After a cold and snowy start to the year, we look forward to the Spring Equinox and the blossoming of our favorite springtime plants. Tulips, Violets, and Crocuses eagerly await to break through frosted ground in order to clear the way for the uplifting energy of spring.
We too are transitioning, blooming, and blossoming with new life. We say goodbye to our production assistant Gina Kuhn, who will be leaving to care for her growing family. And we welcome two new herbalists and a new production assistant, yay! Cat Pantaleo is a certified clinical herbalist with years of experience in the Boulder community, Laliv Zang, is a certified herbalist & natural therapeutics specialist who studied in New Mexico and Sylvie Lam is a graduate of the fundamentals herbal program at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. Yay team, we love our crew!
I love clays! Mineral rich clays have found their way into numerous parts of my daily self-care routine. I use clays for everything from hair & facial masks to tooth powders and first aid applications including drawing poultices, insect bites and more. I love the Earth and Sea clays for their balancing, toning, enriching and restorative properties. In hair and face masks, the clays help to draw out impurities swapping them out for a rich assortment of trace minerals. For a unique description of each clay, please see the clay section on our website under bulk items. Please enjoy the following recipes.
Suitable for dry, sensitive and inflamed skin.
2 teaspoons Australian Sandalwood powder
2 teaspoons Rose Clay
2 teaspoons White Clay
2 drops Rose absolute essential oil
1 drop Australian Sandalwood essential oil
Mix dry ingredients in a non-metal bowl. Slowly blend in drops of essential oil. Start adding water or Aloe vera juice (for more moisturizing qualities) 1 teaspoon at a time until mixture reaches a paste consistency. Apply to the face. Leave mask on for 10-20 minutes. Rinse off with water and finish with Rebecca’s Precious Face Serum, Meadowsweet Face Serum or moisturizer of your choice.
Rise & Shine Hair Wash(yields 1 wash)
Balancing and moisturizing, this wash is suitable for all hair types. For very oily/greasy hair try substituting Sea or Bentonite clay.
2 Tablespoons Rhassoul Clay
1 teaspoon Marshmallow root powder
2 drops Vetiver essential oil
1 drop Grapefruit essential oil
1-2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix dry ingredients in a non-metal bowl. Slowly blend in drops of essential oil. Add Apple Cider Vinegar and 8-10 ounces water (or Aloe vera juice) to mixture and use as a hair rinse either in place of your shampoo or in addition to a shampoo. Finish with Rebecca’s Healthy Hair Oil or conditioner of your choice.
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 can be made online using a credit or debit card. Please be aware that classes fill up quickly, so sign up early. Pre-registration is required.Wednesday, March 18, 6:30-8:30pm
Participants must be 21 or over
Instructors: Liz Philbrick, certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist, Amber Brisson, certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist
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.
Saturday, March 21st, 3:00-5:00pm
Instructor: Ellie Martin, certified clinical herbalist
Come and learn about a wide variety of herbs that can ease the discomforts of pregnancy and keep you and your baby comfortable. We will cover safe and gentle herbs & nutritional therapies that can be used during pregnancy and postpartum. Saturday, March 28th, 2:00-4:00pm
Instructor: Faith Goguen Rodgers, certified clinical herbalist
Learn to make decadent lotions & creams in your very own kitchen. This hands on class will give you simple techniques, tips and easy to follow recipes for making lotions & creams.
Wednesday, April 8th, 2015, 6:30-8:30pm
Instructor: Lauren Stauber, certified clinical herbalist, licensed massage therapist
Springtime brings many wonderful things--crocuses, nesting birds, budding branches...and for some, it also brings the allergy blues. In this class we’ll talk about herbal approaches to seasonal allergies. . Saturday, April 11th, 2015, 2:00-3:30pm
Instructor: Faith Goguen Rodgers, certified clinical herbalist
Join us to learn how to make therapeutic herbal infused oils and salves.
Saturday, April 18th, 2015, 11:00am- 12:30pm
Instructor: Tzuria Malpica, certified clinical herbalist
Simple and satisfying, make soap with your own special touch. Together we will use essential oils and herbs to spice up our soaps and personalize them. Children will take home recipes, and bars of soap created in class.
