Lily Shahar Kunning owner of Boline Apothecary
How did you decide to be a healing practitioner?
I went to herb school back in California after herbalism and TCM healed me (when others could not). After moving to Ohio, I started working one-on-one with people I knew helping them. When I realized I had a surplus of remedies, I started selling at farmer's markets in Columbus. People started asking me for custom work, and soon I had an entire product line to sell.
I started approaching local coops and small retail and got my products on their shelves. I met a woman who insisted that I should open up in the shop space next to hers. When I started fantasizing about it on Facebook, another friend who works for a local non-profit encouraged me to apply for a small business loan and to my astonishment, they approved me! I have been building the vision of what the apothecary can be ever since.
Do you regularly practice your healing modality? If so, how have you been transformed?
Herbalism is my "go-to" modality for me and my child. As I said before, herbalism and TCM helped me when no one else could: at age 32, I went into early peri-menopause (most likely from an imbalance of some sort). When I saw a doctor, she said "No, it cannot be that! You are too young!" When I described my symptoms (no period, mood swings, night sweats), she still had no help for me and refused to consider it was peri-menopause. I went searching for help and it led me to an herb store in San Francisco, run by herbalists. They suggested Vitex tincture, and sure enough, three months later I was regular again (and went on to have a child years later). I also cannot recommend TCM enough. When I got carpal tunnel and other related issues from overwork, it was the thing that relieved my pain and kept me from surgery. While I spent two years of my life getting better as a full time job (acupuncture and related TCM therapies once a week, physical therapy once a week, massage and reiki once a week, feldenkrais once a week (I wish I knew a practitioner here in Columbus!), and recovery three days a week). It was an acupuncturist who oversaw my road to wellness and I never had to get surgery and am pain free because of her.
What can you suggest for people looking for health and healing?
I suggest living a life that promotes wellness, first and foremost. I believe our culture is sickness-inducing- we are all stressed out, too busy, and disconnected. Trying to find a way to slow down, connect with one another, sit down to eat actual meals made with healthy home-cooked foods, and get a decent amount of physical activity daily is important.
I love herbalism because it works with your body (which is miraculous!) to restore systems that may be off balance. We call this kind of herbalism tonic herbalism. Up until now, I have been helping folks in columbus mostly with remedies (for migraines, for insomnia, for muscle pain, etc.) and I am happy to do so. Tonics help the systems of the body achieve maintain optimum wellness, so we have less need of remedies. And that is my next stage for the apothecary- a tonic club for people stopping by. We are going to be open 7 days a week in the new location and start a members-only tonic club.
Link to your website. http://bolineapothecary.com