Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight | Nate Peltier

NECTAR APOTHECARY CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT | NATE PELTIER

At Nectar Apothecary, we have been blessed with the most warm, delightful customers imaginable—and Nate Peltier is one of them. Nate is a charming, grounded artist and musician with a background in environmental geology and a deep love for community. Everyone who works at Nectar has felt an almost immediate kinship with him. From environmental design, to ceramics, to cooking and tea, Nate always has an interesting experience or insight to share. Here’s your chance to learn a little more about what makes this unique individual so special. You can also find his wonderful illustrations on social media under the handle @blockhead_art.

Would you share a little bit about yourself, your background, where you’re from, etc.?

Well! My name is Nate Peltier, I am 24 years old and I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s hard to say where I’m from because I feel that every place I have lived has influenced me so much that no longer do I strictly identify with one geographic location. When I turned 18, I moved up to Ashland, Wisconsin (right on the South Shore of Lake Superior) to study Environmental Geology at Northland College. I fell in love with the area by the tail end of my schooling (better late than never, I suppose), but ultimately decided I needed to situate myself somewhere that had longer periods of sunshine! So after I finished my degree, I moved to Prescott to pursue a new life in the sun. I’ve been here for almost two years now and it feels better and better each day. I am really into all kinds of creation such as drawing, painting, printmaking, jewelry crafting, tattoo, and music. I have been playing guitar for 13 years and it plays a large role in my life! I always enjoy hiking, running, backpacking, rock climbing, biking and really anything that can prolong my stay in the outdoors.

How have natural remedies such as herbs and essential oils made a difference in your life?

When I first started working with herbs, one of the biggest things I noticed was that simply the routine of seeking out different herbs (with certain intentions) and taking time to prepare them, whether in a tea, decoction or tincture, was enough to make me feel as if my quality of life was improving. It was perhaps the first benefit I received - and it was because I was trying to find ways to optimize my health and work with my body in an unfamiliar (but yet oh so familiar) way. Other than that, I feel as if the herbs I rely on a weekly or daily basis have made a difference in my life by boosting my immune system, upping my average mental clarity, regulating my energy levels and helping cope with the stress of a busy life.As far as essential oils go, I I haven’t taken the time to learn about aromatherapy and the likes, but I have been experimenting with essential oils regardless for about 5 years now! Longer than herbs. Most likely because they have greater curb appeal than, say, a bag of Mugwort. All the different smells and experiences are so stimulating and it is a fun outlet for fine-tuning one’s intuition - the intuition of what experience your body may want work with in a certain moment.

How do you fit herbs and essential oils into your daily routine?

I work with a handful of herbal tinctures on the daily, all for different reasons. And for the most part, I really don’t know what I’m doing by taking these certain tinctures, but that is more than half the reason why I work with tinctures on a regular basis - in hopes to gain first-hand experience with a specific plant’s wisdom. On top of this, I will make herbal teas (mostly at night) because they are very soothing to me! Also, I will add herbs to just about every cup of tea I make throughout the day. Rose and lavender being my favorites! As for essential oils, I have a diffuser at home that I run consistently nowadays. I have really been digging on geranium, vetiver and pine oils lately!

What else do you do to take care of yourself and the people around you?

I try to make good wholesome meals that are worth sharing as frequently as possible! I try to play music and explore new outlets of creativity as much as I can. I try to move my body in different ways, some being purely for exercise and to get out in the woods. I try to keep things interesting, laugh a lot, break routines and surprise myself. Really though, I just try to listen to my heart to find a balance within myself and in my external life experience because I believe that no matter what you do to take care of yourself, it could all be for not if you aren’t listening to your inner voice and finding ways to follow your feet.

Why do you like to shop at Nectar Apothecary?

