The Basis of My Claims aka What I Know and How I Know It

I’ve gotten a few emails lately asking about my qualifications and laboratory experience etc., This has ranged from a polite inquiry into my basis for my last post to rude, abrasive demands for degrees and proof of my “cures”, whatever that may mean.

Ok folks, I’m a traditional herbwife in a particularly eclectic folk tradition I have dubbed the Medicine Woman Tradition. I have no degrees (well, actually I have half a degree in Painting, half a degree in Literature and half a degree in Computer Programming), no official training (besides studies with Susun Weed, Michael Moore, lots of rambling correspondence with other herbalists and hard earned experience), and no letters after my name (except for ones I make up, like AMW for Anima Medicine Woman or WW for Wild Woman). I don’t belong to any club, and I don’t desire to. This is, as Rebecca Hartman puts it, herbalism from the grass roots.

My findings as reported on my blog, unless noted otherwise, come purely from personal empirical experience. In other words from the experiments I try upon myself, my friends, family, colleagues, students and clients. I report just what I find, and I am in no way an expert in botany, disease or other related medical type things.

I’m just a woman listening to the plants, and having a damn fine time doing it!


  1. Ananda
    Sep 27, 2007

    Hell, yeah. I second that. Hoorah for real learning.


  2. shamana.flora
    Sep 27, 2007

    Amen to that!!
    Herbalism as it was born to be!

  3. jim mcdonald
    Sep 28, 2007

    nicely put.

    If we all keep up on this approach, maybe we can get our own quackwatch pages…

  4. Crowfoot
    Sep 28, 2007

    Kiva: “I’m just a woman listening to the plants, and having a damn fine time doing it!”

    Crowfot sez: Yes, Kiva, yes! Listen! Listen strong! Listen deep! Say hello for all of us to the gentle greenbeings, yes from all of us who can not just now go so deep, can not go so strong into the vast seas of living greenbeings all around us, singing! Singing great gentle greenbeings… Yes go, good woman, go!!!

  5. guido
    Sep 28, 2007

    As Paracelsus said, “Read from the book of Nature”. Empiricism is the only way!
    That’s awesome. Thank you for stating your most excellent qualifications.

  6. Rebecca
    Sep 28, 2007

    I want my own quackwatch page!

  7. linda harrold
    Sep 29, 2007

    I learnt my herbal skills from acollege and have all the”necessary” letters after my name—but how I would have prefered to have learnt about the plants from my family.Good for you Kiva and thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Bright Blesings

  8. angie
    Sep 30, 2007

    Good for you Kiva! Experience and the plants are the best teachers anyway! Besides, anyone who has really taken the time to read your beautiful writing would know that what you so freely and eloquently share with us is something no “college” can teach. It comes from the heart & soul and the earth.

  9. jim mcdonald
    Oct 1, 2007

    hmmm… I wonder if you can petition the nutjob at quackwatch for your own page?

  10. Kiva Rose
    Oct 1, 2007

    LOL, I’m so glad so many of you enjoyed this particular post.

    Yes, we should all get our own quackwatch pages, and maybe get a whole section there on folk herbalism/herbwifery too.

    And surely my whole Talking With Plants series deserves a special front page mention on quackwatch too!

    Thanks for reading!

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