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Meet Lina Watanabe

Herbalist & Producer
Botanical Affairs Department

Purpose

To learn as much as I possibly can about herbs and spread the word about how special they are.

Specialty

I am trained in traditional Western herbalism and I identify with the Eclectic tradition. I love formulating and making my own topical herbal products, as well as experimenting with growing herbs in my garden.

Training

B.S. in Herbal Sciences from Bastyr University in Seattle and a B.F.A. in Photography from Parsons School of Design in New York City. I completed a program in Clinical Herbalism and attended many herbal and naturopathic conferences for continuing education. I have worked in an herb shop, an herbal products lab and natural medicine clinics, where I gained invaluable experience. I also have a certificate in floral design, with training in Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging.

Teaching

I have taught local herb classes independently and through community programs.

Motivation

Plants are truly a magical gift from nature and have given us so much. I have a deep respect for them and love “nerding out” about how fascinating they are, from botanical features to how they work within our bodies to what they are used for and their history or folklore. This motivates me to let others know that they have different options to support their well-being in ways closer to nature if they desire.

First Herb Memory

My mother instilled a great love of plants in me. She had flower gardens and turned our sunroom addition into a plant room! I grew up using culinary herbs, staining my tiny fingers (and anything I touched) with plump, dark purple Poke berries, and drinking the standard herbal teas: Peppermint, Ginger and Chamomile. One day when visiting friends, they went out to the garden and gathered some fresh Peppermint leaves to make us tea. I remember looking into the mug, watching the leaves move about in the hot water and seeing the color of the water change, while noticing the strong aromatics.

It was then I realized, that the dried lackluster flakes inside tea bags were once these fresh, vibrant living plants, so humbly passing on their compounds to serve us. This was the beginning of my quest to learn more and change my career path.

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