Rebecca's Herbal Apothecary and Supply

August 2011 Newsletter

  In This Issue:

Happy April
Corrie Snyder
We are bidding a fond farewell to our dear friend and Herbalist Corrie Snyder. Corrie is leaving Rebecca's to have her first baby who is due this month. (Apparently we grow a lot of babies here at the shop, must be something in the herbs.) We are holding Corrie in our thoughts and will post pictures of the beautiful bundle when he or she is born. Thank you for all you have brought to the shop Corrie, you're amazing and we love you! Happily, we are welcoming back Alyson Gaioni, Alyson was our office manager who left to go study Herbalism, and now, having finished her program, has come back to Rebecca's to work as an Herbalist. Yay! Welcome back Alyson, we missed you!

Local herbs are still coming in. We will continue to post on Facebook as the new batches arrive.

Enjoy! And, don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook for updates throughout the month and pictures.

Fresh Arnica Oil
We're so excited to be offering this incredible first aid oil. Arnica oil has traditionally been used as a fantastic ally to alleviate injuries and/or inflammation. We created this oil using local, fresh, wild crafted arnica and organic virgin olive oil. It will be pre-bottled and available for purchase by mid August.

Rose Otto Essential Oil
One whiff of this exquisite essential oil will lift the heart, open the eyes and enliven the spirit. Rose Otto has a powerful effect on red, irritated or sun damaged skin, making it a perfect addition to body and face care products. It should be noted that Rose Otto has a completely different aroma than the Rose Absolute. The Otto is sweeter, more floral, and has a higher note then its heavier counterpart. It takes up to 60 roses to make a single drop, ranking it as a precious essential oil. We have the Rose Otto available for purchase either straight or in a 5% dilution in jojoba oil.

Melissa Essential Oil
Melissa essential oil has traditionally been cherished for its effect's on the immune system, specifically its ability to suppress the chicken pox and herpes virus. Its aroma has a bright green scent with citrus overtones. Melissa has been used for centuries in famous perfumes and toners for helping to create and maintain a clear complexion. Due to the difficulty in distilling Melissa, it is also considered a precious oil. Like our new Rose Otto, the Melissa Essential Oil is available for purchase either straight or in a 5% dilution in jojoba oil.
Cocao Absolute

Cocao Absolute
Yummy, rich, sensual and sweet; this oil has opened a world of fragrant possibilities for botanical body products. It could be a great addition to bath salts, massage oils, lip balms etc. This Cocao absolute has the true aroma of sweet, mouth watering chocolate. Any essential oil fan or aficionado would adore this in their collection.

Staff Picks
Lelia's Pick
Rebecca's Unscented Lotion
When the weather gets hot, I find that I like a light but still hydrating lotion, something that absorbs into my skin without leaving a slippery sensation. Our lotion fits the bill perfectly, moisturizing with a luscious blend of butters, oils and vitamin E and without any icky paraben preservatives. Our lotion is sold scented with delightful essential oil like tangerine and jasmine or unscented enabling you to add your favorite essential oils right to the bottle. Did you know that Rebecca's sells essential oils buy the drop? We will be happy to help you make a signature scent, just for you! My seasonal favorite blend is a combination of 12 drops of Grapefruit, 10 drops of Sea buckthorn, and 3 drops of Ylang Extra in an eight ounce bottle of lotion; a sweet fragrance reminiscent of a summer breeze!

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

Tuesday, August 9th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor: Faith Goguen, Certified Clinical Herbalist
Cost: $25.00

Wednesday, August 17th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor: Lelia Lyon, Certified Herbalist
Cost: $35.00
Come learn how to be prepared to treat illnesses and discomfort with herbal remedies.

Tuesday, August 30th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor: Faith Goguen, Certified Clinical Herbalist
Cost: $35.00
Please join us to learn how to make therapeutic herbal infused oils and salves.

Wednesday, September 7th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor: Lelia Lyon, Certified Herbalist
Cost: $35.00

Aromatherapy I: Beginning, Wednesday, September 14th, 6:30-8:00pm
Aromatherapy II: Blending & Applications, Wednesday, September 21st, 6:30-8:00
Aromatherapy III: Hydrosols, Wednesday, September 28th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructors: Ashlee Bodo, Certified Clinical Herbalist and Katie Browning, Certified Herbalist
Cost: $35.00/class or $95/series (when you register in advance)

Introduction: Tuesday, September 20th, 6:30-8:30pm
Advanced: Tuesday, September 27th, 6:30-8:30pm
Instructor: Faith Goguen, Certified Clinical Herbalist
Cost: Individuals: $30.00/class or $45.00 for both classes when you register in advance.
Couples: $40.00 per couple/class or $60/per couple for both classes when you register in advance.

