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About Kara

Image of Kara by some wildflowers.

My name is Kara Swenson. I am the herbalist and integrative nutritionist behind Thistle Patch Wellness. I started this business because I know there is a better way to achieve wellness and healing. I have a passion to help individuals find true

healing by working with herbs, nutrition, and lifestyle changes. Like many practitioners in the same or related fields, it was through my own healing journey that sparked my passion for nature and nourishing foods.

As a young teenager, I struggled with debilitating illnesses. While I sat on a hospital bed being prescribed medications and receiving instructions on how I should be eating, I vividly remember thinking to myself, “there has to be a better.. a more natural way to heal”. I am thankful for allopathic medicine and the western medical system as it helped keep me alive, but these systems didn't bring me back into wellness or truly living. What put the light and enjoyment back into my life was connecting to nature, working with herbal remedies, nourishing my body, and adopting new lifestyle routines.

Inspired to help others using the things that helped me, I went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Nutrition from Huntington University of Health Sciences (HUHS) and became a Certified Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner trained by Ulan Nutritional Systems. While working with nutrition clients one-on-one for five years using Nutrition Response Testing, I began noticing more and more how powerful the herbal remedies were that I was recommending to clients. Seeing this, I knew I wanted to further my studies into herbalism. I took additional herbalism courses offered through HUHS as well as two separate year-long apprenticeships with herbalists Lise Wolff and Jim McDonald.

As a nutritionist, I am always learning more about how the body works and the role nutrition plays in supporting its function and health. As an herbalist, I am a lifelong student of plants and will forever be studying them and learning the healing they offer. It feels only natural to work with both the plants and the people as I bring the plants to the people and the people to the plants; a healing union for both plants and people.

Close up of Linden/Tillia in bloom.

My passion is helping people achieve wellness and healing by working with herbal remedies, integrative nutrition, and lifestyle changes. To do this I have several offerings:​

  • One-on-one herbal consultations

  • Classes on herbalism and nutrition

  • Edible and medicinal plant walks

Blooming motherwort.
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