I like to shop at Nectar Apothecary because I love the people who work there! I swear I’m not brown-nosing. I genuinely appreciate the atmosphere that has been crafted by these fine individuals who care so much about creating a space focused on health and harmony. As individuals, each and every one of them has a lot to share with the world - including a LOT of herbal wisdom between the group (that they are more than willing to share to great extents). It truly feels like a safe space located right in the heart of downtown Prescott. It goes without saying, but their herbs and teas are of supreme quality and come at a good price - so really there is nothing to lose, and only stuff to gain by shopping locally at Nectar.

What is your favorite herb, essential oil or tea, what do you like about it and why do you use it?

If I have to choose just one, I would say that my favorite herb historically has been Eleuthero, also known as Siberian Ginseng. It is the first adaptogen I started experimenting with, and also perhaps the herb that has stuck with me the longest, and most consistently. At first, what I really liked about it was that it gave me a good 30-minute forced break in all of my days. It became a routine to decoct Eleuthero in the morning, and drink it throughout the day. What I noticed at first was that my insomnia dissipated into thin air. I was having so much trouble falling asleep for YEARS and years - to the point where I had accepted my general lack of sleep as part of my reality. To this day, I use Eleuthero less frequently and at lower doses, but my sleep cycle remains unimpeded by insomnia. These days I like to use it more for the stimulating effects it can have, thinking that maybe it gives me a cutting edge while rock-climbing or performing physically demanding activities.

If you were a medicinal plant, what plant would you be and why?

I think I would be Creosote, partly because it is so versatile and useful but MOSTLY because then I would make so many other creatures smile when it rains. That would be such a sweet thing. And not to mention, I would probably be more self-indulgent due to the fact that I would enjoy my own smell.

What else would you like to share?

I am grateful to be a part of the community of Prescott! I am grateful for places like Nectar Apothecary for caring more about connection and their role in the community than making a sale - and I am happy to have this chance to express my gratitude for these people, on showcase to all who care to look! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! And many hopes that this place we all call home for the time being can continue to refine its’ ways - finding better paths to stimulate the economy and whatnot by creating relationships and sharing knowledge just for the sake of sharing knowledge!

We are grateful for you too Nate. Thanks so much for all the kind words and for participating in our Customer Spotlight. We are so fortunate to have you as a part of our community. Hopefully the rest of you will have the opportunity to meet Nate out on the trails or creating art around town. Thank you again, and cheers to you Nate!

Looking for more herbal inspiration?

Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight | Zach Dominguez

NECTAR APOTHECARY CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT | ZACH DOMINGUEZ

Zach and his sweet dog Rowan have been popping into the shop to share tea and stories for years. Whether we’re catching up on astrology, our favorite herbs or natural pet care, it’s always a treat when this duo makes an appearance. Zach is kind, calm, and grounded. He’s often asking about herbs to help a friend or family member. His calm, steady presence are perfectly suited to his chosen career as a dog trainer. Since Zach went to work with our next door neighbors, Whiskers Barkery, we have gotten to know him even better. We hope you’ll enjoy learning about Zach, too!

Would you share a little about yourself, your background, where you’re from, etc.?

My name is Zach Dominguez, and I work in pet retail and as an apprentice dog trainer. I moved to Prescott five years ago from San Francisco, but I have been visiting the area since I was young due to family here. Though working with dogs is my profession and a passion, I fill my time with various hobbies I’ve collected over my 25 years. I’m a piano player, a mountain biker, a reader, and an avid fan of watching downtown Prescott’s family of ravens.

How have natural remedies like herbs and essential oils made a difference in your life?

It’s no exaggeration to say that meeting the people at Nectar and learning about all of these wonderful plants has changed my life for the better. I have more independence when it comes to my health, a deeper understanding of how the body functions naturally (and how to listen to mine), and overall a greater appreciation of our planet.

How do you fit herbs and essential oils into your daily routine?