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor: Liz Philbrick, certified clinical herbalist & nutritionist
Tinctures demystified! Tinctures are made with alcohol and water to extract the medicinal properties of herbs. They are a wonderful and convenient way of taking herbal medicine. In this informative class we will discuss and demonstrate methods to make fresh and dried plant tinctures. Participants will go home with samples as well as the resources to make their own tinctures at home.
Saturday, April 25th, 2015, 11:00am-12:30pm
Instructor: Corrie Bradley, certified clinical herbalist
It is empowering as a parent to have herbal allies that can soothe and treat your child’s ailments. In this class we will discuss safe and simple recipes to treat coughs, colds, fevers, skin maladies, and many others.
Herb of the Month
By Cat Pantaleo, certified clinical herbalist, certified nutritionist
I have recently developed a fascination and consequent passionate desire to learn all I can about Adaptogens – a term appropriated to herbs that increase a person’s ability to maintain optimal health and balance in the face of physical and emotional stress. They do this by nourishing the root system of the body, the neuroendocrine system, thus providing an overall enhanced state of vitality. In fact, research shows that they actually normalize, enhance and protect all systems of the body.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s nothing new to traditional healing systems throughout the world. Traditional healing paradigms such as TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Ayurveda have used herbs that could be categorized as Adaptogens for centuries to maintain optimal well-being on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. And is that not something that most humans desire and strive for?
There are many botanicals that are considered Adaptogens, and even three different classes of them (primary, secondary and companions), a whole world to explore. I chose Schisandra to write about for several reasons: one being its long history of medicinal use in China, Japan, Korea, Tibet and Russia and the other being an incredible array of beneficial actions on so many different body systems. In TCM, it is called Wu Wei Zi meaning “five-flavor berry”, indicating that it has a positive effect on Qi and on the five visceral organ systems of the body. In other words, a broad range of benefits.
It is the seeds and berries that are used medicinally, though much of the modern research is done on the seed extract. It is utilized largely as an anti-fatigue remedy, often just chewing on a handful of the whole berries (seeds and all). It is well noted throughout history and supported by modern research that Schisandra balances and strengthens the entire body, is highly anti-oxidant, protective to the liver, improves eyesight, cardio-protective, modulates the immune system and protects DNA from damage. One of the amazing attributes of Schisandra (and many other adaptogenic herbs) is that it has a stimulatory effect on the central nervous system (think athletic and mental/cognitive performance) without having an excitatory effect or response like caffeine or amphetamines.
It is important to realize that the information provided here is not in place of professional medical advice nor is it intended to diagnose or treat any health condition you may be experiencing. It is also of crucial importance to understand that although Schisandra (and other adaptogenic botanicals) can greatly benefit one’s health and enhance well-being, they do not replace the need for healthful diet, lifestyle and quality sleep. They are not designed by nature to simply improve health with no other lifestyle and dietary changes, rather they are included in a therapeutic protocol that can enhance and potentiate the effects of other modalities.
Preparations & Applications
Schisandra offers its medicinal benefits in a wide array of forms for ingestion. I prefer tea of whole berry (a bit sour!) or just chewing on the berries as those in the Far East have done for centuries. It is also available in tincture form as well as powdered in capsule. Keep in mind that it is a tonic, which means the benefits are seen over a period of time with consistent use.
Bring 1 cup water to a rolling boil, reduce heat add 1 Tablespoon Schisandra berries and cover. Gently simmer for 15-30 minutes.
Schisandra Winter Berry Syrup
A delicious, antioxidant rich and immune boosting syrup to add to teas, yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes or to enjoy on its own!
3 cups water
¾ cup Schisandra berries
½ cup Elderberries
½ cup Rosehips
1 Cassia Cinnamon stick (optional)
1 piece fresh ginger or 1 Tbsp dried Ginger (optional)
¾ - 1 cup local raw honey
1.5 ounces Brandy (optional)
Combine herbs with water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with a lid and allow herbs to simmer for 30-45 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain herbs through a muslin cloth. Measure the resulting liquid and add an equal amount of honey. Stir well to incorporate the honey & herb mixture or gently warm the mixture in a double boiler until fully combined. Stir in brandy (if desired) and bottle in a dark colored sterilized glass jar. Label and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.