshops!
What is Spiritual Herbalism?
The practice of spiritual herbalism revolves around the ancient precepts of Animism. It means that the world is filled with people, only some of whom are human. We practice spiritual herbalism when we recognize that the plants have spirit and so do we. Our work is about connecting those spiritual forces through plant medicine in a way that speaks to the individual being served while honoring the sovereignty and spirit of the plants being worked with.
What is Energetic, Constitutional Herbalism?
In a nutshell, it's the exact opposite of the allopathic medicine model we're most used to seeing here in the West. Where allopathic herbalism would say 'this herb for this illness regardless of the person who has that illness' (think turmeric for inflammation), energetic herbalism is about exploring the particular manifestation of imbalance in a unique individual then exploring the herbs that are most aligned to helping that person restore their version of balance and harmony. As an example, allopathic herbalism might say 'take Chamomile for frazzled nerves and stress'. Energetic herbalism would say 'take this herb as it is best aligned to your personality, body type, constitution, and temperament- and it best supports your unique being in unwinding those anxiety patterns and getting you back to center'. One is incredibly generalized and basic while the other is incredibly detailed and specific.
What Are Clinical and Empirical Herbalism?
ln clincal herbalism, we get the information we use about the herbs and their effects on the human being via clinical trials, laboratory testing, isolation and concentration of active compounds, and phytochemistry. Empirical herbalism bases its wisdom off of thousands of years of human use and ancestral traditions passed down based on what actually works. One isn't better than the other- they're both great, and in fact a nice blend of both makes for excellent herbalism.
Why Don't You Carry Essential Oils?
We actually do have a very small, specially curated collection of essential oils. We're big fans of working with the whole plant and its full spectrum of active constituents whenever possible. While essential oils are a great way to work with plants from a certain angle, they aren't our favorite. We also find that folks often under-dilute and overuse essential oils. They are incredibly powerful medicine and should be treated as such. Our essential oil line is the best in the world. It comes from Belgium and is the only EO line that has both USDA and EcoCert organic certification. The difference between this high-end style of essential oils and what we're used to is dramatic- and the lower prices are a welcome surprise!
How Do You Choose What To Carry In The Shop?
That's a tough job! We work hard to source herbal products that we can be proud to have on our shelves. We work with herbalists and formulators who have a reputation for excellence, and also make room for many local makers when their products and ingredients meet our admittedly high standards. We sample and usually fully test all the products we carry before putting them on the shelves... yes, Josh and Bryan have both taken the Menstrual Cramp Care formula from HerbPharm!
Is Everything On The Apothecary Wall 'Tea'?
No, technically none of it is tea. The bulk organic herbs we carry are all medicinal herbs. They can be used in a variety of ways to make herbal medicine including tinctures, teas, salves, incense, soaks, poultices, powders, and more. While many folks who visit call the herbs 'tea', they're all just herbs that often find their way into a tea blend since that's our preferred method of working with them for wellness.
Do You Carry Tea?
Yes! We hand-curate a seasonal selection of true teas (Camelia sinensis) mostly from Taiwan and India. Our selection usually has a Green, Black, Oolong, Pu'erh, Kukicha Twig, Jasmine, Earl Grey, and something special for the season. These teas are all sold in bulk per ounce.
I'm New To All Of This- Where Do I Start?
Come to one of our fun weekly workshops- unless otherwise noted they're all perfect for beginners! We also do an 'Introduction To Herbalism' workshop every other month which is a fantastic way to dig in and see what inspires you. We carry a large selection of books as well which can be a great way to explore.
Is It Safe To Take Herbs While Pregnant or Nursing? What About Kids?
If you're planning to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are nursing, it's important you let us know that when we see you. There are many herbs that are safe during this time and we'd like to help you focus on those. We also recommend that you speak to your healthcare provider before adding herbs to your wellness program. With children, we also have many herbs that work well with them and also suggest a talk with their doctor.