“I am passionate and truly care for people and their well being,” she says.
She reflects over big moments in her practice as the Empirical Herbalist, “I love getting women pregnant when doctors say they can’t ever conceive. I’ve seen herbs restore a stage 4 liver to ‘the liver of a healthy 28-year-old’. I’ve been told that I gave a woman her husband back to her, when we treated his undiagnosed thyroid condition. I’ve seen people come back from suicidal tendencies because their health was so depleted, they felt overwhelmed. The big stories are great but the little ones warm my soul, when herbs help people sleep better or motivate them to change their life. When moms are able to breastfeed their babies when they were struggling. When a kid gets over the flu or pneumonia or anxiety.”
Herbs have clearly changed her clients’ lives, but it wasn’t until after they were destined to change hers. Ruth shares, “It was a light bulb moment that I was supposed to work with plants that changed my life, I was driving past a massive amount of unturned earth and it just came to me and I was led to my school and keep being led to along the way of creating this business. I remember always being drawn to them and I have so many memories of things I used them for when we would play as kids. VIVID like video recorded moments.”
Since that fated moment, learning became her passion! Ruth was working at an herb farm about 11 years ago, but she started studying herbs 17/18 years ago and went solo about 9 years ago. Even then, it was only part time until last year, when her kiddos went back to school full time!
Today she looks back at the Empirical Herbalist journey with gratitude explaining her biggest accomplishment. “Growing it while remaining true to my vision, my clients, my family, myself and the way I know plants work. I haven’t compromised it for more money or how other business people tell me I should do things,
” says Ruth.
Her specialty is custom formulas for the individual because she recognizes that everyone is very different. She also offers “selections from her greatest hits”, which are formulas that are for specific is- sues such as adrenal support and immune boosting.
Ruth explains, “The Flu Shot is a big seller for people to avoid the shot and nasal spray is a big hit most of the year here. I do syrups, LOADS of teas, skin care products, smudge sticks in season and I can custom make those. I make massage oils, spice blends, special occasion liqueurs, but that’s very limited. I offer a month-long detox that introduces foods slowly to see which foods are triggers for inflammation or candida. Parasite cleanses are a journey that I go on with clients too. It’s a process so dedication and patience are the key. I teach classes on using herbs, anything from cooking to using them to overcome Fear.”
Ruth smiles, “I always say that if it can be made with herbs, I’ll try it.”
She continues to educate her clients and the community that herbs are amazing and work in their time with you so don’t get impatient and always communicate what is going on. That’s the best way for her to know you and make sure you are getting the right herbal combination.
“It’s also about trust,” says Ruth. “Value the trust that each person puts into my knowledge and time it takes to heal or change themselves.”
And her knowledge is something Ruth has continued to gather over the last 18 years. To anyone wanting to do what she does she urges, “STUDY! I’m a big fan of books so read them often and over again. There is no way to glean everything from one reading. I like to think the great herbals seem to add information that you only notice when you need it. There are many ways to practice herbalism so find what speaks to you and go full tilt, but be aware that your practice will evolve as you do
While Ruth has big plans brewing in her heart for her business, she shares about her hope for the health and wellness industry in general saying, “I’d love to see the pharmaceutical companies lose their hold on us and people to be educated on what health really is or often cases what it used to be. Our society isn’t healthy and it’s undermining our individual health if we let it. I’d like people to know that health is ongoing and you work on yourselves every single day. Western Medicine doesn’t not advocate that. I’d like to see doctors who know supplements and understand them. I’d like to see people realize that they are worth the time, effort and money it may take to be healthy. I’d like to see the terms supplemental or alternative changed to just holistic because the whole group of bodies need to be supported and nourished.”
Outside of being and herbalist and business owner of The Empirical Herbalist, Ruth loves is all about family: husband of 23 years, Glenn, her two beautiful kids Ambrose, 16, and Cyl, 12. Their beloved cat of 16 years passed last January and her daughter Cyl has a corn snack, but Ruth jokes, “she would love about five more snakes!”
To learn more or find out how she can help you on your health journey, please can contact Ruth Shelton by visiting her website