A Voice for the Plants!
Hi! I'm April Punsalan
A Botanist, Ethnobotanist, and Herbalist, dedicated to teaching you the healing world of plants! I have dedicated my life to restoring the co-evolved relationship between people and plants. I know once you learn the wild herbs in your environment, you will protect them and they will protect you!
I am often asked "How did you get started on this path?"
Horticulture in High School
My practice with herbs started in high school in horticulture, where I made herbal soaps, shampoos, teas, and lotions. Once I discovered my passion, thanks to my teacher Mrs. Betsy Spears, I transitioned from being an at-risk youth barely passing my sophomore year of high school to becoming the President of the Future Farmers of America, Norfolk Chapter. See that woman in the lower left corner, that's Mrs. Betsy Spears, now my guardian angel in heaven.
Off to College, Bachelor and Master of Science with an emphasis in Botany
Thanks to my Mom's encouragement, I earned a Bachelor and Master of Science with an emphasis in Botany. As a single Mother in America, raising three children, my Mom made sure I went to college. She taught me that all children need to thrive is love! She is my guardian angel on earth!
Plant Conservation and Botany Work in the Eastern United States
My first “real” job as an adult was a Botanist position for the Nantahala National Forest. I LOVED that job! After that, I continued to work as a Botanist for the Federal Government, protecting rare plants, while, noticing the alarming disconnection between people and plants. I realized that the only reason people weren’t connecting with wild herbs for food and medicine was because they didn’t know them. I am a strong believer and have seen firsthand that people will protect what they know and understand.
After 25+ Year Plant Journey, it was time to Teach!
So, with help from the seen and unseen, I founded Yahola Herbal School. I kept receiving a nudge from spirit to share, to teach, to pass along what was shared with me and what I had learned about wild herbs. I tried to go back to school to receive my Ph.D., in Ethnobotany, but all the doors were shut. Spirit was like nope, not the path. I am beyond grateful because if I would of gone back to school, I would still be working on my post doc, lol. Now, I can teach anyone, including you, no matter where you live, how to learn botany and wild herbs, without high tuition costs.
Spirit also nudged me to reconnect with my old prom date, Vasily Punsalan, from High School, 11 years after graduating. Life has never been the same. Blessed Love! From that blessed love, came my creative, imaginative, funny, and loving daughter Annarose. We extend our love to you!