Thursday, August 28, 2008
Herbalist Spotlight-Aviva Jill Romm
I am so pleased to present today Aviva Jill Romm. She is a 41 year old mother of 4 children ages 22-14 years.She has been married for 24 years. Author of such books as Natural Health After Birth, Vaccinations, A Thoughtful Parents Guide,The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition and Other Holistic Choices,Pocket Guide to Midwifery Care, and Naturally Healthy Babies and Children: A Commonsense Guide to Herbal Remedies, Nutrition, and Health Aviva is a powerhouse WOMAN! A midwife, herbalist, and currently continuing in her medical studies, I love this woman and all she mentors to many of us.
Do you remember what was going on in your life that lead you to herbs?
I was 15 years old, in college (I went early) studying premed and becoming an eco-feminist hippie!
How old were you at that time?
Can you share some of the work that has most influenced you? Such as
books, blogs, video and lectures.
Well, at the time I first began studying herbal medicine there were really no books on the market--just 3 of them! So the plants influenced me directly--practicing on friends and learning whatever I could from whatever I could get me hands on. Over the years I've been influenced by so many of my herbal friends/colleagues---Roy Upton, Michael Tierra, Amanda McQuade Crawford, Mary Bove, Tieraona Low Dog---all of us whom talk about herbs, healing, etc. And this is just the top of the iceberg of who has influenced me. Also, i was heavily influenced in my midwifery by Ina May Gaskin and my midwifery mentor, Sarahn Henderson. I have been deeply influenced by ecofeminist writers and medical anthropology as well.
When making plant medicine, are you drawn to any particular method?
I love working with plants to make creative, beautiful healing products. I suppose I love making oils and salves the most. I also find making suppositories for gyn infections rewarding because they are so effective for women.
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?
Jeannine Parvati was a close friend and a mentor very early in my career/path. She told me I reminded her a great deal of herself but she learned from suffering and wanted me to know that a shamanic path of healing did not have to be learned through suffering---to learn how to be wise without having to suffer was her advise and blessing.
Where are you located?
Right now near New Haven CT because I am in school at Yale School of Medicine...
Do you work with the public and could you describe your work? such as:
I teach, I write, I see patients every day, and have practiced as a midwife and herbalist for 20 years.
Do you teach classes?
Yes, and am about to expand into whole new teaching ventures about which I am really excited! Also, I now offer a women's herbal distance learning program and have over 60 students. It's a great program and will be expanding to include on-site training and eventually clinical internships.
Do you offer consultations?
Currently I am seeing patients in medical school, but not offering private consultations. I will expand back into a full practice when I complete medical school.
Do you travel for herbal work?
I have travelled in the past to teach for conferences, and will again, but travel is limited now because of school.
How can people contact you to find out more about what you offer, calender
of events, blogs, weed walks, etc?
Do you have a vision for your work in the future or are you seeing how it
A large vision--clinic, community medical care, internation medical care, offering internships in herbal women's health and pediatric health, the course growing to include more components, healing gardens, and a spa on Friday nights for local practitioners to come and enjoy (smiles!)
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?
Be patient learning the plants and leaning people; teach what you know; be yourself; and be open to a wide spectrum of healing modalities so patients can be supported in what they need, not just in what you believe. Suspend judgment, be kind, and be honest.