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Kalpana Jacob: Community Care + Herbalist

Kalpana, a BHC Alumni

Every month we have the opportunity to touch base with a graduate of one of our certification programs. We call it our alumni series and this is our 20th herbalist spotlight! This month we’re hearing from Herbalist Kalpana Jacob. She went through our foundations, therapeutics, and two years of clinical study here at the school.

Kalpana’s path to herbalism was an extension of the remedies and herbs she used growing up in her home. These blossomed into a path of using herbs to help herself and others.

Through herbalism, Kalpana found community, and through this, her work took form.

Kalpana enjoys working with families bringing her roots into her practice, helping households use herbs for greater healing and health. To read more about Kalpana Jacob and her journey, see below.

Healing As A Way of Life

My immigrant parents living in the US meant they were far from their family in India, far from their roots, far from what they knew, far from what was home, which meant that a lot of traditional ways of eating and healing were kept alive in our home.

Who needs to go to the doctor for a cold when you have a ginger turmeric black pepper concoction waiting at home? Every blend my mother created from my father’s garden made an impact on any ailment we went through.

Healing with ancestral love and herbs and spices didn’t feel extraordinary, it was just a way of life. 

Kalpana’s Path To BHC

Though herbalism has been woven into my life since childhood, it was never a main focus until I hit 30.

It was a point in my life where everything was changing- my relationships, family dynamics, career path, my health-physical and mental. I wanted to change, feel supported, and have a deeper understanding of everything but I was overwhelmed. It was challenging and I just didn’t feel grounded.

Then one day, by chance, I walked into a local apothecary and BHC happened to be teaching a class on herbs and stress. My whole life changed. 

Finding Community Through Herbs

Attending BHC was a magical experience. Yes, learning about all the various herbs and their actions, all the camping experiences, the medicine making classes are all amazing and impactful, but what really stood out to me was the community.

It didn’t matter who you were, everyone was there because of their love for plants. Whether someone grew up on a farm or grew up in the city or had extensive herbal knowledge or was just starting out, we all loved the plants. Not only that, there was an unspoken promise that we were all there to support and learn from each other as well. 

Kalpana Jacob With Her Clients 

Since graduating BHC, working with clients one on one has been such a humble but energizing experience.

I am currently working with people who are looking for support in navigating past and current traumas, stress and anxiety, and those who want to unearth the bright and shiny selves they once were. I enjoy working with families and creating plans for everyone to participate in – adults and children.

A Favorite Drink To Share

A pick me up beverage I’ve been sipping on all summer is a sun kissed tea blend of hibiscus, tulsi, rose and marshmallow.

A beverage that’s a bit tart, a bit demulcent, and filled with love.

How To Contact Kalpana Jacob

I am available for in person or online consultations through the Berkeley Herbal Center. You can contact me via email here: Kalpana@berkeleyherbalcenter.org

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