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  • shayngrant

Why 9 Herbs?





I love the name of my business, and it took nearly as long as my herbal training to come up with. When I landed on it, I knew it was a little obscure for its simplicity. As a result, many brave souls have asked ‘Why 9 herbs?”.


The original inspiration for 9 Herbs is the Nine Herbs Charm. This is an Anglo-Saxon recipe for a healing ointment that includes nine sacred herbs of what is now called England. It is thought to be over a thousand years old.


As a student of history (I hold a BA in the subject), snippets of the past like this truly excite me. It is the long and winding tradition of herbalism is a part of what originally drew me to it. I continue to pour over ancient recipes and historical herbal research. Because of this, I feel a duty and a responsibility to the herbalists of the past every time I forage or dispense medicine.


When I stumbled across the Nine Herbs Charm, I was enthralled. It is not just a recipe for how to put herbs together, but an incantation to the deities of the common Anglo Saxon. It is a fascinating mix of threads from the Norse traditions as well as the influence of the Church - pagan and Christian beliefs, new and old, both imported but taking their own roots on English soil. The charm represents a time of flux in the spiritual culture of the people of this land. Yet, the document is very much a reflection of a tradition as old as time.





The Nine herbs are not entirely agreed upon by historians, but they are likely these:


Mugwort

Crab apple

Plantain

Lamb’s cress

Mayweed (a relative of Chamomile)

Betony

Thyme

Nettle

Fennel


Herbalists have been taught by other herbalists for millennia. In naming my practice this way, I am nodding to those who came before me, who brought remedies to the people, and who were well acquainted with the plants who have long made Britain their home. I hope 9 Herbs does its namesake justice.


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