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I bay leaf in you! You’re sup-herb! An herb’s favorite singer is Elvis Parsley! What do these all have in common? You guessed it — a bad punchline. Now to be serious, herbs.
Herbs are a great way to decorate your dorm. Herbs are a plant group that is sought out for macronutrients. These plants also have a range of flavors and scents. Natural Center of Complementary and Integrative Health indicates that macronutrients, to boil it down, are the good stuff in food we need in large amounts, herbs can be flowers, vegetables, and even fruit. Herbs have been used for centuries for medical purposes, cooking, and preserves. While New York Wild Flora lists the rich Upstate New York with local herbs: sweet flag, Solomon’s seal, wild indigo, laurel, snakeroot, Angelica, and jewelweed (touch-me-not); naturalized alien plants included common mullein, English plantain, shepherd’s purse, and blessed thistle (milk thistle), just to name a few. Herbs are known mostly for their wonderful properties in stress relief as New York Wild Flora states, which is something college students definitely need.
A local shop in Plattsburgh, Gem Goddess Emporium on 72 Margaret Street, has some magical herb options in stock. Gem Goddess Emporium employee Jorraine Martin, more commonly known as Raine, said that the most common sells in the store are lavender, chamomile, St John warts, white sage, dandelion root, rose petals, and Egyptian locust. This long list of the bestsellers in the herb department ranges in ability and uses.
The most common herb from the store that is categorized for stress relief is lavender, which can survive year-round indoors as long as it’s cared for correctly. Herbs need a lot of light. It’s hard to take care of herbs while living in dorms, so Raine suggested that looking for already established herbs in a garden shop is the best way to go: Once they’re established, they’re pretty hearty.
If taking care of herbs is too stressful, another herb-related option is teas. There are all sorts of stress-relief teas that have lavender in them. Gem Goddess Emporium carries “Worry Not Tea,” which contains lavender. A bestseller is Anahata, which means “chakra heart.” Anahata is a tea made up of rose, lemongrass, jasmine, and honeysuckle.
Raine said her favorite herb is feverfew, which she knows helps with migraines and stress relief. Like most herbs, it can be made into a tincture or a kind of home remedy. Raine expressed that “there is so much stress going on and anything to help naturally to relieve such stress is what we’re here for”. Another tip Raine gave to help with stress is to walk barefoot and feel the grass move under you to reconnect with mother nature. Waking in nature itself is best and being near water is Raine’s favorite stress reliever, she said.
Gem Goddess Emporium is going to add to its herbalists ability.
“Herbs are healers and so are we,” Raine said. “We are going to become apothecaries to heal more people. The pharmaceutical companies have a monopoly on medicine and home remedies are hidden. We want to promote healing. The natural world has taken care of us for a long time and will continues if permission is granted.”
Herbs are just the beginning of a natural journey into self care. Just chive your best and if you need some encourage-mint, look to herbs.