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Hi there. My name is Annie SewDev and this website is a space where I can share projects that preserve my experiences with plant medicine and body awareness. Based in western North Carolina, Bean’s Herbarium offers educational zines, herbal consultations, and occasional classes. Please explore the website for further information about each of these.
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I live amongst the southern Appalachian mountains practicing herbal medicine and massage therapy (LMBT 17273). I aspire to feel at home in my body and the natural world, and to support others with similar hopes.
Over the years that I’ve provided medical support to others, and been supported myself, I have recognized in our society a common disconnect from our bodies and the natural world, resulting in fear and dependence on the “experts,” who too often sell nothing more than band aids for symptomatic relief. This has led me on quite the unending journey to discover what “health” really means. I see the human body as its own self-balancing ecosystem; nourished by rivers of blood and lymph, and intelligently interconnected with our mycelium of fascia and nerves. The body knows what it needs, usually more-so than any outside source.
I began learning about physical and mental health as a young adult living in hospitality spaces for houseless communities. During this formational time in my life, I began to understand the power dynamics of the modern world and the blatant abandonment & harassment of oppressed people; most clearly seen in the difficulty of staying healthy in polluted, poor neighborhoods with little access to healthy food and compassionate medical care. It was these experiences that triggered my studies in herbalism and emergency medicine. I have a strong affinity for the margins and I seek to share in the effort of making health and herbal medicine accessible to everyone.
I began studying wild edible and medicinal plants in the Piedmont of NC on plant walks with Kim Calhoun. Swept away by the magic of botanical awareness, I moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains to apprentice with Juliet Blankespoor and learn about western herbalism at the Chestnut School in 2013. Alas, when winter came and snowed on my tent, I escaped to central Florida and stayed for a handful of years. While there, I continued my studies at the Florida School of Holistic Living and St. Pete’s Acupuncture and Herbal Therapies. I have enjoyed over 1800 hours of formal herb training. My greatest teachers continue to be the folks who allow me to walk alongside them through their ailments and transformations.
To gain a better understanding of first aid, I became an EMT in 2014 and worked with Orlando’s 911 response for four years. I have taken a great interest in learning the boundary between what we can handle at home and knowing when a hospital is necessary.
While trying to understand the complicated cycle of chronic pain, I attended the Central Florida School of Massage Therapy in 2017, directed by Mike McGillicuddy, and discovered my enthusiasm for bodywork.
Aside from my educational endeavors, I have had a wide array of “healthcare adventures”; from herbal consultations in my home, to driving lights and sirens through Orlando rush hour, to assisting with a midwife in home births, to observing marginalized communities care for each other when aid is inaccessible to them, to providing wound care in a rural Tanzanian hospital, to facilitating first aid stations at food servings and earthskill gatherings, to creating herbal formulas at a health food store, to feeling a muscle let go of long-held tension, to experiencing my own body respond joyfully to something as simple as a cup of tea. Folks have shared with me over and over how plant medicine and body awareness has significantly changed their life for the better. Not everything has a happy ending, but as I reflect on my experiences, I am continually surprised at how resilient humans are. And, of course, how magical plants are.
These days, I am offering bodywork at a nearby spa and free/donation-based herbal consults (mostly over the phone). The pages of this website elaborate on my offerings, which may vary from season to season. I am not on social media, but I can be contacted by email through this website. Thank you for taking the time the read this.
“When the trees sing, it doesn’t matter if you know the song, or if you know the words, or even if you know the tune. What really matters is knowing that the trees are singing at all.” ~Mattie Stepanek, 7 years old, May 1998