I usually incorporate herbs into my day through tea and tinctures. I have a personal tincture blend of Eleuthero and Saw Palmetto that I take daily, and I usually make time around the end of the day to relax with some kind of sleepy blend of tea. Beyond that, I’m always thinking up different batches of tea based on what herbs might help me in that moment. I keep a wide variety of bulk herbs at my home. I don’t use essential oils very much, but I do try to remember to use my diffuser every now and then while I sleep–especially during allergy season.

What else do you do to take care of yourself and the people around you?

I find myself often suggesting to friends and family certain herbs to look into for their ailments, especially given the fact that many people I know either don’t have medical insurance, or a doctor, or the money for a prescription. I also incorporate my love for herbal medicine into my work. More often than not, customers whose dogs are having health issues are told by their vets that they need a certain drug. I’m by no means as knowledgeable as a veterinarian, but I am a believer that most mild ailments dogs experience don’t warrant the usage of a heavy prescription that taxes the body in other ways. I think many people would agree, but they don’t have the knowledge themselves to make any other decision than what their vet tells them. When I’m explaining to a customer exactly how the herbs function in the natural supplements we carry at Whiskers Barkery, they are better equipped to make an educated decision.

Why do you like to shop at Nectar Apothecary?

In general, I just love being in the space! There’s always a sweet scent of some essential oil and a cup of tea to welcome you. I’m lucky enough to work right next door, so I often pop in to utilize the library in the back corner, just to look up some herb I’ve been thinking about. I appreciate that I can either help myself to all the bulk herbs and form a relationship with herbal medicine of my own, or trust in the blends and products that Nectar has created.

What’s your favorite herb, essential oil or tea, what do you like about it, and why do you use it?

I guess I’m one of the weirdos who loves the smell and taste of Valerian. Sleep has always been a struggle for me. I can lie awake for hours with endless brain chatter. One day I met this volatile herb and it was love at first sip. Well, maybe third cup. I’ve spent so many late nights relaxing and stretching before bed with a cup of Valerian filling the room with its funky gym socks smell. I read somewhere that it smells like “bubblegum from Jupiter.” Lovely! It is, of course a sedative, but also an antispasmodic and a carminative. I think it’s a great herb to keep on hand for any kind of late-night restlessness, whether it be body or mind. As a tea, I enjoy mixing it with Chamomile or St. John’s Wort, but I have also seen Valerian suggested with Cramp Bark and Wild Yam for pain and cramping.

Do you have any advice for someone, just starting to explore natural remedies?

Pick just a few herbs and learn them inside and out. The 101 class at Nectar is perfect for this. I think the way I got started was by learning the herbal actions that would most benefit my body, and then learning the herbs in those categories.

What else would you like to share?

A pivotal moment in my acceptance and belief in the power of herbs came when my dog Rowan was having some kind of digestive disorder. She vomited bile three times in twenty minutes her abdomen was bloated and hot, and she wouldn’t let me touch her—very unusual for her. Of course, I’m panicking, looking up my vet’s phone number. I remembered reading about rubbing lavender essential oil down the spine to calm a dog. After a few minutes of doing so, she went from nipping at me when I tried to touch her belly, to laying sideways with her head on my lap. From there, I held an acupressure point suggested by a wonderful book Four Paws, Five Directions, and she quickly woke up, made a contented sigh, stood up and gracefully walked to the water bowl. No vet call needed. I guess I’m sharing this because I always held onto the fear of, “What if these herbs don’t work when I really need them?”, and I was so relieved and thankful when the Lavender made a real difference on my dog. Animals don’t experience the placebo effect.

What a great story about the healing power of plants! Thanks so much Zach, for sharing your time and energy with us, for participating in our Customer Spotlight and for being part of our community. It is an honor to serve and support you in your herbal journey. Hopefully the rest of our community will have the opportunity to meet Zach in person. You’ll likely run into him next door at Whiskers Barkery, riding his bike on the trails or sipping tea at Nectar. Here’s to you, Zach!

Looking for more herbal inspiration?

Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight | Janet Wilson

NECTAR APOTHECARY CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT | JANET WILSON

This month’s Nectar Spotlight belongs to Janet Wilson, an herbalist-in-training and professional gardener with a deep connection to plants and the natural world. When I met Janet, I felt an immediate connection. From new gardening projects, fermenting in her kitchen, growing new plants, or brewing up new potions, Janet always has something new and interesting to share. We love having her vibrant and genuine soul as a part of our community at Nectar. Here’s more about Janet in her own words.

Would you share a little about yourself, your background, where you’re from, etc.?

I grew up in Vermont and moved here in 2008 to attend Prescott College. There I explored my interests in education, environmental studies, and adventure education. Over time, I was drawn toward deepening my plant studies and last year I enrolled in Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine’s Immersion Program and started a gardening business.

What did your family do for healthcare when you were growing up?

We had a conventional family doctor. Antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals were commonly used. We had teas and some natural remedies around but were often encouraged to use “the stuff that really works.”

How do you fit herbs and essential oils into your daily routine?

I drink lots of tea! Every morning I start with 1-2 cups of jasmine green tea, and often I will brew up something to drink throughout the day. Chaga mushroom, reishi mushroom, hibiscus, and CCF (cumin, coriander, fennel) are some of my favorites. These are all good base teas to add other herbs to. Recently I have been making big batches of hibiscus tea, then adding some mint and storing it in a pitcher in the fridge—very  refreshing in this heat! And even though it’s hot these days, I’ll still bring a thermos of hot CCF tea with me to work to sip on throughout the day; it’s a great gentle, detoxifying beverage.

What else do you do to take care of yourself and the people around you?

Cooking and gardening are both very therapeutic for me. I love cooking meals for friends and family, even more so as I learn to cook nourishing meals with locally grown, fresh ingredients.

Why do you like to shop at Nectar Apothecary?

We are so fortunate to have Nectar in our town. Suzanne and the staff at Nectar are very knowledgeable and approachable. All the herbs and products are of the highest quality. You can really tell how fresh everything is. The bulk herbs have vibrant color and the tinctures really taste like the plants. Whenever I’m traveling, I make a point to visit local herbal apothecaries; I still have yet to find one that offers all that Nectar does. Shopping at Nectar inspires me to deepen my herb studies, and is a wonderful resource for anyone learning about herbal medicine.

Have you taken classes at Nectar? What was your class experience?

I have been taking the Materia Medica classes as often as I can. They are a great addition to my medicinal plant studies. The downside of the online program I am enrolled in is not interacting with all of the herbs I’m studying. The Materia Medica series is thorough and informative, and gives me the chance to interact more with these herbs. Suzanne has created easy to read packets with charts and information on the herbs most useful for all of the major body systems. She passes around dried herbs, tinctures, and tea to taste and smell, which helps us familiarize and connect more with the specific herbs we are discussing.

What type of DIY herbal projects do you have in the works?

I have a lot of tea blends I have been trying out. Many recipes are from Rosemary Gladstar’s books, which you can find at Nectar, and some are my own creations. I’m also growing more medicinal herbs each year. Some new ones in the garden this year are hops, Echinacea, four varieties of tulsi, lemongrass, hibiscus, gotu kola and comfrey.

Do you have any advice for someone, just starting to explore natural remedies?

Connect with others who are dabbling with herbs! It’s fun to hear about what other people are learning about and creating. Spend time in Nectar and chat with any of the staff. Classes are a great way to create new connections with other budding herbalists! Also, make sure you’re using credible, up to date resources. Casually researching on Google can lead to misinformation. Nectar offers a great selection of books, and ask about Suzanne’s resources recommendation list!

What else would you like to share?

It is empowering to delve into herbal medicine and learn how to take care of yourself. A holistic approach to health and healing will have much greater results than a purely pharmaceutical health plan. Take your time, connect with your local herbalist community, and be open to what the plant world has to offer.

