"Yarb" is Ozark speak for a healing herb. Working with local and native herbs is a big part of the work I do, and it's actually how I got started on this path. I grew up out in the woods, so my life was surrounded by plants. Eventually I got interested in herbalism, and it was through looking for herbal remedies from family that I was introduced to Ozark folkways. I never thought this area had a culture, but boy was I wrong. I still use a lot of the remedies I collected years ago, and have continued to learn the healing power of plants.
For the past couple of years I've taken it upon myself to learn about and build a relationship with many of the healing yarbs that grow wild in this area. You can see examples of some of those plants in the photos below. Yarbs like Mountain Mint, Spicebush, Black Cohosh, Common Dittany, Rabbit Tobacco, and more, have all been added to my repertoire of healing plants. For me it's important to use the plants of this land. There's this idea that the plants that surround you know what healing you need and know how to work on your body. It's for this reason I've started trying to work native plants into my healing work.
The Ozarks are a unique area for botanical diversity; we're at the crossroads of several different biome areas. The preservation and cultivation of traditional botanical knowledge in this area is very important for healers and common folk alike. The Ozarks are home to many endangered plant species, and there are still many out there that haven't even been found. The Ozark Folk Center is doing a great job preserving plant knowledge. If you're interested they occasionally offer wonderful courses and retreats geared toward working with Ozark yarbs.