Preserving plant material and herbs is an art form of well being — in use for centuries to flavor foods, prepare medicines and aromatherapies, to be decorative, or to enhance ceremony with spiritual or magical qualities. Ancient healing remedies are documented in Egyptian tombs, with written knowledge found in Mesopotamian tablets and in traditional Ayurveda and Chinese ancient healing systems.
The Tucson Herb Store, founded by Amanda Brown in January 2003, is a local resource for herbs, incense supplies, loose tea leaves, locally-sourced natural health supplies and Ayurvedic products, and is part of local traditional practice promoting holistic health through all-natural processes.
The shop, now located on North 4th Avenue in the Casa Libre en la Solana complex, opened January 21, 2003 in its first shop on East 7th Street. Amanda’s background — which includes a Master’s Degree from the Arizona School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and knowledge of Herbalism and Herbal Formulation from studies at the North American Institute of Herbal Medicine — complements the Shop’s local programming that both consults in homemade tinctures, lotions, salves or other natural remedies, and trains the community via classes in plant-powered healing.
Amanda gives us an example of one favorite local winter botanical with healing properties:
- Verbena or Blue Vervain: a local plant of many colors and variations, that’s easy to cultivate or find growing locally at many different elevations. Verbena is excellent at preserving the health of both our nervous systems and our digestive tracts. It’s a go-to plant for me when I see someone who is anxious or worried along with an unsettled stomach. It brings the energy down from our heads and into the smooth muscles of our guts promoting digestive secretions. It’s mildly relaxing and great for children as well. It allows us to take a breath and feel our feet on the ground. This wonderful local plant is a friend and ally that I call on regularly for adults and children of all ages.
The Tucson Herb Store offers a community herb salon every third Saturday, focusing on one medicinal plant each month to build community knowledge about the healing qualities of plants. Learn more at: www.tucsonherbstore.com.
With its effective qualities to calm, rejuvenate and fortify health in a variety of ways, Amanda says, herbs are timeless natural preservationists of well-being — ancient and alternative remedies for modern ills.
- The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, established in 1994 by Dr. Andrew Weil, highlights the study and practical training of practitioners to combine traditional and alternative methods of healing.
- Further information: American Herbalists Guild, americanherbalistsguild.com or www.naturopathic.org
- University of Maryland Medical Center Herbal Medicine Overview:
- Internet Scientific Publications: Herblore http://ispub.com/IJPHARM/6/1/7976