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Valerie Paquette

**This post was originally published in a beautiful family based herbal program booklet. You can find out more about this program here


I think I have been a herbalist my whole life.

I think I was a herbalist when I made dandelion chains and laid in the grass and threw burdock burrs at my cousins. I think I was born knowing how to connect to plants in all their forms.

Plants have just always been my friends. Nature, a place I felt safe and relaxed.

The thing is, I think you have been a herbalist your whole life too, that plants are your friends as well. I think that you can feel safe and find peace there too. Your children probably still know- but maybe you have forgotten a little how to do it.

Each of us has the capacity to connect directly to plants and nature. It is a basic part of being human. We can all receive messages directly from Nature, directly from the plants, and incorporate plants in our lives for healing, on every level.

This is a brief description of my experience with Plant Spirit Medicine, as I know it. I hope it can inspire you to deepen your own relationship with the natural world and just maybe connect to this ever present, ever loving consciousness.

I started to formally study plant medicine in 2011 and was immediately in deep passionate love with this practice of healing with herbs, of tuning in to the messages of people’s bodies and spirits and matching what they were going through with the best herbal allies for their healing in that moment. It has always felt like magic.

But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered Plant Spirit Medicine, and this beautiful healing modality took on new life.

I have a thriving herbal garden and it is my favourite place to be. As every gardener can relate, there is constant communication between the gardener and their plants as we tend with care. A camaraderie develops. I have always connected with my heart in a quiet way with plants, but during a plant consciousness course we were invited to open a dialogue with a chosen plant, and connect daily in communication. My chosen plant was Valerian.

When I began the practice of sitting with Valerian, I saw the Plant Spirit as a wise elder bringing peace and calm and most especially grounding. I had this delightful sense of being held and supported. I had taken it in the past as a tincture and knew it worked well in my body, but this brought in a whole new element. Soon after, the power of this practice played out in my life.

My son had to have surgery, and I was a mess of nerves, spinning in my head and experiencing some of the highest anxiety I had ever had, while outwardly trying to keep calm so I could be reassuring to my son.

The day of the procedure, I walked into the garden, and sat at Valerian’s base, connecting in as I had each day. I asked for calm and for grounding so I could support my son deeply through this experience. Enter the magic.

I felt a gentle energy on my head, and suddenly a sense of perfect calm and grounding. I asked that I bring this energy into my body so I could experience that peace as I needed it.

As every parent can relate, when we worry about our children it can be some of the most highly stressful times of our lives. This day, it wasn’t. I stayed present, and held my son through the whole day, calling on the calm grounding support of the Valerian through me. That whole day. Without a drop of the physical plant medicine. It was astonishing to me, and I felt deeply grateful.

The next time I was in the garden, I curiously asked “Can I connect to all the Plant Spirits in this way?” The whole garden became riotous with energy and an overwhelming YES- like they had just been waiting for me to ask this whole time.

Since then, I have incorporated plant magic in my classes and clinic.

When we taste herbs, I ask that the Plant Spirit of that plant be present, and give us messages. They always do, and they are always profound.

Try it. I think they are waiting for you to ask to connect too. When you are next tasting your tea or sitting with a plant or tree- ask, does this plant have any messages for me? For my body, mind or spirit? Just as every person has a deep connection to their own inner wisdom or intuition, so too does every person have the capacity to connect with plants in all their forms. It takes practice, an open mind, and belief that plants and humans are truly here together for a reason.


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