It is such a pleasure to be back for another visit at the Greenbrier Herbalist apothecary. I’m sipping lemon verbena tea with proprietor and herbalist Sharon Moncrief, while a crop of the fresh herb is drying next to where I’m sitting. Sharon has been invited to be our Producer of the Month again, one year later, as her herbal remedies are quite popular and effective among our customers.
I jumped right into asking for her best recommendations during the winter cold and flu season. That was an easy answer for Sharon – her specialty is herbal remedies for upper and lower respiratory conditions. The Greenbrier Herbalist tinctures you want to have in your home medicine cabinet include Flu Chaser, an elderberry syrup that is popular and effective. The herbalist suggests, “A half teaspoon once or twice a day can be taken as a preventative.”
The tincture Cold Ease is for viral head colds. As Sharon notes, “If you get a cold or flu in the wintertime, herbs can help you get better faster, and soothe the symptoms so you’re a little less miserable.”
A word of caution: “It’s so important to not let a cold or flu turn into bronchitis, which can then become something more serious.” And that’s why there is a Greenbrier Herbalist Bronchio Blend. “Bronchio Blend is the formula to use if a cold starts to go down the chest. It tastes pretty bad but it’s very strong and works effectively to help you get better from bronchitis or even pneumonia and OK to be taken along with antibiotics.”
Adding one more product to the list of basics, Sharon comments, “My Cough Calm syrup goes nicely with the Bronchio Blend. The syrup tastes good, so take the Bronchio Blend first, and then follow it with a little bit of the Cough Calm.” This was capped with a bit of common sense yet important advice: “Remember to rest, drink plenty of liquids, and take a few days off when really sick. We have a tendency to try to continue to work even when we don’t feel well, and that can make you much worse. It’s always better to take a few days off to get well rather than be sick for weeks and weeks.”
Parents will be happy to know that Greenbrier Herbalist tinctures are safe to use in small amounts with children above toddler age. “If using something like Bronchio Blend with a child, mixing it with a little maple syrup makes it easier to take. Sometimes with young children, using the Cough Calm alone is enough, because there are some expectorants in the syrup. I find that children often respond well to gentle, small amounts of herbs.”
Delving a little deeper into the effectiveness of herbal remedies, I asked Sharon what they do that are different from more traditional drugstore products. Her response: “Many over-the-counter meds will tend to dry up the mucus or suppress the cough, which can be counterproductive. In holistic medicine we recognize that these symptoms are part of the body’s natural healing processes, so we try to support that healing. Greenbrier Herbalist blends are formulated to encourage expectoration, support productive cough, and keep the immune system fighting. These herbal remedies are designed to both help you feel better, strengthen the immune system, and also to help the tissues return to a healthy state.”
Switching gears, here’s an update from Sharon since our last interview: “Over this summer, more than 60% of the herbs I made extracts from came from either growing on farms such as Barefoot Gardens, here in Bucks County, or I harvested wild here in Bucks County. I have a goal that within three years I will increase that to over 80%. I believe that ‘buy local’ should apply to our medicine as well as our food!”
You will have an opportunity to meet this passionate local herbalist, and ask questions during two demos scheduled during the month: Saturday, January 9, 10:30 – 12:30, and Saturday, January 23, 10:30 – 12:30.
Remember, purchase your Greenbrier Herbalist products during the month of January at the Doylestown Food Market and receive 20% off. Find out more about the business here: www.greenbrierherbalist.com. In addition, Sharon is available to answer questions and for private consults.