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 — August
By Lauren Stauber, certified Clinical Herbalist

Common Names
Oats, Oatstraw, Common Oats, Wild Oats, Milky Oats, Oat Tops, Cat Grass

Latin Name
Avena sativa (common cultivated oats), Avina fatua (wild oats)

Poaceae (Graminaceae)

Parts used
Seeds and stems

Neutral (can be slightly warming or cooling), moistening, sweet, yin and qi tonic

Medicinal Properties
Nutritive nerve tonic, gentle relaxant/stimulant, demulcent, emollient, mild cardio-tonic, mild antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac

Avena sativa is the "mother's milk" of edible and medicinal plants. The experience of being soothed, nourished and supported comes to mind when I reflect on this herb. Most people are unaware of the powerful healing properties of this easy to grow grass. Abundant with vitamins and minerals, protein, soluble fiber, beneficial oils, polysaccharides, steroidal saponins and more, Avena comes to us as a humble, but powerful healer.

Traditionally, Avena has been used as a long-term tonic to nourish, rebuild and revitalize a worn down nervous system. It is especially useful in recovery from illness, weakness, overwork, poor nutrition, chronic pain, sleep deprivation, insomnia, emotional distress, or just about any circumstance that excessively stresses and depletes the nervous system. Avena, when used in conjunction with lifestyle changes, helps get at the root of stress. It is also recognized as beneficial in addiction recovery, is a wonderful herb for pains that affect the body and the mind together, and is also helpful in relieving deeper pains in the muscles and joints. Avena takes the edge off nerves that are "on end" and presenting with an aversion to touch, actually enhancing pleasurable tactile sensation. Avena has been prized for its ability to revive a libido that has lost its "juice" and "spark", especially due to exhaustion and stress. The age-old expression "to sow one's wild oats" gives hint at this delightful little gift. It is recognized in Wise Woman communities as a woman's ally, helping to balance her hormonal cycles and support her through pregnancy, birth, post partum recovery and the many stresses of mothering, while also beautifying her hair, skin, nails, and teeth, not to mention strengthening her bones.

Externally, used as a poultice or in a bath, Avena offer relief from dry, itchy, irritated skin. Taking regular oat baths is thought to soften the skin, relax the muscles and nerves, and relieve aches and pains from the body. Ground oats also makes a lovely exfoliating facial scrub. With so many healing properties, from the skin to deep within, Avena is one of the staples in my herbal apothecary. It is truly a tonic for well-rounded well being. Cautions: Avena can be used safely by most people, including children and the elderly. One caution is in cases of people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, a small percentage of which have reaction to oats.

Medicinal Forms
  • Tea (infusion or decoction) of dried oatstraw or milky oat tops
  • Tincture of milky oat tops (a premier restorative for the nervous system) in warm water or tea.
  • Poultice of powdered plant or oatmeal
  • Bath with infusion or decoction, powdered oats or oatmeal in a muslin bag
  • Flower Essence (brings clarity and conviction to one's path in life)
A Simple Avena Decoction

4 Tbs. Oatstraw, Oat Tops, or a combination of both
1 qt. filtered water
Bring herbs and water to an ALMOST boil in a lidded pot. Lower to a simmer for 30 - 45 minutes. Turn off flame and let sit until cool enough to drink. Strain and sip throughout the day.

Stress Recovery Blend
2 pt. Oatstraw, Oat Tops, or a combination of both
1 pt. each Nettles, Ashwaganda, and Hawthorn Berry
1/2 pt. each Skullcap and Licorice root
Bring herbs and water to an ALMOST boil in a lidded pot. Lower to a simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. Turn off flame and let sit until cool enough to drink. Strain and sip throughout the day. This tea can also be made as a long infusion (2 - 8 hrs.).

Physio-Medical Therapeutics, Materia Medica and Pharmacy by T. J. LYLE, A.M.M.D.
King's American Dispensatory, 1898.
The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine by Brigitte Mars, AHG
Complete Herbal Tutor by Anne McIntyre
Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants by Matthew Wood
Healing Wise by Susun Weed
Medicine Woman's Roots blog by Kiva Rose
The Bach Flower Remedies revised edition
The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm


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