I thought long and hard about this name, Apothecary Nurse™. I’ve studied about herbal remedies for over 30 years. It’s only been within the past 12 years I’ve really studied aromatherapy. Years ago an apothecary was a place where medicines were compounded from plant material and sold to physicians, surgeons and patients. The word apothecary has roots in Greek and Latin.
I really liked the name as I thought about my personal philosophy of health and healing. I’ve been a Registered Nurse for 27 years now. It is nice to have knowledge and roots in Modern Medicine as well as a passion to understand how man has used plants since the beginning of time for health and healing.
Why I call Myself Apothecary Nurse™
I don’t make “medications” for anyone. That would be out of my scope of practice as a nurse. When I think of the term “Apothecary”, I think of an old timey pharmacy where remedies were compounded by the pharmacist, and many used raw plant material. Some modern-day pharmacies who compound medication, have the word “apothecary” in their store name.
Since modern medicine in the Western world as we know it appeared and really escalated in the early 1900’s; plant remedies began to take a backseat in the United States. There have been great discoveries no doubt with modern medicine. I also believe food is our medicine. That can go both ways. Food can also be our poison.
I’m very intrigued with the study of plant medicine. The study and philosophy of herbalism is much different from med school or nursing school. What disturbs me is the study of herbalism is often disregarded by physicians or even nurses who think it holds no place in our modern society.
The Apothecary Nurse™ name fits me. My goal is to provide education for nurses and people who would like to be more integrative in their approach to health and healing. In today’s society, many patients use herbal and aromatic support. Even if health care professionals aren’t personally interested in using such integrative support, it’s a good idea to understand what your patient/client is using.
Ezekiel 47:12 says: “And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” Herbalism is basically using food as our medicine.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. — Hippocrates, father of medicine, 431 B.C
My goal is two-fold: 1) to provide education to those who want to learn how plants, herbal remedies and aromatic support can be integrated into care, and 2) provide education for nurses who want to know more about what their patients are using. I do not diagnose, treat, give medical advice, or prescribe medical treatments. I do not take the place of your medical practitioner.
Herbalism is the study of plants and their support of the body. Many civilizations today still strictly practice herbalism. Herbalism approaches illness more as an imbalance and not a collection of symptoms. Symptoms aren’t a disease. Symptoms are a tip-off that something isn’t right in the body.
So, as Apothecary Nurse™, I’ll be sharing case studies, historical use, recipes, remedies, some scientific data, and most importantly: I want you to fall in love with the plants and learn how to safely integrate care!
I will also incorporate other nourishing teachings like Aromatic Healing, Food as Medicine, Nursing without Medicine, Nourishing Traditions concepts, and Plant-Based Eating. Influential medical healers in my life include physicians like Aviva Romm, MD, and Tieraona Low Dog, MD. Both realize the importance of plants, food, and holistic principles related to whole person health and healing.
Joyce Harrell, RN, OCN
Apothecary Nurse (TM)