On Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., herbalists and lovers of all things herbal will celebrate the importance of botanicals in health and happiness with Herb Day 2011. The free celebration will be held in St. Petersburg, Florida, and hosted by Acupuncture & Herbal Therapies. The event is free and open to the public.

There will be lectures, free herb and food tasting, Kava Kava, local herb plants for sale, free film showings and opportunities to visit with various representatives from the local herbal industry to learn about the uses of herbs in health and well-being. According to Bob Linde, registered herbalist, “This is one of my favorite days of the year. We get to meet with hundreds of like-minded local people to create a stronger herbal community.”

This year we are privileged to have Lorraine Hodgkinson, MNIMH, MRCHM as our keynote speaker. She has been a practicing herbalist in England for 20 years. Her lecture will be the first of the day on Saturday morning.

Herb Day was created and organized by the Herb Day Coalition, a national group of nonprofit herbal organizations dedicated to herbal education, research, quality control, plant preservation and the responsible use of herbs in human health. The day will consist of local herbal events that will take place throughout the nation.

The event will be co-sponsored with the Florida Herb Society, the West Coast Chapter of the American Herbalists Guild, Willow Herbal Delight Gardens and the Professional Herbalist Training Program. Goodie bags will be given to the first 50 people in the door, and there will be prize drawings and raffles throughout the day. Raffle proceeds will benefit the West Coast Chapter of the American Herbalists Guild and Florida Herb Society.

The event will be at Acupuncture & Herbal Therapies, 901 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. Lectures will be held every 45 minutes throughout the day on subjects such as Growing Herbs in Florida , Herb and Drug Interactions, Making Herbal Medicines, Cooking with Herbs and other exciting topics. Lectures will be given by local herb experts, such as Robert Linde, AP, RH, director of Acupuncture & Herbal Therapies and director of the Professional Herbalist Training Program; Deserie Valloreo of Herbal Wise; Willow LaMonte of Willow Herbal Delight Gardens; Emily Wenzel of Body & Mind; and other herb experts.

Vendors will include the Florida Herb Society, West Coast Chapter of the American Herbalists Guild, Professional Herbalist Training Program and many others. Music will be provided by the Urban Gypsies from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.acuherbals.com and www.herbday.org. For further information, call (727) 551-0857.