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Meet Our 2023 Herbal Interns!

Meet our WONDERFUL Herbal Interns of 2023! Val & Pamela have been busy all spring, summer, and fall tending to plants, researching, and helping with herbal projects around the Shoppe & Wellness Center.

Pictured: Pamela, Connie, Val, Clara

Meet Pamela Morgan:

I grew up in a very small town and on my grandparents farm. I currently live in Arlington, MN with my husband of 15 years and my 9 year old son. I’m a massage therapist of 20 years, graduating with a certificate from MN School of Business and an associates degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University. I’ve completed Matthew Alfs’ Western Herbalism Certificate course and a few of his assessment skills classes. I’m also taking Connie’s Home Herbalist classes.

What’s your favorite herb & how do you like to use it?

Oddly, my favorite herb to use is garlic. I use it with everything in cooking, and also as a preventative when starting to come down with a sickness.

What made you interested in herbal medicine?

From a young age I’ve wanted to help others. I eventually want to use herbs and food to help clients heal their pain and bodies. Also, my son and I have a number of food sensitivities and health issues. I wanted to help heal us both first, in a sustainable, cost effective way.

One piece of advice or tip for others wanting to learn herbal medicine.

Start with basic, gentle, usable herbs you can incorporate easily into your everyday life. There are so many herbs that will help the same issue and it can easily become overwhelming.

Your favorite fun fact about a plant.

Poisonous plants and their antidotes generally grow near each other, jewelweed tends to grow near poison ivy, poison oak, and poison hemlock.

Meet Val Effertz:

My first introduction to herbal medicine was working at a horse rescue ranch. I was put in charge of the herbal/supplement program. At the time I didn’t realize that these strange named plants (milk thistle, ashwagandha, neem, bladderwrack, etc.) were anything but fancy grass for the animals. Yes, this was how “green” I was, not to mention that my world was very small. I had no idea that herbalism was alive and growing. I thought this knowledge died with our great grandma’s.

My first herb walk was in 2021 here at The Lamb Shoppe with Connie. I literally went home in tears. I’m really not trying to be overly dramatic by saying, for the first time in my life I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. Be an herbalist! Here I am 2 ½ years later trying to learn everything I can while having the blessing of great teachers to learn from.

What’s your favorite herb & how do you like to use it?

I was asked what my favorite herb is, and I couldn’t do it. I have at least 6 top herbs, but I brought it down to two: Solomon Seal (Polygonatum spp.) Many family members have benefited from the amazing muscle/bone activity of this herb. I use this mostly in a combination tincture spray. The second herb is Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) I was simply drawn to the quiet strength of its energy at first and after researching and growing this uniquely beautiful plant in my herb garden I really came to appreciate the endless list of herbal actions this plant has to offer. I also used this herb as a bone remedy for a friend that crushed her foot and ankle.

One piece of advice or tip for others wanting to learn herbal medicine and your favorite fun fact about a plant.

Advice to beginners such as myself: Try to explore the history and the plant signature. This really helped me remember better and helped match the plant to the tissue state. For example, I find it remarkable that fireweed (chamerion angustifolium) is one of the first plants to colonize after a fire or when the land has been disturbed. It makes sense that it is a cooling herb.

I want to give Connie and Clara a huge Thank You for their patience, guidance, encouragement and freely sharing all their skills and knowledge with me. (I never thought I would actually like to research) AND I got to meet Matthew Wood through this adventure. Amazing!!

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