Herbalism is the medicinal use of herbs and plants. It concentrates on how wellness is deeply connected to diet and lifestyle. Herbs can help the body in almost every way and during most illnesses. It is a simple method of healing that is most kind to our bodies. Herbalism can be studied independently as well. The science and art of herbalism has been passed down for generations. It is a method of healing that can empower people to become aware of their bodies’ symptoms and choose herbs based on their acquired knowledge. Most herbs are pretty safe and will have positive and preventative effects long term.
Albuquerque has many herbs that can be grown at home or found nearby. Some examples are chamomile, peppermint, sage, basil, rosemary, ginger root, and dandelion roots and leaves. Chamomile is very good for an upset stomach and soothes indigestion. Peppermint is good for headaches, digestion, and gas. Sage is best for colds, coughs, and congestion. You can learn additional herbal properties and kitchen remedies in this free Healing Herbs eBook, or look for “Grow Your Own Drugs,” by James Wong.
For those who want to make their own tinctures and salves or learn more about herbs, oils, and acupuncture, you can visit the Herb Store in Nob Hill for its many resources. Cristy, the owner of the store let me interview her. Cristy became interested in alternative medicine at a young age. She understands conventional medicine is important at certain times, but completely prefers alternative medicines.
One summer her family was on a boat and her father fell into the water, got trapped under the boat, and his leg got caught in the propellers. It was a traumatic experience for everyone. The doctors said his leg would have to be amputated. His friend told him to try an acupuncturist first. Her father never believed in alternative medicine, but was willing to try anything. After one hour with the acupuncturist, the swelling on his leg had gone down by 50%. From then on her father has always resorted to natural alternative medicine or acupuncture. He still has his leg today.
After Cristy received an advanced certificate in herbal studies, she bought the Herb Store in Nob Hill and it became her new classroom. It has been in business since 1976. By opening the Herb Store, her community has grown immensely. She is now in touch with farmers in New Mexico and in various other states, as well as the Nob Hill community, and nearby neighborhoods.
Cristy’s goal is to provide customers with knowledge of what they are buying and how they can discern for themselves what is beneficial. She sees a huge importance for herbs grown organically.
Cristy does her best to supply her store with local and organic herbs, but must also reach out to suppliers from all over the world for a diverse stock. A neat service the herb store provides is custom formulated tinctures. The Herb Store sells a variety of essential oils; soaps; homeopathic remedies; Western, Chinese, and ayurvedic herbs; teas; containers; gift items; and many other products.
In Cristy’s message to students she says, “We are a community resource for alternative health and wellness.” She quotes Hippocrates, “Let food by thy medicine,” and believes that “diet and lifestyle play a huge part in wellness.”
The Herb Store offers quarterly internships to students as well, for those who would like to learn more about how the business works.
At home Cristy grows comfrey, thyme, basil, chamomile, lemon verbena, and other herbs. Comfrey is good for broken bones, ulcers, and cell growth. Thyme is good to drink just as you feel you are getting sick, as it is an anti-inflammatory. She says local herbs are always best.
Cristy explains that growing herbs at home is wonderful, but is not always easy. Changing weather patterns, the dry climate, cloudy days and excessive wind can make growing difficult. Weather has changed so much over the years and all over the world that farmers have to grapple with their previous knowledge and try to keep crops alive in this new climate. She is worried for the future climate and believes that “sustainability is key. If we don’t follow that, we will run into crop failures.”
Grow your own herbs or buy them locally. Know where your herbs and food come from and be conscious of your choices. Herbs can help keep you healthy, reduce your use of conventional medicine, and heighten a sustainable life!
-Posted by Betsy