In the world of natural healing and childbirth, Tamara stands as a remarkable luminary. As a Licensed Midwife and Professional Herbalist, she has dedicated her life's work to nurturing the art of herbalism and guiding women through the sacred journey of childbirth. Tamara's expertise is not only recognized but revered, as she proudly holds registration with the esteemed American Herbalists Guild (AHG). Beyond her impressive qualifications, she is also the visionary founder of "Herbal Help by Tamara," a sanctuary where ancient wisdom meets modern healthcare. In this article, Delivery Rank delves into the extraordinary journey of Tamara, exploring her profound contributions to midwifery and herbalism, and how she continues to illuminate the path towards holistic well-being and natural childbirth.
I became a certified midwife in my twenties while living in Germany. I was primarily interested in self-empowered home births, emphasizing a natural approach whenever possible. Modern medicine was available as a backup, but the goal was to avoid excessive intervention in the natural birthing process. The female body is remarkably capable, and my motivation was to assist women in achieving a low-tech, natural birth, whether at home or in another chosen location. Having everything in place was essential in case we needed modern medical assistance, which is undeniably crucial. However, there's also the risk of overusing drugs or interventions, which can lead to more problems for both the baby and the mother in the long run. Thus, careful assessment was key, always striving to provide nature with an opportunity to take its course.
This was my motivation for pursuing a career as a midwife. Life took me on different, exciting adventures, including extensive travel and living abroad. Despite these changes, I had my own children, and the knowledge I had acquired about the birthing process and motherhood was invaluable. I had natural births and breastfed my children for an extended period, which was immensely satisfying. It helped me avoid the common pitfalls and problems that young families, especially women, encounter during such a significant life change.
I benefited greatly from this knowledge and am deeply grateful for it. Later, I pursued a career as an herbalist, delving deeper into natural medicine. As a midwife, I was already trained and experienced in recommending natural remedies, which is a common practice in Germany. Pregnant women often take herbs and supplements to maintain their health and prepare for optimal birthing outcomes and the baby's growth. Even doctors in Germany typically first recommend natural remedies, especially during pregnancy, where many pharmaceuticals may have dangerous side effects on the unborn child.
My path towards becoming an herbalist was also motivated by my personal quest to address my health issues. I had experienced severe burnout, fatigue, and thyroid dysfunction. Having worked as a midwife, I had a clear understanding of modern medicine's capabilities and limitations.
This is precisely what I was also seeking to address my own health issues. I was well aware that pharmaceuticals, like thyroid hormones, for example, can be taken to stabilize your condition. However, they do not truly treat the underlying root cause of the problem. With the various conditions that people often experience, especially in midlife, such as feeling drained, fatigued, experiencing anxiety, depression, food intolerances, digestive problems, and hormonal imbalances, there isn't always a solution in modern medicine. These are typical issues faced by both women and men in midlife.
Modern medicine excels in acute situations, emergencies, and when things go terribly wrong. However, for our day-to-day maintenance and the restoration of our vitality, digestion, and immune system, natural medicines are essential. Pharmaceuticals alone cannot restore balance. While they have their importance in certain situations, they cannot be relied upon to restore vitality and address health problems. Achieving balance requires a combination of diet, herbs, lifestyle changes, and good sleep. Herbs and natural medicines can be beneficial. They can aid in achieving better sleep, improving digestion, promoting regular bowel movements, and supporting the immune system.
We now understand that a significant part of our immune system resides in the gut. Thus, there is a connection between the gut and various health issues, whether they are related to digestion, the immune system, skin problems like eczema, or hormonal imbalances. Many of these problems can be traced back to the digestive system. Balancing it with herbs that enhance digestion and nutrient absorption, and aid in the production of enzymes and stomach acid for effective digestion, can be highly effective.
Many individuals believe they have food intolerances or cannot consume certain foods. In reality, these issues often stem from an imbalanced digestive system. Fortunately, restoring balance is entirely achievable through traditional natural remedies. We have a wealth of information from Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and Western herbalism, which have been relied upon by humans for centuries to improve and support digestion and overall health.
I have memorable cases almost every week where the effects of the herbs are remarkably noticeable.
Basically, every week I see people for second, third, or sometimes even months of ongoing treatment. These individuals often come with frequent migraines, sometimes up to ten times a month. After incorporating herbal remedies like gotu kola tea and certain supplements, they report being migraine-free.
Female hormonal imbalances are another issue I address effectively with herbs that regulate hormones, alleviating PMS symptoms, bloating, headaches, and fatigue. We also have herbs to protect the adrenals from stress, preventing excessive cortisol spikes that lead to chronic fight-or-flight responses. These adaptogenic herbs, like Ashwagandha from Ayurvedic medicine, can provide noticeable results within a month or two, depending on the severity of the initial situation.
