Newsletter August 2014

Summer Herbs

Herb We hope you are thoroughly enjoying this lush Colorado summer! Hot, sunny days, rainy afternoons, and fresh local herbs...these are a few of our favorite things!

Rebecca's is excited to be collaborating with Upslope Brewery and local herbalist, Elizabeth Willis for an Herbal Beer Release Party. Join us at the Lee Hill Upslope Tap Room (1501 Lee Hill Road N20) on Thursday August 14th from 6-8pm to taste the one of a kind, Summer Herbal Ale, featuring regional herbs from the Front Range including Oregon Grape Root & Linden flowers. Enjoy food from the Bumper Crop Food Truck, win raffle prizes from Rebecca's Apothecary and learn about the fusion between beer and herbal medicine.

Don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook for updates throughout the month.


New Products & Promotions

Awesome Baby Oil

Specially created for your precious little one, our Awesome Baby Oil was thoughtfully formulated with just 4 pure ingredients: Chamomile and Calendula blossoms Apricot Kernel oil and Love. Made to moisturize and nurture baby's skin with nature's best you'll find this special blend to be soft, soothing and simply wonderful.

Drunken Botanist

Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

In this New York Times bestseller, Amy Stewart explores the herbs, trees, fruits and fungi that help to create some of our favorite liquors and fermented beverages. From whiskey to Wormwood, the Drunken Botanist offers insight of both a botanical and folkloric nature with an accessible approach to the world of distillation and fermentation. With over fifty cocktail recipes and growing tips for gardeners, Stewart has created an intriguing and informative read for the budding herbalist or mixologist in each of us.

Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons

As the bitters renaissance sweeps the nation, Brad Parsons book Bitters offers an in depth view into the history and modern use of bitters in cocktails. Bitter use dates back centuries as a medicinal preparation of aromatic flavoring agents (roots, barks, spices, herbs, flowers) taken to stimulate appetite or aid digestion. Aside from the medicinal uses, bitters are often called the salt and pepper of bartending due to their ability to bring balance to a cocktail and complement it with a unique aromatic quality. Explore how to make your own bitters and herbal cocktails in the Herbal Bar Class on August 20th.

Local Fresh Mullein flower infused oil

Mullein flowers have a wonderfully cooling and soothing effect on the body. Traditionally used by herbalists to help break up congestion, move lymph, and as an antimicrobial oil for ear infections. Mullein flower infused oil makes an excellent addition to a decongesting chest salve or a massage oil for sharp pain in joints and along the spine. This oil is on sale for 30% off the 2 oz. bottled prices and the per ounce price.

Violet

Local Fresh Violet leaf infused oil

Violet flowers blossom for a short but very sweet amount of time from February-April. They briefly adorn our pathways with their heart-shaped leaves and gentle but powerful medicine. Violet leaves have traditionally been used as a cooling antiseptic agent helpful for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, rashes, hives and inflamed skin conditions. Violet leaves also have a particular affinity for breast tissue where they can support and inspire women in a practice of breast care for self-breast exams. This oil is on sale for 30% off 2 oz. bottled prices and the per ounce price.

Local Fresh Arnica Infused Olive Oil

The Arnica infused olive oil is a great adjunct for the active lifestyle of late summer and an indispensable part of any first aid kit. Arnica has a long history of topical use for inflammation, muscle pain, sprains, bruises, fractures, and joint pain. Modern clinical studies have shown that Arnica helps the healing process by stimulating the release of waste products and by helping to bring cleansing fluids and platelets into the affected area. *Arnica is used only externally and never on open wounds.* This oil is on sale for 30% off the 1 oz. and 2 oz. bottled prices, and the per ounce price.

Organic Horizon Seeds

We have some wonderful organic seeds from Horizon seeds now on sale for 50% off. Tasty and medicinal herbs such as Tulsi Basil, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Mugwort and Hopi Tobacco are ready for your greenhouse, indoor planting or to be started in spring 2015.


Staff Picks

Soothing Burn Spray

Liz's Pick

Soothing Burn Spray

Summer is in full swing and one of my go to Rebecca's products is our Soothing Burn Spray. With just two simple ingredients, Lavender essential oil and Aloe, the Soothing Burn Spray has a myriad of uses. Its cooling, hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties soothe the skin making it a great ally for all types of burns, rashes, bites, and skin irritations. I love to use the Soothing Burn Spray to cool me down after a long day in the sun, to quickly calm a rash or soothe an itchy bug bite. With so many amazing applications, I will always include the Soothing Burn Spray in my medicine chest!


Classes

Below is our class schedule, for full class descriptions please check our website at: http://www.rebeccasherbs.com/classes/. Your space in the class is reserved once payment is received. Payment for classes is made by cash or check payable to the instructor. Please be aware that classes fill up quickly, so sign up early. Pre-registration is required.

Making Body Butters

Monday, August 11th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor: Faith Goguen Rodgers, certified clinical herbalist
Cost: $35.00
Learn to make decadent and nourishing body butters in your own kitchen! This is a fun class where you will get to learn about different natural butters including shea, cocoa, and mango butter

Herbal Bar

Wednesday, August 20th, 6:30-8:00pm
Participants must be 21 or over

Instructors, Liz Philbrick, certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist, Amber Brisson, certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist
Cost: $40.00
Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your own bitters or spice up your favorite cocktail? Come explore how to make all of the mixers and main ingredients needed to stock your very own herbal bar!

Herbs as Emotional Allies

Wed., September 3rd, 2014, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor, Lauren Stauber, certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist, licensed massage therapist Cost: $30.00 In this class, we'll learn about herbs that can support us through the emotional ups and downs of life. We'll discuss approaches for general support, as well as for specific emotions such as grief, anger, or fear.

