Report from the Herb Conference Presentation in October 2022
Tony Hosemans – “Native American Indian Herbs”
Tony Hosemans is one of the few people growing rare Native American herbs in Australia. It all started with a chance encounter at his café in the Hills outside Melbourne some decades ago, and has developed into an intense passion. This encounter was with Native American Randall “Blue Feather” White, who was looking for a place to grow the healing herbs of his heritage. So Tony offered some of his block, which lead to him learning about the traditional practices with these herbs and develop a deep respect. When Randall headed home, Tony took over the nursery through much trail and error over several years. The core herbs mentioned:
- Dessert Sage and White Sage. Sacred herbs used for spiritual cleansing and the component for Smudgesticks for cleansing houses. Unfortunately, the popularity of Smudgesticks has encouraged plundering native forest and the plant in the wild is becoming endangered. When buying it, be sure to check it is sustainably sourced.
- Golden Seal. Used traditionally as a natural anti-biotic and claimed to kill Golden Staph. (A copy of Tony’s book “How to grow Golden Seal in Australia” is available to borrow from the HSOV library)
- Black Cohosh and Blue Cohosh. Both women’s herbs, the blue variety the better for menopause. The roots are used medicinally, and the corms after it has died down after winter.
- The leaves are harvested in spring and summer for medicinal use, commonly for urinary infections.
As with many potent medicinal plants, these herbs have strong healing powers, along with strong side effects and contraindications and should be used medicinally with consultation of a professional herbalist or naturopath.
Over the years, he developed his ‘black magic’ potting mix/mulch especially for these herbs to try to replicate the plants’ indigenous woodlands soil, using lots of mulched deciduous tree leaves. Many of the pots are grown under the deciduous trees to create a similar environment and shade for summer. Some are slow growing and may take a year to wait for the seed to germinate. Tony finished
He also had the herbs for sale on the Saturday of his presentation, a rare opportunity indeed.