My Research Interests

The question that underpins all my research is this:

What does it mean to be a herbalist in 21st century Australia? What is our contribution to society?

As herbalists, we continue the ancient practice of healing with plants. Plants have been used as medicine throughout history and throughout the world. In other words, medicinal plants have been used in all cultures at all times. How amazing is that!

The challenge is that, to remain relevant, these ancient practices need to be constantly reinvented. They have to be made appropriate to the time and place where they are used. In other words, a tradition that doesn’t change is a dead tradition. But how do we work out what is essential and what can be changed – what needs changing and what needs to be retained?

This is my research agenda, and to this end I ask questions, tell stories, travel to far-away places and talk to colleagues and people interested in plants, friends old and new, about herbs. Sometimes I publish in academic journals, other times I blog, other times I lecture.

And it is all research.