Digestion is another aspect we can influence relatively quickly. Incorporating extra fiber from sources like flaxseed and chia seeds, along with carminative herbs like fennel, can greatly reduce gas and bloating. Additionally, I often recommend supplements such as magnesium or vitamin B to reduce fatigue, promote calmness, and improve digestion.
There are numerous examples I could provide. For instance, I recently worked with a woman who had frequent herpes infections for years. After four or five months of strengthening her immune system with a combination of Chinese herbs and supplements, she reported not having a single herpes outbreak in the last three months, with prior outbreaks already becoming less severe.
I've also encountered women who are deeply burned out and fatigued, which can often be traced back to the childbirth and breastfeeding phases. The female body gives a lot during this time, and it's crucial to replenish and protect our energy levels. Herbs play a significant role in achieving this.
I could share many more examples of successful herbal treatments if needed.
In my business as an herbalist, I contemplated ways to share my knowledge more widely and make it accessible to people. Consequently, I created a free podcast called "Down to Earth Herbalism with Tamara." I have been publishing episodes about herbs and health, offering practical advice. One aspect I focus on, which I often find missing in other sources, is the correct dosage of herbs. It's essential to use a sufficient amount of herbs to achieve the desired effects. Many people tend to underestimate the quantity needed, perhaps due to their familiarity with small pharmaceutical dosages. Herbs, however, are more akin to food in many cases, requiring more than just a tiny fraction of a gram in a capsule.
To help people understand how to incorporate herbs into their routines, I teach them how to mix Ayurvedic powders into oatmeal or smoothies, making herbal consumption more accessible. I emphasize that herbs are not limited to tinctures or teas. Personally, I work extensively with herbal powders, a lesser-known approach. I aim to simplify the process by demonstrating how to take herbs effectively. It's not just about knowing which herbs to use for specific conditions; it's also about integrating them into your daily routine.
In addition to the podcast, I maintain a YouTube channel called "Herbal Help by Tamara," where I create short videos demonstrating herbal skills. These videos offer guidance on brewing tea, including crucial details like brewing time and the appropriate amount of herb to use. Many individuals tend to use too little, rendering the herb ineffective in numerous cases.
My podcast allows me to delve deeper into explaining how all these aspects of herbalism fit together. I've noticed that many people are searching for a single "magic herb" or a quick fix, but natural healing doesn't work that way. It involves a multi-step process. During consultations, my clients often receive extensive herbal protocols that combine several herbs and supplements working together in a coherent manner. For example, if someone wants to boost their immune system, it's essential to consider their digestive health as a foundational step. Similarly, addressing anxiety and poor sleep requires a comprehensive approach, not a one-size-fits-all solution. I draw on the wisdom of various natural healing traditions, including Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and Western herbalism, to create holistic protocols.
The podcast has become the core of my herbalist practice. Many people reach out to me after listening to a few episodes or watching my YouTube videos. This has led to students enrolling in my herbalism classes and individuals booking health consultations. The podcast serves as the foundation of my business. In the future, I plan to expand my teaching endeavors, including local workshops and online classes, as part of my ongoing goals for the coming months.
I certainly read extensively and keep myself up to date, but what I consider most crucial is maintaining regular meetings with other herbalists. Networking and exchanging ideas with fellow practitioners hold significant importance for me. As a result, I frequently organize gatherings with other natural practitioners where we discuss our cases, share what has been effective, and learn from each other's experiences. For me, practical knowledge is paramount, not just theoretical knowledge from books and studies. Herbalism has always primarily relied on empirical learning and teaching, emphasizing the actual application of herbs. It's a traditional approach to healthcare, rooted in hands-on experience.
This is why there is no single "magic pill" or a one-size-fits-all herb for any given situation in herbalism. There is a multitude of herbs to choose from, each with its unique properties and applications. The selection often depends on what local plants are available. While I do incorporate herbs from distant regions like Ayurvedic and Chinese herbs into my practice, I also value the use of locally sourced herbs. I actively engage with the outdoors, continuously seeking to identify new plants and learn about their properties. Having a sensory experience with herbs, making my own remedies, herbal oils, tinctures, and teas, and tasting wild-grown herbs in my surroundings is crucial for me. This direct interaction with herbs provides a deeper understanding.
Learning is an ongoing process, and I attend courses offered by other herbalists both locally and online. I particularly enjoy going on herb walks with fellow herbalists as it allows us to observe and learn directly from plants in their natural habitat, which has always been at the heart of herbalism. While herbalism has evolved into a sophisticated system of natural medicine, incorporating knowledge from various cultures such as Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, it still values the core principle of direct experience with plants.
Being able to learn globally from practitioners of different traditions and discovering what works in their practices is a tremendous blessing. This is primarily how I stay updated and continue to expand my knowledge in herbalism.
If you would like to find out more about Herbal Help by Tamara, visit https://herbalhelp.net/