The Root

Bridging the gaps between food justice and healthcare, local herbal medicine has the potential to provide an accessible and empowering option for individual and community health.

The Mission

Our mission is to create a farm­-based apothecary, offering products that improve the quality of life and well-being of our communities. We are committed to building an accessible, local medicine movement in the mid­-Atlantic; fostering a sense of place through the production of high-­quality and unique botanical products; and cultivating connections between people and non­-human nature.


The Practice

In order to craft botanical products of the highest quality and efficacy, we utilize traditional extraction methods, whole plant material, and local ingredients. Our unique herbal formulations incorporate a diversity of leaves, flowers, roots and barks from plants that thrive within the ecology of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Drawing upon traditional plant knowledge as well as scientific and clinical research, we strive to make products that meet people's needs. Our tinctures and tea blends are delicious, effective, and practical for everyday use.

As a part of our mission to promote awareness, dialogue and access as essential components of local medicine, Tooth of the Lion offers classes and walks in plant identification, wild­harvesting, medicine making and more in and around Philadelphia.

Our growing practices

Situated on 14 acres in the hills of Schuylkill County and with views of Hawk Mountain from the fields, our farm has been carefully managed using organic practices for over 10 years.  

We focus on organic and regenerative principles of building the soil first and foremost, leaving the farmland even more abundant and full of life than when we began. With the ecology of the whole farm in mind, we are careful about rotating our crops and keeping a plant-positive approach to pest and disease management.  As an herb and flower farm, our land is a natural sanctuary for pollinators, beneficial insects and birds of all kinds. We do our best to encourage an abundance of life and habitat while also maintaining a working landscape from which we can make a sustainable living as farmers. 

We are in the process of becoming USDA Certified Organic, an in-depth process we hope to be completed by summer 2017.



The People


Katelyn Melvin

Herbalist and Proprietress

Welcome! My name is Katelyn and I'd like to share a little bit about myself. With a green thumb running in the family, I found my soul's work years ago in farming, wildcrafting, and learning slowly from the plant world. I heeded the 'green spark' after studying Anthropology in college and asking myself: How do I know what I know about the world? What is knowledge, culture, experience, good work? I decided to get my hands back in the soil and let come what may.

After years of farm apprenticeships and herbal study, digging in the dirt and pouring over all kinds of old herbal texts, I created Tooth of the Lion Apothecary in 2013. Living in West Philly at the time, my mission was to provide city dwellers of Philadelphia access to locally abundant medicinal plants and herbal products made with love. Ever since I bottled up and labeled my first tinctures for sale, I knew that I had found my answer, my niche in this wide world: to offer simple, effective herbal preparations utilizing those plants which speak to me everyday as I work. I believe that fostering relationships with these plants can ultimately bring a deeper sense of place, new ways of knowing, and meaning to our lives – as well as the simple pleasure of a cup of goldenrod tea. I often find inspiration exploring the intricacies of biology through botanical illustration, cuddling with my cat, or hoeing a beautiful bed of carrots.


Stephanie Kane

Apothecary Manager

A native of Ohio, I've lived in Philadelphia for seven years. I love putting my knowledge and interests into something practical and tactile, and managing the Apothecary at Tooth of the Lion is a wonderful opportunity for me to do this with my love of plant based medicine. I see a connection to nature as a strong source of healing for people, and herbs in particular stir up an often buried ancestral knowledge and intuition. 

I also work with a local textile designer, The Kitchen Garden Series, and host herbalism workshops in Philly.

Favorite Herbs: Tulsi, Ashwaganda, Peppermint, and Rose


Interested in working or volunteering with us? Get involved.