Penelope Beaudrow – Ontario

Penelope Beaudrow is a Registered Herbalist, educator and recognized herbal elder, has devoted the past 25 years to helping others foster deep and resilient connections with the living intelligence of the natural world and the regenerative, healing forces of plants and the medicine they carry. She serves as Product Development Specialist and Herbal Educator at Faunus Herbs, a company with an honored and longstanding reputation in the natural products industry. In her work in the field of herbal education, Penelope holds a position as a board member of the Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine. She is a moderator and speaker for The Annual International Restorative Medicine Conference and Herbal Certification Program, in addition to having served tenure as an organizer of this conference for ten years. Penelope is the founder of the Back To Your Roots herbal retreat, an annual gathering that features distinguished members of the national and international herbal medicine community, held at her farm and botanical sanctuary, in Cannington, Ontario. Penelope also offers The Ginkgo Tree Herbal Course, a highly regarded herbal education program that teaches the fundamental principles and practices of truly holistic herbal medicine and regenerative nature connection. Online education is another one of her endeavors: she is a member of the Canadian herbalist’s webinar collective ‘Herbalist & Herbs’, which ran a monthly series covering a variety of topics related to botanical medicine. She maintains a small clinical practice, serving her rural community and has extensive experience working with humans and animals alike. She has also crafted a line of The Ginkgo Tree herbal teas. Few things impassion Penelope more than teaching people the importance of, and revealing the immense strength that can be gained from, learning how to take care of themselves and their families in natural, innate, and fulfilling ways.

Penelope lives and works in a way that honors and respects the interdependent web of life that makes up our planet. She is on the path of earth stewardship, and teaches the principles of this regenerative lifeway to the ever-growing number of individuals who feel the call to embark upon it. Penelope’s allegiance to the green world, to the careful tending of nature, is reflected in her unwavering and patient dedication to offsetting and reversing the loss of native biodiversity and the concomitant and far reaching ecological consequences that are associated with it. At the Ginkgo Tree botanical sanctuary, which has been blessed by local Anishinaabe people from Chippewas of Georgina, Penelope has (re)introduced and cares for a large variety of at risk and endangered plants. The pollinator project and the restoration project are a significant part of this effort, the former of which sees the planting of many species of wild flowers each year and the latter the restoration of 50 acres of land and the planting of over 2,000 native trees. The Ginkgo Tree farmstead also involves the growth of over three acres of medicinal herbs. These are but a few examples of the ways in which Penelope strives to fulfill her deeply felt duty to stand as a guardian of the land on which she lives.

Penelope has long been involved in advocating for herbal medicine as the people’s medicine. She successfully spearheaded a team to stop the traditional herbal tonic, Fire Cider, from becoming a trademarked commodity in Canada. For many years, she has also been engaged in ecological restoration and protection efforts in her local community, and has petitioned on behalf of ecological defense efforts that have served to ensure responsible and sustainable environmental development in her community. Her own Kina Gegoo Botanical Sanctuary, home to many at risk and endangered plants, won the Medicinal Plant Conservation Award issued by the United Plant Savers for the year 2021. As part of her sanctuary work, Penelope has trained innumerable apprentices in ecological stewardship practices as well as the fundamentals of herbal medicine and related clinical development skills.

Penelope’s sanctuary is dedicated and belongs to the inhabitants of the Earth, to the multitude of beings, both living and yet to be born, who all benefit from the work of true conservation and the lasting sustenance which results from it. An ecological way of being in the world by definition serves to benefit all. Penelope’s life and work stands an example of the critical importance of maintaining an altruistic worldview, one that does not stop at the human world and extends beyond limited anthropocentric perspectives. Penelope understands that the timescale of nature is much longer and slower than the one that governs an individual human life. Her efforts can thus be thought of as laying the foundations for a verdant, thriving, and viable future that upholds and works alongside the brilliance of nature. This is a future that understands that trying to impose wants and desires motivated by the potential for shortsighted gains upon the earth cannot result in long-term harmony. The transformations that Penelope has, and continues to witness through her careful and patient partnership with the green world have far exceeded her hopes and expectations; when the plants begin to speak, it’s always best to listen, for the marvels that will unfold are sure to be beyond our wildest dreams.