Photography: CJ Utsi/carljohanutsi.com
I developed my interest for medicinal plant as a child. I was born in Sweden where we traditionally spend a lot of time roaming forests and fields. From a very young age I spent a lot of time outdoors and had people close to me who knew a great deal about nature. Around age seven it dawned on me that nature is full of wild edible and medicinal plants and that's when I decided to learn all I could about this subject. I've stuck to that path. Years 2000-2002 I took an herbal therapist education on Eklöf's Herbalist School in Stockholm and have made a living out of it ever since, giving lectures and courses and leading excursions.
I've always enjoyed storytelling so to me the transfer of knowledge is an important part. I began working with radio in 2005, having my own weekly herbal radio programme. The same year I was recruited to the lifestyle magazine Strömsö in Finland's Swedish Television. After four years working with radio and television I took a journalist education on Strömbäcks Folk High School in Sweden. Years 2012 and 2013 I made my own herbal television programme for the Swedish National Television, Herb School, a programme that is being repeated over and over again. Year 2014 I presented The Garden at Strömsö. Today I continuously work with Strömsö and freelance as a journalist and photographer.
My aspiration is to inspire people through my work to try medicinal plants as a complement to ordinary medicine. Nature offers us so many opportunities to affect our own health.
To go out in nature and gather your own medicine provides a double-acting therapeutic effect. The walk, being surrounded by plants and trees, the search for the proper plant, choosing and picking the individuals you want and finally going home to prepare the remedy – all this sends strong signals to the body about healing.