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Planting a Future: Self Care & Herbalism

By Joye Williams for Boston Compass (#126)

August 18, 2020

Joyefully Natural found me at a place where I had been suffering, deep depression, anxiety, and overflowing with insecurities and fears. I had found yoga, meditation, and had delved into eastern philosophy, holistic health, and earth magic, all in what seemed to be an unexpected domino effect.

I’ve suffered from eczema since childhood. At this particular time in my life, I had been undergoing a lot of stress, and anxiety. I was involved in a toxic relationship, moving, planning a wedding and still fighting a lot of fear and ego and my eczema spiraled out of control with large welts; I couldn’t lay on any surface (my precious bed!) without being irritated. As if I could feel the heat from the inflammation radiating from my skin. I became aware of the state I was in when this rash started to flare up. I had been using herbs for incense, sachets, and potions. With everything I was learning with the mental and spiritual aspects of herbs, I decided to dig deeper. There was nothing to lose.

In addition to my spell books, I went out and got as many books on herbalism as I could. I learned about adaptogenic herbs, herbs for stress relief, herbs specifically for rashes, and protective carrier oils. I made teas, tinctures, and creams I use to this day. I am grateful to say I haven’t suffered from eczema that way since and that was almost 5 years ago. My mental state became stronger and healthier in those times, where things weren’t the easiest. Sometimes it’s not a pretty process, but a process forward, nonetheless.

That experience gave me a great sense of confidence in my power. I made my own toothpaste, deodorant, haircare, skincare, teas, syrups, culinary spice blends, and common medicines (while developing a healthy relationship with my primary care doctor). I became obsessed. I found something that truly made me feel whole. Soon I was making remedies for my partner, my family, and friends. My first sale was a local culture shop Back to the Roots in Roxbury. So I made an Etsy Shop account, and haven’t looked back!

This process has taught me to question and educate myself, know myself and share. I went back to my elders, I embraced the knowledge I had to share, and the paths they created for us. My Mother’s involvement in the community, volunteering was a part of my childhood. I started to channel that experience. I started to reacquaint myself with my community, to ensure and enhance the healing of my fellow beings. With the knowledge I continue to gain, I see my community with wide, curious eyes. How I could be part of a solution. I’m learning, experiencing more of the ingrained systemic injustices that attack our physical, mental and spiritual health. It is not the essence we were intended for.

JoyefullyNatural is an experience, an opportunity to invest in your health and well-being and strengthen your relationship with nature. To support conscious consumerism, returning to conscious living. To be a part of this age-old holistic health movement, and encourage natural living physically, emotionally, and spiritually - which it turns out guys are ALL connected.


Check out all the art and columns from August's Boston Compass at


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