About Bean’s Herbarium

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.  This site contains educational zines and blogposts, along with info on consultations and bodywork. 

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I live amongst the southern Appalachian mountains practicing herbal medicine and massage therapy.  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 encountered in our society a widespread 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. As a perennial student,  I am learning to see the human body as its own self-balancing ecosystem; nourished by rivers of blood and lymph, and 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 (primarily within the Catholic Worker network). This was a formational time in my life 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 accessible and understandable to everyone.

My first experiences of wild edible and medicinal plants was in the North Carolina piedmont on plant walks with Kim Calhoun. Swept away by the magic of botanical awareness, I moved to the Blue Ridge 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, though it is often informal sharing of personal experiences that continue to be my most potent lessons.

To gain a better understanding of first aid, I became an EMT through Orlando Medical Institute in 2014. I 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 a midwife at home births, to observing marginalized communities care for each other when conventional aid is inaccessible, to engaging with herbal wound care in a rural Tanzanian hospital, to facilitating first aid stations at food servings and various gatherings, to creating herbal formulas at a health food store, to feeling a muscle let go of long-held tension, to noticing my own body joyfully respond to a simple cup of tea. Folks have repeatedly shared with me that plant medicine and body awareness has significantly enriched their existence. As I reflect on all of my experiences, I am continually amused by life’s buoyancy. 

These days, I offer bodywork at a nearby spa and herbal consults wherever (mostly over the phone). I also give time to a free foot clinic and harm reduction efforts. I am not on social media, but I can be contacted by email through this website. Thanks 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

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