People around the country will focus their attention on herbs and botanicals on Saturday, May 5, the date of the seventh annual HerbDay. HerbDay is a coordinated series of independently produced, public, educational events that celebrate the importance of herbs and herbalism.
HerbDay activities are held at retail stores, schools, farms, botanical gardens, garden centers, and public parks worldwide, on and during the weeks preceding and following May 5. Events include lectures and workshops, herb walks, in-store cooking demonstrations, presentations by herbal product companies, and herbal-themed children’s activities. More events are being planned and added to the HerbDay website, herbday.org.
“We really love celebrating HerbDay every year,” said Lauren Shapiro, communications manager of the American College of HealthCare Sciences (ACHS) in Portland, Oregon. “It’s a great opportunity to involve our students, graduates, and the community in awareness of herbs and wellness education.”
Last year, the ACHS focused its attention on the tradition of herbal medicine and do-it-yourself strategies for using herbs in everyday life. This year, notes Shapiro, the spotlight will be on how to use herbs, the tradition of herbal medicine, and DIY strategies for using herbs around the home.
While it normally observes HerbDay, due to a conflict in scheduling, the United States Botanical Garden (USBG) will be hosting its annual HerbDay on Saturday, May 12. “Visitors will spend the day in the USBG Conservatory celebrating herbs and discovering the significance of herbs in our daily lives and the many ways herbs can be used safely and creatively for health, beauty, and culinary enjoyment,” said Laura Anthony, special events coordinator at the USBG. “Horticulturists and gardeners will be on hand to discuss and demonstrate growing herbs and their uses and provide a walk and talk of our Rose Garden and how to raise roses organically.”
Education is the key motivator at this year’s HerbDay events. Shapiro says the ACHS plans workshops to be “friendly to participants of all experience levels and to have immediate, practical application.”
HerbDay was conceived of in 2006 by the HerbDay Coalition, five nonprofit organizations that have interest in these areas, to raise awareness of the significance of herbs and the many ways they can be used safely and creatively for health, beauty, and culinary enjoyment. The HerbDay Coalition is comprised of the American Botanical Council, American Herbalists Guild, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, American Herbal Products Association, and United Plant Savers.
All are invited to participate actively in HerbDay 2012, either by attending or hosting an event or providing sponsorship in the form of financial support. Past HerbDay corporate sponsors have included GNC, Vitamin World, and Nature’s Resource. It’s not too late to plan local HerbDay activities so that every community is part of the celebration.