Beverley Gray is he author of the national bestselling and international award winning book, The Boreal Herbal: Wild Food and Medicine Plants of the North.(2011)
She is also the author of, A Field Guide to Medicinal Wild Plants of Canada published by Harbour Publishing (2013).
Beverley is a herbalist, aromatherapist, natural-health practitioner, healer, yoga teacher, natural food cook and enthusiast, journalist, and an award-winning natural health-product formulator. She owns the Aroma Borealis Herb Shop in Whitehorse, Yukon. Beverley loves to share her passion for wild medicinal and food plants through herb walks, talks and medicine making. www.aromaborealis.com www.borealherbal.com
Beverley has always been a lover of our Earth Mother and has dedicated her life to working respectfully with the wild and medicinal plants that nourish the body, mind and spirit!
Born on Comox Bay on Mother’s Day in the late 60’s and then moving with her family to Nova Scotia shortly after. She moved around throughout Canada and Europe her entire childhood because of her parent’s work.
As a young adult she worked for environmental organizations like Pollution Probe, Friends of the Earth, Canadian Environmental Network, Ran the Ecology North Recycling program in Yellowknife, worked for Northern Environmental Network in Yukon where she wrote and produced the, Green Pages. Beverley was also one of the founding directors of the Yellowknife Women’s Centre and also worked for Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre in Whitehorse, and at Blood ties for four directions. Beverley is also one of the founders of the Yukon Wholistic Health Network.
She started her career in journalism in Ottawa where she was the photo editor of the Algonquin College newspaper writing mainly about her passions- environmental and women’s issues. In her photojournalist career she worked for, The Ottawa Sun, Reuters News Agency, The Yellowknifer, News of the North and the Inuvik Drum.
When Beverley started her family, she wanted to use only herbal and natural products with her daughters Ceilidh-Anne and Markie-May and started to formally study Herbology. She is not only a certified herbalist but also a Aromatherapist, Yoga teacher, Laughter yoga teacher, Chakra therapist, Reflexologist and Healing Touch practitioner. She also had her own Healing practice called, Aura Borealis for many years in Whitehorse.
Living in the Northern wilderness, Beverley felt so inspired by all the wild plants she decided to start identifying and cataloguing the medicinal plants that grew on the Rat Lake land she and her family lived on. Her deep love of the land, plants and people led her to open a small little shop on the Main Street of Whitehorse in the late nineties to offer her herbal creations to the community. Aroma Borealis was born.
Aroma Borealis has been a community staple in Whitehorse for the last 23 years providing over 300 products that Beverley has formulated with love, skill and practical know how. Her Green Aid Ointment, won a Gold Award of Excellence from Canada’s Alive Magazine. Beverley was also awarded Business person of the year from the Yukon Chamber of Commerce. Today, Aroma Borealis has 4 full and 3 part time staff and the products are not only purchased in-store but online though the website and shipped throughout Canada to individuals and also wholesales to other natural Health shops.
During this time the herbal world was politically changing with new federal government regulations nationally and internationally. Beverley was invited by the Director General of Natural Health Products Directorate to sit on their National Advisory Board to lend advise on behalf of micro herb businesses in Canada. At the same time, she was also attending national trade-shows with the Canadian Health Food Association where she gave many talks on genuine and authentic essential oils, herbs and natural health products. Also keeping her journalism skills close she wrote for Alive and Yukon North of Ordinary magazines.
Bev has done many keynote presentations and workshops at National and international Herb conferences throughout Canada, United States, Scandinavia and Europe including Ireland.
In 2011, Beverley self-published her first book, The Boreal Herbal: Wild Food and Medicine Plants of the North. The book immediately became a national bestseller receiving 6 international awards such as Gold Grand Prize for Best Design for science/Nature and environment, Gold Nautilus award for Health/Healing/wellness/prevention /vitality and a living Health award for, Earth Book of the Year. She also had a small booklet published by Harbour publishing called Medicinal Plants of Canada. The Boreal Herbal, has become a staple for many foragers not only in Canada’s North but throughout the world.
Beverley loves her little herb shop in Whitehorse but has been pulled away many times for many different reasons including her life-long love of one of her many ancestral homes, Ireland. In recent years Beverley bought 2-acres of agriculture land in the Dingle Peninsula, Aughacasla North, in Kerry, Ireland and rebuilt a derelict house that sits on the banks of the of the Owencashla river that flows from lough Slat in the Slieve Mish mountains that overlook her Irish home and flows into Tralee Bay on the North Atlantic Ocean. She now shares this home with her Eldest Daughter, Ceilidh and her husband Tom Long (from Dingle, Ireland), their son Liam and their two dogs Chewie and Daisy. Ceilidh, who has a degree in Sociology and a minor in English has helped her mom and worked in many capacities for Aroma Borealis over the years (yes, she is one of the fireweed fairies!) today taking care of the social media, advertising and marketing for Aroma Borealis and The Boreal Herbal.
Beverley’s time in Ireland, she has catalogued and made many medicines with the wild and cultivated plants that grow on her land base. She hopes to publish this body of work in the near future so that her grandson Liam will grow up knowing about the medicines of his native Island of Ireland. She has given many workshops and keynote presentations in Ireland about the plants of the Northern Boreal Forest to help bring awareness to the Boreals unique ecosystem.
“I feel so blessed to have two incredible land bases that I get to call home, both unique in their own ways but similar as they are both abundant with medicinal plants that I consider my teachers,” says Beverley.
Beverley is back in Yukon, and has been working hard at the shop, reorganizing the sales floor, renovating their production space, hiring more staff and developing new herbal products for Aroma Borealis. She is busy getting ready for herbal planting and wild harvesting season at her Rat Lake home. She will be offering workshops throughout the summer to help people connect with and respectfully harvest the wild plants of the north for food and medicines.