Monday, August 13, 2012

Etsy (Groan)

Right on the heels on posting an herbalist manifesto, came the news: Etsy has changed its terms of service, so that no ethical herbalist can sell their wares there anymore. They have changed what can be listed in product descriptions in such a way that an herbalist cannot describe what a remedy is used for at all without violating their terms.

In coming to this policy, they are siding with big pharma and the FDA who would rather people only have access to their expensive (and often unattainable) "medicines" often with huge side effects.

I am no foe of Western allopathic medicine. It has its place. if I am in a car wreck, I want to go to an emergency room, please. But for most maladies that affect humankind, an herbalist is the way to go. We are gentler, have centuries of data about the se and effectiveness of our wares, and do not muck around with your body or the planet the way big pharma does.

My wares will still be available online- I have my own storefront (currently here) and I also sell at Poppy Swap. But Etsy is out. It is a shame, because I love many of the crafters and artisans I have met and discovered through Etsy. But for herbalists, it is not longer a good fit. I posted on my Facebook Page,

"Etsy cares more about their bottom line than it does about herbalists. Their new policy means I can longer sell any herbs there, unless I do not explain their use.

No ethical herbalist in their right mind would sell something that is not completely understood to a client. By asking us to not tell customers what an herb is used for (your term is "making a medical claim") on our listings, you are asking us to go underground, lie, and/or make lies of omission. 

Shame on you, Etsy. You are standing on the side of big pharma and the wrong side of history on this one."

For those of you looking for a good herbalist and good herbal wares, check out Poppy Swap:

My store name is Boline, of course!

And for those that wish to patronize me more, you can use Poppy Swap or my direct store. I appreciate your business and continued patronage of small crafters like me. Many blessings!


  1. I will pray for your business. :)

  2. I saw it soaring, with all the faeries and angels and bright lights upon it.



  3. While I understand and support your commentary on herbs, the use of herbs and herbalists, I disagree with your assumption that Etsy is siding with Big Pharma. I suspect their change in policy is more likely to discouraging possible litigation and more in line with the disclaimer tarot readers/spiritual counselors have been forced to post about their "services are for entertainment purposes only".

  4. I'm so sorry to hear this! I don't even know what to say. I can understand that you don't want to find a "work-around", if one even exists. It isn't right and it's just simply a shame.

  5. Sarah: Thanks for your well wishes, they mean a lot.

    Tree: Yes, I do not think a "work around" is ethical for an herbalist, because we need to have open and honest communication to treat maladies properly. Etsy has undermined basic principles of healing with their policy.

    AmethJera: They are indeed taking sides, even if not intentionally and deliberately. They are now lumped in, whether they like it or not, with the folks that would like to restrict herbalists and midwives and eventually eliminate them altogether.


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