Marina and Ross were brought together by their love of growing unusual medicinal plants! Their connection sparked a lifelong adventure with one another working with the plants and the land and sharing their knowledge and appreciation of herbal medicine and health with others.
They have been growing medicinal plants, harvesting, drying and making herbal medicine preparations for over 15 years. They began growing and producing medicines for themselves and their own practice with the belief and understanding that the energy and intention you put into nurturing these plants is not only returned in healing for yourself but also for the patients you are treating. They then began growing and producing on a commercial scale to supply and support other herbalists wishing to create their own gardens and with an aim to empower others to create their own sustainable herbal clinical practices.
They spent 10 years teaching both the public, students, and other herbal practitioners from their farm in Co. Sligo. They feel that educating others about the benefits of herbal medicine is an integral part of their role as herbalists. Over that time, they have taken in horticulture students and herbal medicine students from the colleges across Ireland for work experience and additional specialist training in growing unusual medicinals. Ross and Marina have a very hands-on kinaesthetic style of teaching to encourage people to fully engage with the plants and use the learning in a practical way. To find out more about their courses see our events shop page.
At their farm in Co. Sligo, they set up Irish Herb Dispensary. This was the first herbal tincturing company in Ireland. At the dispensary they grew and processed over 80 different species of medicinal the plants from their herb farm into tinctures, vinegars, oils and glycerites. Irish Herb Dispensary supplied herbalists around the country with Irish grown herbs with the aim to create a sustainable future for herbal medicine production in Ireland. During these years Ross trained other farmers and landowners on how to grow and harvest specific medicinal crops. These herb growers then supplied Ross and Marina with additional herbal crops for them to broaden the tincturing range they produced.
Supplying herbalists and the public with herbal plants is key to Ross and Marina’s work. They own and run a specialist medicinal herb nursery where they grow over 200 species of medicinal plants from around the world. This includes native Irish plants to exotic species of endangered medicinal plants. They grow a range of Chinese medicinal plants, homeopathic plants, Ayurvedic plants, and even South American and African healing plants. The nursery operates as a source garden so that everyone can have access to hard-to-find medicinal herbs. Growing baby plants and teaching others how to nurture them for making medicines is one of the most rewarding aspects of their work. To see the plants sold in the nursery visit our medicinal plants shop page.
They have now relocated their plants and young family of three kids to Co. Clare, where they are re-establishing their learning centre, clinical practice, and nursery. Ivywood is a magical piece of land on 40 acres with areas of ancient woodlands, a river, a small lake, and an abundance of wildlife. Ross and Marina are carefully developing this space themselves by hand to support the woodland and create areas for others to come and enjoy the magic of the herbal plants and the space.
If you would like to follow the progress, check out the Our Venue page.
Through their clinical experience Ross and Marina found the use of medicinal mushrooms invaluable alongside herbal medicne and nutritional therapy. They now supply other healthcare professionals and the public with the MycoNutri range of medicinal mushrooms. This year they are embarking on a special project of growing these unusual healing mushrooms in the Ivywood woodland with the hope of encouraging others to grow and incorporate mushrooms into their everyday lives.
Marina's deep undertsanding of food and nutrition stems from her years having a small holding where Marina grew her own vegetables, kept hens, ducks, pigs, bees for producing honey, and goats for milk and making a variety of types of cheese. Her expertise as a herbalist and herb grower has been called on for appearances on television programmes for RTÉ, BBC Northern Ireland and TG4 and her work has featured in many magazines and newspaper articles. She will be back teaching herbal medicine and nutrition courses from Ivywood and seeing patients in clinical practice in 2022.
Ross now continues his work in herbal medicine product development with companies in Ireland and abroad by combining his lifelong passion for growing functional plants with his herbal qualification and experience founding the first tincture company in the country. He has extensive experience with start-up businesses focusing on the natural product and herbal extracts industries. With his skills in horticulture, GACP, GMP and HACCP, Ross offers consultation services for farmers, wild crafting collectors and product developers.