Maribel Rodriguez is the owner of Marble Arch Gardens Holistic Herbals, based in Alexandria, VA. Founded based on generations of herbal and natural wisdom within her family, Marble Arch Gardens brings the healing properties of nature to your hands by blending herbal science and art.
Showing me around her herb garden, it is clear that Maribel has spent a lot of time out here. She tells me the names of the plants as easily as if they were family. Witch hazel. Yarrow. Lavender – though the ancient lavender plant in front of her house didn’t survive the past winter, so she will be starting fresh after Mother’s Day. She tells me that she always waits until then because the weather can be so unpredictable – the last thing she needs is a late April snow storm.
An herbalist by trade, Maribel first learned about the healing properties of plants at her grandmother’s side, growing up in the tropical northern coast of Colombia. “Herbs are very powerful. In my mind it’s my grandmother’s desire to let knowledge be shared – this knowledge is a universal right. If you don’t have medical insurance or formal education, you can still take care of your family using herbology.”
She warns that people should be cautious when seeking herbal support. Make sure that you buy the best plant-based oils and products, not the synthetic mimics that smell nice but have no healing properties.
Currently, Maribel is continuing her own education, in a certification program focused on Chinese healing practices. She lights up telling me about the meridians and many interconnections between physical and emotional health. She is also a teacher and speaker, with Eco City Farms and others.
Maribel tells me about how everyone in town knew that her grandmother was the healer, they would come knocking on the door for all sorts of maladies. She has proudly carried on that tradition of providing support and herbal supplements to anyone who comes asking. You can find her online at http://www.marblearchgardens.