A new spin on something forgotten: the apothecary

tincturesvinegarsSGYou may or may not have heard by now — either way — I’ve opened up a plant-lovin’ apothecary with a friend here in Mississippi!  We’ve crafted a local, home-grown, woman-owned herbal apothecary.  Since I’m always making herbal preparations, I thought — might as well make some more and swirl it around the small town of Starkville.   Thankfully, we’ve been met with open arms and many folks made donations and prepay pledges to get us off the ground our first couple weeks of operation.

We’ve designed our small biz in a special way to keep our creative juices flowing and to keep us from getting stuck in too many details (at least for now).  We have very little overhead as we sell/drop-off at the local market and ship to those who can’t pick-up locally.  We offer new herbal offerings on the Equinoxes, Solstices, and Celtic holidays — about 8 offerings a year — bi-monthly, basically.  We also teach workshops and volunteer teach on certain occasions (for example, the local public schools).

apothecaryThe name of the apothecary is Sweet Gum Springs Apothecary.  The night of the birth of this apothecary, I was driving home from my friend’s house after a long talk about the vision and nature of the apothecary.  We couldn’t think of a name but loved the idea of calling it an apothecary.  Herbal apothecaries used to be a cornerstone in most communities in the US before big-pharma.  As I was driving home, I passed an historical marker near a Methodist church.  It said Hicashabaha Springs and that there used to be a spring that flowed right through that area.

SG 1After a little research, most translations said that Hicashabaha meant, “a spring with Sweet Gums” or “Sweet Gum leaves floating on the water.”  I happened to already have a bit of a liking for the Sweet Gum trees, their five-pointed leaves, and their crazy little seed balls.  I also liked the idea of honoring this spring as the local Native American tribal women were known to gather there and weave baskets.  I couldn’t imagine the many untold stories that swirled at the edges of this spring now covered up by asphalt and pavement.  I felt that honoring this spring was also honoring the local tribe — the Choctaw and sub-communities of that tribe — and the vibrant watershed that once flowed through this area.

I think I’ve always had making plant medicine in my bones.  When I was younger, I would make flower water (I called perfume) that would mold shortly thereafter.  Alas, an honest attempt at harnessing the power of flowers.  I also made sachets from magnolia leaves, stuffing them with fragrant honeysuckle flowers and tying them up with string.  With that in mind, I’ve begun channeling that young, budding herbalist that was temporarily cut-off from crafting medicine from plants.  Creating this apothecary with my friend has been a very fulfilling experience…and I feel that there is more to come!

sweetgumspringOur first herbal offering was March 20th and it went really well!  We’ve never dipped into the red in terms of our budget and we continue to garner community support.    We’re very mindful of where/how we source materials and we wild-craft and grow a good bit of the plants and trees ourselves.

Here’s what we have available for our May 1st offering.  Please feel free to share our info with anyone you think may be interested!  You can go directly to the website by clicking here:

Queen of Hungary Water (8 oz, 12 oz reused bottle) $20, $25 – This beautiful Gypsy creation is a must have for your cosmetic needs.  It’s most known for it’s astringent and toning properties for the face as well as its ability to keep acne at bay.  It can be used in a variety of cosmetic applications.  Our recipe includes a beautiful array of herbs to delight your skin: rose petals, orange peel, lavender, sage, rosemary, apple cider vinegar & rose water. Indulge your skin!

Lavender Truffles (6) $9 – Tantalize your taste buds with these decadent, aromatic truffles!  Combining lavender and dark chocolate can never be wrong, right?

Nutrient-Rich Infusion (4 oz loose leaf tea) $13 – This herbal tea blend is perfect for boosting your nutrient intake and nourishing your whole body.  We’ve combined Red Raspberry Leaf, Linden flowers, Oatstraw, Nettles, Meadowsweet & Red Clover for an all over body tonic and nurturing infusion.  Drink to your health and power up with nature’s multi-vitamin herbs!

The Balm (First Aid Salve, 4 oz) $22 – This salve is a doozy!  Green goodness straight from our gardens to help whatever ails the skin.  From bug bites & stings, to rashes, burn, cuts and everything in between… so many uses and soooo effective, too!  That is why we call it “The Balm”.

Cinnamint Remineralizing Tooth Powder (2 oz jar) $10 – Another popular request at Sweet Gum!  Rosemary Gladstar jokes that clay was the original tooth paste and brushing our teeth with sweetened gunk is a modern trend!  In fact, most all commercial brand toothpastes have a base of bentonite clay (they just trick the consumer with the labeling!).  Remineralize with bentonite clay, refresh & cleanse your mouth with cinnamon and peppermint, while white oak bark tightens the gums.  A little goes a long way and this will last you quite awhile!

Rose-mint Jelly (8 oz) $8 Try our herb infused jelly for a alternative to standard jams.  Add it to your favorite shortbread cookies or top off a piece of buttered toast.  We won’t be surprised when you feel the urge to sneak a spoonful while sipping on your favorite tea!  Rose petals and mint will surely be a delight!

Immunobooster Tincture (1 oz) $12 – This Powerhouse combination of herbs will stimulate your immune system to treat what ails you.  It is not for long term use, but more appropriately to use at the onset of an infection until the infection has cleared.  You can also use it when flying, or when you expect to be exposed to potential viral infections.  Black walnut, propolis, cottonwood buds, and usnea.

Nerve Nourishment Tincture (1 oz) $12 – Relax and uplift your body, mind & soul with this beautiful nervine nourishing tonic.  Just envisioning these beautiful herbs nourishes my psyche!  Mimosa, lemon balm, motherwort, passionflower & tulsi will balance, support, relax and renew you!

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2 thoughts on “A new spin on something forgotten: the apothecary

  1. I love to read about the dreams you’re actualizing, and all the amazing healing-goodness you and Mandi are creating! I’ve been using that salve from last year almost on a daily basis. Sending you all lots of love from California.

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