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Meet Sarah Hasler

Director of Botanical Affairs
Botanical Affairs Department

Purpose

My mission is to be a good steward to the plants, to teach others how to work herbs into their daily lives, and to foster education and learning about plant medicine. 

Specialty

My herbal education is firmly in traditional western herbalism, with a hefty dash of Eclectic thought. However, I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside Ayurvedic herbalists and both TCM and Five Element acupuncturists/herbalists, so I have some exposure to those traditions as well. I’m always interested in learning more about global plant medicine traditions, too! 

Training

The bulk of my herbal education was during a three-year period in New Mexico, where I received my B.S. in herbal medicine from the now-defunct North American College of Botanical Medicine. I have furthered my herbal education at the Columbines School of Botanical Medicine in Eugene, Oregon, with various botany classes at the Morton Arboretum in Chicago, and of course a lot of reading and shorter classes. I also hold a B.S. in nutrition from Oregon State University and a M.S in nutrition from Rush University and am a Registered Dietitian.

Motivation

Herbs are an endless source of fascination and motivation. Working with herbs incorporates so many things that are important to me—understanding ecology, respect for both tradition and science, and a way of looking back at our ancestors with reverence while developing better paths for future wellness. Plants also open up ways of communicating with humans, both learning and teaching within our "herb people" communities!

First Herb Memory

My first plant memory is “making potions” as a very small child with an aromatic weed that I found in the alley behind the small urban house I lived in until I was nine. Years later, I realized that I had been playing with Pineapple Weed (Matricaria discoidea), a close relative to Chamomile. When I got slightly older and learned to read, I read about Catnip, recognized it as growing near my home (it’s a very common naturalized mint species in the Midwest), and made my very first wildcrafted tea! 

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