Gina Kearney is a Registered Herbalist and Flower Essence Practitioner that started to learn about plants and healing practices when she started to suffer with anxiety and panic attacks. Since then she started to learn everything that she could about traditional healing and herbal medicine and offering classes and programs to people that are interested in more natural forms of healing and living life.
In this interview for MysticMag we know more about her journey, herbs that are helpful and more.
Please share with our audience the very important turning event that motivated you to search for plants and Earth-based practices.
I was suffering with extreme anxiety and having panic attacks when I was 25 years old and didn’t want to be on pharmaceutical medication. So, I began learning about plants and healing practices, breathing techniques and more. I followed many of my doctors’ recommendations and made sure that I learned all that I could about plant medicine and used it to support me in that journey towards health, which made an impact on my life and opened up my mind and my heart to natural ways of healing.
Unfortunately, your problem is very common nowadays. Knowing what you know now, what would be a positive first step for someone experiencing panic attacks and recurring cases of anxiety?
Many people experience stress and anxiety, and a good first step is to learn how to support oneself and ground using techniques like breathing and spending time in nature. When our thoughts and activities overwhelm us, our stress increases, and it becomes difficult to break free from that cycle.
A simple first step is to use the breath: breathe in, hold and breathe out to calm mind and body. Also, using simple teas of calming herbs like passionflower, Kava, and lemon balm to help come back into balance.
Were there any health issues and conditions in which working with herbs was surprisingly helpful?
When working with clients, I’ve noticed that often we hold sickness in our energetic field before it manifests physically. While plants help ease physical symptoms, they also bring in vibrations that change how our mind reacts to the disharmony.
The most inspiring and surprising part of this work is that when we use natural forms of healing and take control of our health, we experience transformation. For example, when we use herbal remedies such as chamomile tea or fennel to ease an upset stomach and our body relaxes, wisdom emerges, altering our self-perception and emotions. That’s where real transformation comes from.
Is there a specific go-to herb for various problems, that you could qualify as a “best seller”?
Herbalism is both an art and a science. Although herbs can alleviate various issues, such as stress, anxiety, sleep, overwork, and digestive problems, it is crucial to consider the individual’s specific needs to choose the right herb.
For instance, chamomile is a good ally for someone who may feel nervous and experience stomach discomfort that leads them to the bathroom, whereas catnip could be better for another person who may feel anxious and suffer from indigestion or burping.
Therefore, we examine both their physical condition and personal experience to identify the underlying cause. By addressing the root cause with the right herbs, we can clear out the system for long-term health.
That’s a great connection to another question that I have about your herbalist programs. What can I learn with them?
I realized working with clients that when they started feeling better with the plants, they wanted to learn more. So, I created the Budding Herbalist program, which I teach in person in Jupiter, Florida and online. The program covers the use of herbs in families for different body systems, including respiratory health, cardiac health, digestive health, the liver, nervous system, and immune system.
However, the focus of the program is developing a relationship with the plants. Rather than overwhelming my students with information, I encourage them to work with one herb at a time and really get to know it. This involves making tea or taking it as a tincture and observing how it feels in their body. Understanding the personality of plants and how they interact with the body and mind is key to choosing the right herb for the right person.
The program is both information-based and experiential, with homework assignments that involve connecting with nature, analyzing one’s own or someone else’s tissue state, and identifying which herbs will support them in what way. Through the course, students have the opportunity for self-discovery and healing.
This practical aspect of your course is very interesting
Everything we do at Herbs & Owls is taking knowledge and turning it into wisdom. We teach, but also practice to experience and really make it your own. Recently, we launched an online community called Herbs & Owls Community, which was born out of wanting to learn about the plants in a practical way for various purposes.
In that community, we do it together as a group. We hold each other accountable and also make sure that every day or several times a week we’re putting into practice the things we’re learning.
You also offer Shamanic healing sessions. Can you explain to us how those sessions work?
Yes, I lead group Shamanic Medicine Wheel Intensives and also work one-on-one with clients. Shamanism is a path of direct revelation. It uses the art of journeying, a type of active meditation, for direct insight into one’s own inner wisdom and guidance.
Through this work, clients and students are able to make profound and meaningful changes in their lives.
Gina, thank you very much for your time. Would you care to share a special message with our audience for these challenging times?
I want to share with everyone that nature is available to each and every one of us at every moment and for free. Anytime you’re feeling disconnected, stressed or anxious, go outside, take off your shoes, stand on this beautiful earth, breathe in the sweet air around you, and just allow your body to relax and feel a part of nature.
Feel you are living in this breathing, living world and truly practice connecting with that. Because it’s there that we heal, rest, nourish ourselves, and we’re much better able to move forward in our lives.
If you would like to find out more about Gina Kearney, visit herbsandowls.com