Friday, March 14, 2008

Herbalist Spotlight~Lyn Ayre

I borrowed this picture from one of Lyn's website and the caption was that she was photo'd with her PHD.

Sharing an herbalist that loves working with perfumery as well was fitting for this week. Thank you Lyn.

Subject: Lyn E. Ayre, Ph.D.

Age: 56

Gender: Female

Marital status: married

Children: three grown children-ages 35, 36, 37; and six grandchildren ages

2-18.5 years.

Do you remember what was going on in your life that lead you to herbs?

I was living in rural British Columbia with my first husband and our two kids.

Self-sufficiency was the necessary life-style in that situation back in 1972. We

had an extensive garden including many culinary and medicinal herbs. I learned a

great deal about the effects of herbs on the body as I added them to some of my

favourite recipes.

How old were you at that time?

I was 21 years old at that time.

Can you share some of the work that has most influenced you? Such as books,

blogs, video, and lectures.

Until I enrolled in the Heart of Herbs Master Herbalist course, I had no formal

education. I’d just been growing and using the herbs I always had such as:

Rosemary, Sage, Marjoram, Thyme, Basil, Fennel, Bay, Calendula, Chamomile,

Cleavers, Dandelion, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Spearmint,

Raspberry leaf, Red Clover, and Yarrow.

I’d also read many books on the subject of herbs and anatomy, as follows, and

all of them helped educated me and made me want to learn more:

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs Jiri Stodola and Jan Volak

The New Healing Herbs Michael Castleman

The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicines Michael Murry

The Botanical PharmacyHeather Boon

The Complete Guide to Herbal MedicinesCharles Fetrow & Juan Avila

The Healing Spirit of Plants Clare Harvey & Amanda Cochrane

The Herbal Drugstore Linda B. White and Steven Foster

The Naturally Clean Home Karyn Siegel-Maier

Healing Herbal Teas Brigitte Mars

Healing with the Herbs of Life Lesley Tierra

Atlas of Anatomy-Know Your Body Emmett Keffee, MD

Traditional Herbal Remedies Michael Howard

When making plant medicine, are you drawn to any particular method?

When I collect herbs, I chant Om to the Mother plant. I give thanks to Gaia as

she is my earth Mother who takes care of every one of my physical needs

including my medicine. Source looks after my spiritual and energetic needs. Then

I dry the herbs in my food dehydrator and either tincture the material or infuse

it in oil. Of course, it is used in the food recipes I create as well as

medicinal teas, baths, pot pourri, given as gifts, and other ways. When

tincturing, I will use both the measuring system and the Simpler Method.

Do you have a most memorable event, conference, or one on one experience with

any of our herbal foremothers and forefathers or any other key person used in

your path of herbalism? And how has that influenced you today?

I was born and raised in the southwest corner of beautiful British Columbia. In

this beautiful land, we are surrounded by mountains, forests, and many varieties

of wild life. The Fraser River runs through our area only a few blocks away, and

the Pacific Ocean is nearby. This wild beauty has consistently captured my

heart. I’ve always experienced a heart-swell when I look at the plant life

around me. I’ve talked to plants and sang to them my whole life.

My most memorable herbal event to date is the discovery of Calendula in 2002. My

Spiritual Mentor of 26 years passed away in September 2001. As we were leaving

her property for the last time, my husband reached down and took a couple of

handfuls of seeds from one of her plants and stuck them in his pocket. We didn’t

know what it was, we only wanted something of hers to live on with us.

We planted these seeds in early spring. When the flowers bloomed, our neighbour

identified them as Calendula. I did research on this beautiful plant and began

to make Calendula Balm in 2002. I made ten jars and those same first customers

keep coming back for more. Each year, when the plants set seed, I give some away

to whomever is my student at that time. Calendula plants are now growing all

over the world and Louise Campbell Silver lives on. Her affect on my life was

incredibly deep and lasting. I will never forget her.

Where are you located?

Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

Do you work with the public and could you describe your work? such as: Do you

teach classes?

I do work with the public and I do teach classes but in Energy Healing and

Natural Perfumery. I don’t teach herbal classes just yet as I want to first

graduate from the Master Level course and another herbal course I’m taking in

person this fall of 2008. In this class, we go out into the bush and do some

wildcrafting and plant identification, bringing back the plants to Langara

College and making medicine.

Do you offer consultations?

It is my plan to do herbal consultation when I graduate. I have been doing them

on an informal basis over the years, doing lots of research for particular

cases. I look forward to broadening my scope of practice.

Do you travel for herbal work?

Not at this time.

How can people contact you to find out more about what you offer, calendar of

events, blogs, weed walks, etc?

I have two web sites and two blogs to do with energy healing and natural

perfumery. They are:

Lyn Ayre

Inner Journal

Scent of Nature


Do you have a vision for your work in the future or are you seeing how it


For over thirty years, I have been using herbs, that I have grown myself, for

cleaning products, health and beauty aids, food, first aid, and many other

reasons. I also use several over-the-counter herbs when I have an acute

situation. I have peace of mind when using herbal remedies, as I know what is in

the product and how it will affect my health.

By learning more about herbs, going deeper into the botany, chemistry, wild

crafting, and increasing my knowledge and experience of other certified organic

herbs that I have not grown myself, I hope to be able to help myself even more

so I will be really healthy. Eventually, I want to have a consulting practice

and help people physically as well as energetically.

Some of the personal solutions I am working towards are stabilizing my blood

sugar, eliminating cravings for sweets, coming to my idea weight, better memory,

deeper sleep, and more stamina. I am very confident that I will succeed. I’ve

been amazed by what I have read so far and I’m deep into a learning curve that

will take me to my ultimate goal of having a deeper understanding of the Heart

of Gaia.

There are many ‘jobs’ that a I could be suited for: growing and distributing

herbs; teaching about herbs; taking interested folks on herb walks, lecturing

about herbs, writing about herbs; owning/running a herb store; doing herbal

consultations; and working in a herb store. There may be others that I haven’t

thought of yet.

My plan is to do what I always do with that which I learn and that is to write,

teach, and help others via consultations. My husband has come on board with me

and will be expanding our herb garden this year. We have a good-sized order

pending for live plants and organic seeds. We are always interested in seeing

where Spirit will lead us next.

Most of the readers are new to herbs and if there is one word of wisdom or sage

advice you could leave them, what would that be?

I am a writer so it is unlikely I can do this in one word.

What I would like to convey is to be ever-curious; find out all you can about

the herbs you are interested in. Don’t skim over the contra-indications, rather

fully learn those, too. Herbalism is the world of possibilities: to overcome

chronic health situations, for health maintenance, for safe bath and beauty

products, for a clean home environment, and for a nutritious way to eat. The

possibilities are indeed endless.

I am so grateful to have you participating in this project I know you will

inspire others with your deep appreciation, knowledge and love of herbalism.

You are so welcome. Thanks so much for allowing me to share my love of herbs.

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