Rebecca's Herbal Apothecary and Supply

November 2009 Newsletter



  In This Issue:

Welcome Summer!
As we all try to shake off our post Halloween sugar buzz, we welcome you to embrace some healthful herbal teas to speed along that healing process. It has certainly helped Rebecca who was found hoarding tootsie rolls in the store room, rocking back and forth saying, "just one more!" We weaned her with our Nourishing Tonic tea blend, making her promise to never again partake in such evil delights. Please enjoy our November newsletter, and put the tootsie roll down.

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

Sacred Psychoactives with Brigitte Mars
Monday, November 2nd, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor, Brigitte Mars, AHG
Cost: $25.00
Learn about consciousness expanding plants such as cannabis, psilocibin, peyote, ayahuasca and other substances...more

The Art of Soapmaking
Wednesday, November 4th, 6:30-8:30pm
Instructor: Janet Roberts
Cost $50.00, plus a $6.00 materials fee
Learn the age old process for creating beautiful, sensual, practical, lovely bars of your own soap...more

Luscious Lips
Monday, November 16th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor: Faith Goguen, Certified Clinical Herbalist
Cost: $35.00
Please join certified herbalist Faith Goguen for a fun demonstration of how to make your own natural lip balms and lip glosses...more

Natural Babycare
Wed., November 18th, 6:30-7:30pm
Instructor: Ashlee Bodo, Certified Clinical Herbalist
Cost: $25.00
Come and learn practical and effective tips for taking care of your little one naturally...more

Herbal Holiday Giftmaking
Wed., December 2nd, 6:30-8:00pm
Wed., December 16th, 6:30-8:00pm
* Same class offered twice. Choose best date for you.
Ashlee Bodo, Certified Clinical Herbalist & Katie Browning, Certified Herbalist
Cost: $35.00
Celebrate the season! Come learn to create your own handmade herbal gifts for friends and loved ones...more

Making Body Butters
Tuesday, December 8th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor, Faith Goguen, Certified Clinical Herbalist
Cost: $35.00
Give the gift of homemade body butters this holiday season! Learn about different natural butters including shea, cocoa, and mango butter....more

Herbs & Astrology with Brigitte Mars
Thursday, December 10th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor, Brigitte Mars, AHG
Cost: $25.00
Throughout history plants, animals, humans and even gemstones have been associated with the heavens. Come explore this ancient art, The Doctrine of Signatures and how we are all connected...more

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 — November
Elder, Sambucus nigra

By Faith Goguen

Parts Used: Flowers & Berries

Medicinal Properties
The Elder tree, Sambucus nigra, is native to Europe. This is the variety that is used in most medicinal preparations that you will find in commerce. There are several other varieties of Elder, some native to North America including S. canadensis and S. racemosa. Elder is a small shrub or tree with cream colored umbels of flowers that bloom in the early spring and blue, dark purple or black berries that fruit in the early autumn. All the blue and purple-berried varieties are edible, but there is one red-berried species that can be toxic.

The history of the Elder tree is rich with folklore and magic. In rural England, Elder was believed to be inhabited by a powerful female spirit called the "Elder Mother". If someone wanted to harvest from the Elder tree it was necessary to say a prayer, ask permission and give an offering to the mother spirit or you might incur her wrath. The Elder tree was also considered a "gateway" to the underworld, symbolic of birth and death. You will often find it planted in cemeteries to help the deceased pass safely into the next realm and also in front of homes for protection from evil spirits.

The Elder tree has been used as medicine and as food throughout history. The flowers are bitter, cooling, astringent, decongestant, and relaxing. The berries, rich in vitamins A & C and bioflavanoids, improve digestion, build the blood and are antiviral. The fresh berries are a nourishing food that can be eaten in pies, jellies, and syrups. Elder has been in the spotlight in the last couple of years as people have been rediscovering its amazing ability to treat colds and the flu. The flowers make a wonderful remedy for fevers. A fever is one of the body's natural defenses to fight off infections. Elder flowers support the body's natural fever cycle by warming up the body and inducing a sweat that will eventually break the fever. They are very gentle and therefore can be given to elders and children. The berries act as an anti-viral for prevention and also lessen the severity and duration of an illness once it has taken hold. Elder is very diuretic, so it is important to drink plenty of water when taking it in order to avoid dehydration.

Flowers: tincture or tea of the dried flowers
Berries: tea of dried berries, tincture, or syrup of fresh or dried berries

Elder Berry Syrup
1 cup Elder berries (4oz net wt)
4 cups water
1 cup Honey
Combine berries and water in a saucepan, covered. Bring it up to a boil and down to a simmer. Simmer until the mixture is reduced by half the volume. Strain the elder berries out. Combine the leftover liquid (about 2 cups) with 1 cup of honey. Bottle, store in fridge for longest shelf-life.
Yields: 24 fl. oz of syrup.

Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier
The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood
The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine by Brigitte Mars


Check out our exciting new book titles brought in for the season:
Earthwise Herbal Vol2 by Matthew Wood
The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel
Marijuana Medical Handbook by Dale Gieringer
Medical Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt
Backyard Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal & Matthew Seal

...and don't forget the kids! We have a fabulous new line
of children's books to choose from including:

Return of the Light by Carolyn McVickar Edwards
Come to the Fairies Ball by Jane Yolen
One Red Apple by Harriet Ziefert

2010 We'Moon Calendars are back!

Due to its incredible popularity we are now offering our Precious Face Serum in a 1oz bottle.
Face Serum

Kill it All Essential Oil blend is now offered as a Spritzer! Kill it All is an all natural anti microbial that you can now spray around your home or workplace to fend off any unwanted germs this season.

Lastly, we have brought back our seasonal Mulling Spices, a lovely blend of roots and spices for your cider or wine. Also a great way to warm your home as a potpourri.

Rebecca's is excited to present our new Awesome Kid Tea, for all the awesome kids in your life. This tasty tea is made from Chamomile, Catnip and Lemon Balm, three gentle and yummy herbs that can be used as a supportive tonic for children and adults alike. This lovely blend can help relax an irritable child, soothe an upset tummy, and is a great adjunct for anytime they are not feeling well. Awesome Kid Tea can also be enjoyed by parents to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

We are offering 10% off the bulk Herb of the Month, Elderberry and Elder Flower, for all of November!

Earthwise Herbal Vol. II: The Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants
by Matthew Wood
Review by Katie Browning

In Vol. II Matthew Wood moves focus from "Old World" or European plants to "New World" or North American herbs. In the tradition of the previous volume he describes in rich detail the plants as personalities drawing from his extensive clinical practice, historical knowledge and folk traditions. These books are sure to become the classics of our time!


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