Hi! I’m sia hanna, the herbalist behind ahwa and herbals. I support people in working with and shifting their physical, emotional, mental and connective health. The foundations of my work are connection to plants, land, each other, and the fertile space of deepening those relationships. Herbalism is about so much more than simply working with plants. In our time together, we will work collaboratively toward your personal goals, weaving the wisdoms we both hold, learning more together, and centering your deep self-knowledge and self-exploration.
I have lived in various places across Turtle Island, with much of my growing up taking place on Kiikapooi and Myaamia land in so-called Indianapolis. I have lived in the Wapato Valley (Portland, OR) since 2017 as a guest on the traditional lands of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Tualatin Kalapuya, Clackamas, Tumwater, Wasco, Molalla, Cowlitz and Watlala bands of the Chinook, and many other Tribes who made their homes along these life giving rivers. My ancestors, too, lived according to River and Sea, being from what is now known as Egypt, central and coastal Anatolia (Turkey), and Lesbos (Aegean Greece).
I am and aspire to be an artist who calls on various mediums and connections to create medicine, such as plant medicine, music medicine, and relationship medicine. I’m desperately in love with plants in ways which are deep and primal and ways which are nerdy and rabbit hole-y. I see myself as walking the third path at the crossroads where clinical herbalist and folk herbalist meet, something like a community herbalist, but one for the modern world, helping create and uplift community together as we go and blending multiple streams of knowledge. I was trained in the hodge-podge that currently is “western herbalism” and am further informed by endless plant geeking, community knowledge-sharing practices, and my personal practices as a reconnecting diasporic person.
Aside from being an herbalist, I am a daydreaming goofball, a pensive poet, a singer of random tunes, a cuddler of dogs, a doting gardener, a grateful community member, and much more than can be encapsulated into words.
My journey with what I recognized to be “herbalism” started with Nettles in 2011 and I never looked back since. I now understand that this was a direct calling from the plants, though I was clueless at the time to the profound teachings plants hold. I also realize that this wasn’t my first calling from the plants or encounter with Earth-based medicine, but that these experiences started early, as a kid who was (and still is) enamored with insects, dirt, digging, climbing, even in cities where I had limited access to green spaces. I could not understand why adults considered certain plants to be “weeds,” including my beloved and ancestral dandelion, who I could never stand to see mowed down or sprayed (and later found out was a common food forage, at home and in diaspora, for my great-grandmother).
I have been formally taught by Constance Ferry in 2011, Greg Monzel in 2012, a wide array of instructors at The School of Traditional Western Herbalism in 2014-2015, and by ember peters, stascha stahl, and vilde chaya (of stonefruit community herbalists) through the Wild Current Clinical Mentorship Program in 2021-2022. I am a guest instructor and apothecarist for Atabey Medicine Collective, where I continue to learn from incredible individuals. I am enriched personally and herbally by community in mutually supportive ways (community page coming soon!).
What I understand most deeply from all of my experiences, whether formally “educated” or otherwise, is that at the core of healing is relationships, including but not limited to with Humans, Land, and Plants. Finally, I am in deep apprenticeship forever to the plants themselves, to Earth and all our relatives, and the Cosmos. It is an amazing journey where each moment builds on the last, yet always cycles back to me feeling like a complete beginner again as I unpack everything I think I know. I invite you into this process with me as we remember together in cyclicity