First of all- I’d like to note that I am always conflicted as to how to spell ‘hippie’. Hippy? I am not sure which is more correct. Thoughts on spelling preference would be appreciated.
Anyway. My school has this neat thing called Herbal Ways Club, and several weeks ago my roommate came home and was insistent that I get out of my comfy bed to come sample some elderberry infused honey that he had concocted in said club. The honey was good, and I was mildly intrigued by Herbal Ways Club at this point. I’d heard of it (thanks to campus-wide emails, of course- love those) but had not really thought about going. I know nothing about herbs. Okay, that’s a lie. But really, my herbal knowledge is limited. I’d for sure be a poser if I went. But after this honey, and the tea and the lip balm and the hand salve and the herbal knowledge with which he came home in the following weeks, I decided that–poser or not–I was going to check this Herbal Ways thing out. I mean, you pay $2 to attend, get to use all of their resources, and get to keep whatever you make. Pretty legit deal.
So I went. Holy overwhelming situation. Again, limited herbal knowledge here. Brandon (roommate) had given me a book to look through before going so I could figure out what I wanted to do. I browsed through it thinking, “Oh…this is kind of cool…but way too intense for me…I’ll just make some tea.” Not smart. Should have been more focused. My school does not mess around. Here are some options for ingredients, as offered by Herbal Ways:
This is merely one wall. And this little room is separate from the huge kitchen of stoves and other stuff necessary for herbal concocting. Told you- overwhelming.
The guy in charge (a fellow student, I think) was super nice and talked to me like I wasn’t an herbal idiot, though we both knew I was. He was incredibly helpful and it would’ve been a pointless excursion for me without his guidance. Even with his guidance, though, I spent most of my time digging through these:
Interesting stuff, I tell you. Seriously.
So anyway, I made some tea. And by “made” I mean more like ‘finally-decided-on-some (random?)-stuff-to-mix-together-in-whatever-proportion-I-wanted’…and then called it tea. David (herbal guide extraordinaire) was again super helpful. I told him I wanted something with rose and he helped me go from there.
So, what I ended up with was rose, lemon balm, spearmint, hawthorn, and motherwort. Lovely. Seriously, it was good. It smelled SO good. And it tastes good, too. All the herbal pros who were running around concocting herbal amazingness were impressed. Yay!
Rose is supposed to be good for skin. Interesting, right? Makes sense that people cleanse with rose water. Motherwort is calming/therapeutic. Apparently it is sometimes put in saunas? I liked it a lot. Spearmint added a nice flavor, as did the lemon balm, but the herbal properties of all it are escaping me now. I know that what I made was a calming/soothing tea, though not at all a sedative of any sort.
I really want to go back and make more cool stuff. Like, a cleansing white clay/rose face mask/wash thing I read about in this book.
This book is awesome. It is beyond informative and is so user friendly, which is important for herbal idiots/posers like myself. I guess it is no longer in hardcover, so I was informed to buy it –no matter the price–if ever I see it in hardcover. While I did not rush to search for a hardcover copy, I did rush to the library to check it out. I have to be prepared for my next Herbal Ways Club adventure, duh.
So what is the take-home message here? The take-home message is that I’m switching from nutrition/dietetics to herbal sciences… Joke. Calm down,
Mom and Dad, people. The real take-home message is that my school is awesome. For real. Things like Herbal Ways Club remind me of the reasons I chose to come out here. How many students can say that they had opportunities like this? I’d guess not many.
The other take-home message is that I am fully embracing my inner hippy/hippie ways. And loving it.