Spring Creek Herbs is a small, Portland-based herbal medicine business started by Abigail Singer, a Community Herbalist committed to social, environmental and health justice. Abigail offers one-on-one health consultations and high-quality herbal medicine products to the Portland community.
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Inspired by the healing power of the natural world, Abigail has been working with plants and studying herbal medicine for over 10 years. From 2006 to 2010, she lived on a rural homestead in the mountains of North Carolina, immersing herself in the rich ecosystems and medicinal plants of southern Appalachia. While there, she embarked on her herbal education and began working with members of her immediate community to address their health issues through herbs and nutrition. She has carried her botanical passions to Cascadia and elsewhere, continuing to study and practice and explore the land around her. Spring Creek Herbs is the product of many years of training, practicing, and working with the plants.
Abigail has earned certificates in Herbalism from the Chestnut School of Herbalism in Asheville, North Carolina, the Columbines School of Botanical Studies in Eugene, Oregon and the School of Traditional Western Herbalism in Portland, Oregon. She has also learned from such amazing teachers as Althea Northage-Orr, Paul Bergner, Tania Neubauer, 7Song and Lydia Bartholow. Abigail has a deep love of the wild, and continues to learn from her clients, her peers, the land and the plants themselves.
In 2009, Abigail was a founding member of the Sassafras Community Health Collective, which provided free health care and health resources to underserved communities in Asheville, North Carolina. In early 2015, she helped start a monthly free clinic for people experiencing homelessness and other barriers to respectful, effective, and holistic health care at Sisters Of The Road. This project has grown to become the People’s Health Clinic of Portland, now housed at Operation Nightwatch.
Abigail is passionate about holistic health, cultivating a connection with the wild, and helping people attain greater health and resilience through the healing power of plants.
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Abigail practices holistic herbalism, which treats the whole person rather than just a disease or its symptoms.* She is inspired by Vitalist and folk herbalism traditions in which health care is practiced on a community level and is accessible to all people regardless of income, race, age, gender or physical ability.
Everyone’s body is different, and we all find homeostasis in a different place. Where each of us finds health and balance has a lot to do with our constitution, or our unique biological make-up. There are subtle and not so subtle differences in our metabolism, blood pressure, digestion, temperature, body size, mental/emotional tendencies and myriad other factors that are natural and healthy. All of these factors exist on a spectrum, and leaning one way or the other is not inherently a problem. When one or some of these factors fall out of balance, however, it is important to address the root cause of the problem and not just look for the quick fix by treating symptoms as they manifest.
In order to assess where the root cause of an illness lies, herbalists conduct a constitutional assessment. This allows us to gain an understanding of what balance looks like for a particular individual and where the body might be compensating. In other words, one size does not fit all when it comes to finding the “correct” diet, lifestyle, or most effective and appropriate method of health care. This approach of addressing root causes and treating the whole person is fundamentally different from that of standard Western medicine.
Also, health care should be empowering! We are ultimately the ones responsible for our own health, and we have a right to know what’s going on with our bodies. With more information we are better able to care for ourselves and our communities — education is therefore a critical element of herbalism and a component of any effective health care.
Through one-on-one consultations, Abigail works collaboratively with clients to uncover the patterns that give rise to illness. Together, we address the root causes of imbalance, support the healing process and bring the whole body into a state of greater health and vitality. The natural world is one of our strongest healers, and by working intentionally with the plants around us we can take powerful steps to improve our mental, emotional and physical health.
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* Legal disclaimer: Abigail Singer is not a medical doctor, and neither she nor Spring Creek Herbs purports to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.