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Meet Carolyn Barron of Botanarchy Herbs & Acupuncture in West Hollywood and Beverly Grove

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carolyn Barron.

Carolyn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
After a slew of demeaning & disempowering run-ins with the medical establishment during a catastrophic period of ill health in my teens, I realized that a patronizing doctor in a white lab coat was not going to hand me my health on a platter, and that I was going to have to give myself the radical education that I never received – that most of us never receive – on how to befriend the body, stop treating it like the enemy, and learn to respect, enshrine, and most of all, LISTEN to it. I was drawn to approach radical self-care through a lens of plant teachers and alternative medicine, as they were the most natural extension of learning how to live consciously tethered to the rhythms of the body and the land. I became increasingly slack-jawed and elated to learn of the breadth of tools that existed beyond surgical intervention and pharmaceutical suppression. I went from hospitalization, my hair falling out in clumps, and struggling with a mysterious auto-immune condition, to rebuilding my body cell by cell in cauldron of mindfulness practices, nutrition, herbs, and acupuncture. The gristle of my entire life since that crucial time has been a drive towards self-healing and self-reliance, and sharing this knowledge every way possible to encourage less dependence upon pharmaceuticals and invasive procedures. Whether it was through writing about DIY magic & medicine on the Botanarchy blog, growing and making my own herbal concoctions, or engaging in community activism, I have been committed to destroying the institutionalized lies our culture propagates about food, wellness, consciousness and the body. This led me to study medicine, first in a clinic specializing in healing chronic illness through acupuncture and nutrition, then in pursuing a Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine. After managing a bustling functional medicine practice in the South Bay for ten years, I founded Botanarchy Herbs and Acupuncture with my partner William Ferguson in 2016 in a sweet little plant-drenched courtyard in West Hollywood, enshrouded in succulent tendrils, palm fronds, and light beams.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I love struggle! No seriously, I am a steadfast saturnine struggler and quite comfortable living in a crucible. Being challenged is where I feel most at home. I relish the opportunity to fail, fall, fight, knock out some teeth (mine and others), get up, dust off, cry a bit, and move on. That is the cadence of life! The biggest struggle for me, incidentally, has been deprogramming myself NOT to struggle, and learning how to welcome the gentle breezes of comfort and tranquility with open arms and without a fight.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Botanarchy Herbs & Acupuncture – what should we know?
Botanarchy’s mission statement is ‘Botanical Medicine For Body Autonomy.’ I believe that acupuncture and botanical medicine enhances the body’s innate capability to heal itself, empowering the patient as the healer. When I wrote those words and committed to that principle, my aim was to provide accessible, radical healthcare to diverse communities while giving a voice to alternative viewpoints from marginalized areas of medicine. I am proud that we are working hard to disrupt the old-guard, disease-driven, patriarchal model of healthcare that often leaves patients feeling misunderstood, condescended, and under-served. Our approach is one of support and engagement that goes beyond simply treating acute disease. This is why our model succeeds in both preventing disease and treating chronic illness. I like to think of Botanarchy as embodying a feminist model of healthcare that serves ALL genders, with holistic primary care that isn’t fear-based, shaming of choice, boilerplate, assembly line, dogma-laden, authoritarian, and disease-focused. We honor the nuances of the body, celebrate autonomy & personal choice, utilize diverse methodologies, identify and treat the root cause of disease instead of practicing symptom management, and empower patients with the knowledge to heal themselves and their kin. We put the tools for change in our patient’s hands, inspiring healing, self-care, body mastery, and life-long habits they can share with their family and community. This path engenders a true state of body autonomy, freeing us from a reliance upon privatized healthcare and allopathic methods that often harm the body and undermine its intelligence, allowing us to make informed choices that support our body’s natural rhythms.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I believe in living with fierce intentionality, and I think that when you operate from that liminal crossroads of intuition and intention, you experience an effortless, seemingly miraculous unfurling of events that could be called ‘success’. Like anything else, success is a vibration that needs attuning to, through a ceaseless silencing of the critical mind and staying rooted in heart-centered awareness. This takes WORK, but it pays off. When we finally begin to listen to our inner voice AND to the subtle intonations of our environment in a non-interfering, receptive manner, we learn to rely on more than the restraints of the intellect and logical mind to gather and assess information and make choices. We develop and trust our intuition, and heed the intelligence of our whole body and the universe as a whole, not only our brain and its limiting programs. This is the marrow of real ‘success.’ Acupuncture and herbal medicine are amazing allies in this work, as they tap into the universal flow to re-align the body and spirit with its true nature, shifting frequencies and biology to allow for truth, receptivity, clarity, and vast change. These tools have helped both me and my patients immensely in shifting patterns and healing wounds that can thwart our natural inclination toward success, intuition and flow. When I’m able to surrender fully to living in this way is when things HAPPEN.

I should also mention that the bones of businesses are the love and support of community, and community is what charms life. Growing a business, an idea, and a dream is a communal effort, whether that is directly apparent in the end result or not. There were many hands and hearts involved in building Botanarchy, and its vibrancy was cultivated by the profound magic of my gaggle of patients, healers, kinfolk, teachers, elders, and champions!


  • Initial appointments run 90 minutes, and cost $120. They include an acupuncture treatment, as well as a holistic primary care evaluation incorporating herbal medicine, nutrition, and lifestyle counseling.
  • Follow up appointments are one hour, and are $80.

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Image Credit:

Stu Paul

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