It was a warm day, the kind of day most of us would yearn for right now, but I wasn’t enjoying the warmth, my allergies were terrible. I usually suffered through the congestion and headaches, but that year I actually went to my doctor, she saw me quickly and filled a prescription for a nasal spray to treat my symptoms. Looking forward to relief I quickly went to the pharmacy and inhaled the mist before I left the parking lot. By the time I got home I was sniffling less, but a side-effect of the script filled me with terrible anxiety. After a call to my doctor failed to offer a solution I remembered Weeds of Eden, a local herb store on Bardstown Road, and made a trip down there, hoping for a solution.
During previous visits I had seen Myron Hardesty, the owner and operator, talk to people about their conditions and the nature of herbs, but I had never been treated. In our short interaction he accessed by complaints, gave me an explanation of how herbs would assist my body to restore balance, and prepared me a special herb tincture for my condition. My symptoms abated over several days of taking the tincture-sans anxiety- which feed my curiosity regarding complementary and traditional medicine I still have today.
Myron had a similar success story with herbs, prior to opening Weeds of Eden, which lead him to study herbalism in Albuquerque. In 1994, he had sought treatment from a local herbalist in Boulder for a lymphatic infection that had been resistant to conventional treatment; his successful experience encouraged him to learn how herbs assist the body by seeking a teacher, a conversion story he says is, “Typical of herbalists.”
This search found him at The Southwest School of Botanical Medicine to study with Michael Moore (not the director) considered the “Godfather of American Herbalism.” Besides founding the school and writing several books, Moore promoted a bio-regional approach to herbalism. “Going local” is a common refrain I’m sure we’ve all heard, but what does bio-regional herbalism look like? This approach encourages the use and cultivation of medicinal plants indigenous to a particular bio-region, for instance the Ohio Valley, a strategy beneficial to both the consumer and our environment. The customer benefits from having fresh herbs grown in their native soil, while the environment benefits from decreased fuel used in transportation, less intrusion into delicate ecosystems and limiting over-harvesting of wild plants.
Besides reviving a pharmacopeia of medicinal plants, Mr. Moore also sought to reinvigorate Eclectic medicine, a system of constitutional medicine that used plants as a primary way to restore balance. Since the Ohio Valley was a major stronghold of Eclectic medicine, until the early 20th century, Myron was encouraged to come back to Kentucky to learn about our indigenous lost art. Weeds of Eden was founded in 1999 to begin his clinical herbal practice and revive an approach to herbalism that had not been practiced here for nearly a century.
Myron ran Weeds of Eden at its original Bardstown Road location until he sought further training through the Physician’s Assistant program at the University of Kentucky in 2006. Upon completion of this program Myron was able to further integrate herbalism with conventional medicine by merging Weeds of Eden withIntegrative Hormone Specialists under the supervision of Lori Sweat, MD.
In this partnership and as an Integrative Medical Specialist, Myron’s ability to provide primary care has expanded. In addition to herbalism, Myron specializes in nutrition and supplementation,bio-identical hormone replacement, and endocrinology and gastroenterology. To learn more about his unique approach of integrating complementary and conventional medicine email Myron at Mjhardesty@mac.com or schedule an appointment by calling (502) 412-3232.
Weeds of Eden is located at Integrative Hormone Specialists
7505 New LaGrange Road Suite 102
Louisville, KY 40222
Reviving this bio-regional herbal tradition is something Myron is passionate about, but it’s a slowly evolving project. Educating the public, cultivating relationships with local farmers to grow herbs, and energizing a system for implementing the concept is a venture that will take time. One step towards developing this system is the Underground Herb Clinic, a community clinic Myron founded and supervises to offer student herbalists an externship, who knows this could potentially be a hub for bio-regional herbalism in the future.
Weeds of Eden and The Underground Herb Clinic are not the only changes to our medical system, although opinions abound regarding the Affordable Care Act, changes from the ACA might change how insurance covers massage therapy. Next month’s article won’t make value judgments about the ACA as a whole, but it will review the effects it might have on massage. Until then, stay warm and if you have any questions, comments, or know of something in the community I should review email me atJamagn01@gmail.com.