Fertility Awareness Method Workshop

Monday, September 8th, 6:30-8:30pm
Monday, September 15th, 6:30-8:30pm

Instructors: Faith Goguen Rodgers, certified clinical herbalist and Liz Philbrick, certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist
Cost: Individuals-- $50/ both classes, Couples-- $75/ both classes
Join us for an insightful workshop dedicated to The Fertility Awareness Method. FAM is a method of observing and charting fertility signs to either avoid pregnancy, achieve pregnancy, or to monitor your gynecological health.

Nourishing a Healthy Menstrual Cycle

Monday, September 22nd, 6:30-8:30pm
Instructors: Faith Goguen Rodgers, certified clinical herbalist and Liz Philbrick, certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist
Cost: $35.00 ($25.00 for participants of the FAM Workshop)
In this informative class we will explore herbal and nutritional methods to support a healthy menstrual cycle.

Medicinal Mushrooms

Wednesday, September 24th, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructors, Kate Briggs, certified clinical herbalist, Amber Brisson, certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist
Cost: $35.00
Expensive cuisine, immortality tonic, and decomposer, medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries as food, tea, and medicine. Come explore the fascinating world of fungi, from ancient history to modern medical research.


Herb of the Month

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! Althaea officinalis

Herb of the Month — August
Lauren Stauber, certified clinical herbalist, licensed massage therapist


Common Name
Marshmallow

Latin Name
Althaea officinalis

Family
Malvaceae / Mallow Family

Parts used
Root, leaf and flower

Medicinal Properties
Here in the often dry, sun-parched mountains of Colorado, Marshmallow is one of the herbs I reach for more than any other. When there is need for soothing coolness, healing moisture, softness and fluidity, I think of Althaea. Native to Europe, Asia and Africa, this tall, velvety, pink-flowered perennial is at home in salt marshes, but it grows comfortably in many varied environments near water.

Although Marshmallow is considered a gentle herb, its properties are far from meek. Like a wisely timed hug, it helps create a relaxed healing environment in the body. An herb of balanced opposites, Marshmallow can have a normalizing affect when applied appropriately. It is both diuretic and demulcent, and has a drawing action that compliments its moistening properties. It is nutritive, reparative and building, but it also helps the body rid itself of toxins and debris. One of the qualities Marshmallow is most sought for is its high mucilage content, especially the long taproot. A tea of Marshmallow is slippery like the natural fluids produced by healthy mucous membranes. This aspect comes forth most readily in a cold infusion. Marshmallow also contains starch, pectin, sugar, salt, flavonoids, amino acids and tannins.

For thousands of years, Althaea has been turned to when there is excess heat, dryness or hardening in the body. Traditional applications include dry cough, sore throat, inflammation of the respiratory, urinary and gastrointestinal tracts, acid reflux, rheumatic pain, dryness of the joints, kidney stones and other gravel, constipation or diarrhea, wounds and burns, and general irritations of the skin and mucosa. Marshmallow has been observed to act both locally and systemically, soothing and moistening the places it touches directly while activating a similar response throughout the body. It is believed by many herbalists to stimulate and modulate the immune system, and research has shown it to have some antimicrobial activity.

As a baby-safe galactagogue (an herb that increases milk production), Marshmallow has been appreciated by nursing moms, and women through the ages have used it to relieve the dryness and heat of menopause. It has also been valued as a complimentary herb for some of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Even when not specifically indicated, Marshmallow can be included in any formula where the dry, hot actions of other herbs need some tempering. It adds a pleasant softness and sweetness to a tea, and is a lovely herb for children (one of my son's favorites). Althaea also reaches into non-physical realms, smoothing out nerves roughed up by stress, and inviting emotional flexibility and ease.

Althaea officinalis Preparations & Applications
Marshmallow can be prepared in many forms including cold and hot infusions, decoctions, infused oils, salves, poultices, powders, soaks, rinses, tinctures, syrups, and flower essences. It is also an ingredient in many body care products and a thickening agent in foods. One of the most delightful preparations for Althaea officinalis is found in old-timey recipes for Marshmallows — yes those things you eat around a campfire or add to hot chocolate. Back in the day, these medicinal confections were most likely prepared for the purpose of soothing a sore throat. And who said medicine can't be yummy!

Cautions and Contraindications
Marshmallow is considered to be very safe, but it may temporarily inhibit absorption so it is best to separate prescription medications from Marshmallow preparations by a few hours.

Recipes (parts by volume)
A Malvaceae Duet (both plants are in the Mallow Family)
Marshmallow root, leaf and flower
Hibiscus flower
1 Tbsp. herbs per 1 cup cold water. I usually use 2-3 parts Marshmallow to 1 part hibiscus, but you can blend to your own taste. Let the herbs continue to infuse as you drink, adding more water as needed. This simple infusion is cool and refreshing on a hot day.

Throat Soother
Marshmallow root — 1 part
Red Clover flower — 1 part
Calendula flower — 1/2 part
Peppermint or Spearmint leaf — 1/2 part
Licorice root — 1/4 part
1 Tbsp. herbs per 1 cup hot water. Cover and steep 15 - 20 minutes. Strain and sip slowly.

Resources
The Earthwise Herbal (Old World) by Matthew Wood
Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra
Growing 101 Herbs That Heal by Tammi Hartung
Culpeper's Complete Herbal by Nocholas Culpeper
The Pharmaceutical Importance of Althaea officinalis and Althaea rosea : A Review
The writings of herbalists Rosalee de la Forêt and Jim McDonald