Rebecca's Herbal Apothecary and Supply

May 2011 Newsletter

  In This Issue:

Happy April
We have some wonderful new products to share with you this month, and, excitingly we also have a new Facebook page! We'll be posting pictures and information about fresh product batches, special happenings, and interesting new and weird goings on at the shop. It should be fun; we hope to see you there. Want to be our friend?

We are bidding a fond farewell to our dear Maggie Purtill. Maggie started here as an apprentice and became a employee at Rebeccas as well as a student of Herbalism at NAIMH. She is moving on to continue her studies on her path to becoming a Naturopathic physician. We wish her well and thank her wholeheartedly for being the wonderful light that she is.

essential oils
New Essential Oils
We have heard your requests and are growing our essential oil collection. We have just brought in the following three new exquisite oils with more to come.

Palo Santo Essential Oil
This sacred wood of South America has long been used as a sacred smudge. The essential oil we carry comes only from fallen heartwood, ensuring sustainability. Its sweet, woody aroma is a sensual addition to your aromatherapy collection.

Organic Vanilla CO2
Considered to be one of the most comforting aromas, our new vanilla has dynamic notes of sweet and spicy. This thick essence of organic Madagascar vanilla beans has been blended with organic jojoba for pour-ability. Lovers of vanilla rejoice; you can now experience the aroma of this precious plant in its truest form.

Organic Sea Buckthorn CO2
The rich orange color of this oil hints at the powerful antioxidant value this plant contains. Prized for its ability to protect DNA from damage, this marvelous oil is specific for healing skin injuries, burns, eczema, dryness and sun damaged skin. Fruity and fresh, this oil can be a potent ally for your body care recipes.

Amber Perfume Roller
After much searching we have found an incredible amber oil blend. This four generation old, family owned recipe is an exotic combination of organic and natural resins and essential oils. It is rich, musky and slightly sweet; we hope you love it as much as we do.

Changa Mushrooms
Yet another new Mushroom - We continue to expand our herbal offerings with this immune enhancing mushroom.

New Mama Gift Bag
This beautiful and useful gift bag is a great postpartum gift for any new mom. It contains a combination of some of our favorite things for new mothers, including a nursing tea, sitz bath, aromatherapy spritzer and more, all resting on a bed of flowers wrapped up and ready to be gifted.

Staff Picks
Maggie's Pick
soothing skin
Soothing Skin Salve
Rebecca's soothing skin salve is the ultimate gardener's companion and the perfect protectant for spring. Made of organic infused oils and local beeswax this salve is gentle enough for all skin types. This is a personal favorite and a true ally for healing all kinds of scrapes, cuts and cracks.

Below is our Spring Class Schedule. Look for more seasonal classes to come. For full class descriptions and an archive of past classes please check our website at:

Wednesday May 4th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor: Lelia Lyon, Certified Herbalist
Cost: $35.00

Tuesday, May 10th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor: Faith Goguen, Certified Clinical Herbalist
Cost: $35.00

Thursday, May 12, 6:30-8:30pm
Instructor: Lelia Lyon, Certified Herbalist
Cost: $45.00

Sunday, May 15, 2011, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Instructors: Katie Browning, Certified Herbalist and Ashlee Bodo, Certified Clinical Herbalist
Cost: $25.00

Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 6:30pm - 8pm
Instructors: Liz Holtman, Certified Herbalist and Corrie Snyder, Certified Herbalist
Cost: $30.00

Thursday, May 26th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor, Faith Goguen, Certified Clinical Herbalist
Cost: $35.00

Wednesday June 15th 2011, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor: Lelia Lyon, Certified Herbalist
Cost: $35.00, checks payable to Lelia Lyon

Each month one of our staff members picks an herb that they are drawn to, and shares some experiences, thoughts, medicinal uses and a bit of traditional lore about their selected plant. As each plant is unique, each Herbalist and point of view is unique. We hope you enjoy this tradition.

Herb of the Month — May
By Lelia Lyon, Certified Herbalist

Common Name

Latin Name
Paeonia spp.

Parts used

Medicinal Properties
Change can be challenging and stressful for many of us and as we shift from winter to spring it is important to take care of ourselves. One of my favorite herbs to reach for during hectic times is Peony. Peony calms my stress levels and restores balance helping me to move through change with ease.

A helpful way to approach peony and its uses is to view it through the eyes of Chinese medicine. Peony is used in cases of Yin deficiency, when there is excess heat. In general, peony is calming, cooling, sedating, and dispersing.

Peony is well known for its antispasmodic properties. P. officinalis was used by physiomedicalists for nervous conditions, convulsions, and epilepsy. Peony calms spasms in the hands and feet, whooping cough, abdominal spasms, nervous twitches, spasms of the genitourinary tract, smooth muscle spasms; especially uterine cramping, angina, and migraine headaches. Peony has been used extensively with women's reproductive health. It has been used cross culturally for symptoms associated with dysmenorhea including cramping, heavy bleeding, bloating (breast and abdominal), acne at ovulation or right before the period, etc. Peony can help to relieve pelvic stagnation that results in dark blood, clotting, delayed menstruation, premenstrual anxiety and irritability. Peony has been used throughout history in labor to relax the mother, reduce cramps, facilitate labor and expel the placenta after childbirth. Peony can also alleviate a myriad of hormonal issues including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), elevated androgens, low progesterone, and estrogen excess. Some of peony's constituents are thought to work on the pituitary, thereby helping to regulate hormone production. It is important to note that if you plan on working with peony in this way, you should do so only with a qualified practitioner. Peony can also be an ally in helping women through the changes associated with menopause. Specifically, it can cool menopausal women who are hot and woken up by night sweats.

While we have touched on some of peony's more specific applications above, it is important to note that it is a very widely used herb and can be used in cases of inflammation, fever, insomnia, nightmares, sluggish digestion, headache, and much more.

Avoid use during pregnancy. Contraindicated with anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs, antidiabetics, and sedatives. Individuals with bleeding disorders should avoid use.

Preparations & Applications
Peony can be taken as a tincture or drank as a tea. A decoction is made by adding one tablespoon of the root to 8 ounces of water in a covered pot. Simmer the root for twenty minutes and then strain. It is important to note that the water should not boil but should be a low simmer.

Calm Belly
This tea helps to calm a nervous tense tummy. This could be a great tea for those with digestive issues due to stress or to help recover after a bought of diarrhea. It will help cool the tummy and mellow out the mind.
1 part Lemon Balm
1/2 part Peony
1/2 part Linden
1/2 part Wood Betony
1/4 part Chamomile
1/4 part Licorice
Add one tablespoon of the mix to 8 ounces just boiled water, cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Herbal Emissaries: Bringing Chinese Herbs to the West, Foster S, Chongxi Y.
Encycolopedia of Herbal Medicine, Chevallier, A.
Hildergard von Bingen's Physica, von Bingen, H. Translated by Throop, P.
Native American Ethno Botony, Moerman, D.
Flower Power: Flower Remedies for Healing Body and Soul Through Herbalism, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, and Flower Essences, McIntyre A.
A Modern Herbal, Grieve, M
Women, Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle: Herbal and medical solutions from adolesence to menopause, Trickey, R.
The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants, Wood, M.
Planetary Herbology, Tierra, M.


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