Thanks so much Janet, for participating in our Customer Spotlight and for being such a radical part of the Nectar community. Hopefully you get the opportunity to meet Janet yourself. You’ll likely run into Janet at the Prescott Farmer’s Market, in a class at the shop or getting her hands dirty in garden beds around town. She is truly a great friend and resource in our brilliant herbal network.

Looking for more herbal inspiration?

Nectar Apothecary Team Member Spotlight | Tiara Leitzman

Nectar Apothecary Team Member Spotlight | Tiara Leitzman

Its been almost three years since Tiara arrived in Prescott, crossed the threshold at Nectar and changed our lives forever. She was drawn to learning about herbs, oils, and natural skincare, but she brought a wealth of knowledge and creativity all her own. You won’t hear her bragging about it, but Tiara has completely transformed our presence on Instagram and Facebook and now plays a major role in all our marketing endeavors, from idea generation, to photoshoots and photo editing, ad content and development.

During her transformational time at Nectar, Tiara has been studying herbal medicine and learning to support people in need. While her herbal skill and knowledge are considerable, her kindness and caring come naturally and will be the root of her success as an herbalist.

Here’s Tiara in her own words.

Would you share a little about yourself, your background, where you’re from, etc.?

Hi there, I’m Tiara! My fiancé and I moved to Arizona three years ago from Indiana to build our tiny house on wheels. We now live in Prescott with our chicken nugget of a dog named Fiona.

What did your family do for healthcare when you were growing up?

I didn’t even know natural remedies existed until I was an adult. I was raised on a steady rotation of over-the-counter drugs and antibiotics. There was a pill for every symptom and our family doctor “knew all.”

How have natural remedies like herbs and essential oils made a difference in your life?

Herbs and essential oils have completely enhanced my life and well-being. Using plant medicine teaches you to be in-tune with your mind, body, and spirit in a way that modern medicine can not. Knowing that I can reach into my little apothecary to maintain balance in my daily rhythm instills a confidence in me that I never knew I had.

How do you fit herbs and essential oils into your daily routine?

My daily rotation of plant medicine includes a lung tonic tincture, to strengthen and restore balance to my respiratory system, an adaptogen blend, to ground and calm my nervous system, and an essential oil blend called Calm Balm, to relieve tension and stress throughout the day. I get excited when I meet a new plant ally so my daily routine always has something new sprinkled in.

Why do you like working at Nectar Apothecary?

Working a Nectar Apothecary has been such a gift, it honestly doesn’t even feel like work! My favorite part of Nectar Apothecary is learning from my great friends and herbal mentors, Suzanne Teachey and Cathie Devore. Without their guidance it would have taken me A LOT longer to discover my true passion. I’m eternally grateful for their love and wisdom. Aside from meeting some of my greatest friends, Nectar Apothecary allows me to guide and learn from others on their wellness journey. Each day I get to have incredible conversations with like-minded individuals who inspire me constantly.

What’s your favorite herb, essential oil or tea, what do you like about it, and why do you use it?

ELECAMPANE. Meeting Elecampane for the first time was such a magical experience and I have been infatuated with her ever since. Elecampane is such a unique plant that works on many levels. It is an expectorant that helps clear the lungs. It’s an alterative, meaning it helps the body cleanse and detoxify. It’s also a bitter and carminative that stimulates digestion and helps ease gas and bloating. Elecampane is also used energetically to help break-up stagnant energy and expel negative energy. I often rely on elecampane to protect my energy through grounding when I’m feeling over-extended and/or depleted. Not to mention, the aroma of elecampane is so intoxicating to me– so much to love!

Do you have any advice for someone, just starting to explore natural remedies?

As soon as I discovered plant medicine I wanted to know everything, right then. Patience is key! Make sure you find a credible resource for your information. Create or join a local herb-nerd community, attend herbal classes (like the ones we offer here at Nectar!), go to the library to stock up on books from different herbalists, seek a mentor, or give The Herbal Academy a visit online. (Suzanne’s blogs are also a GREAT resource!) There are so many ways to get started and everyone has their own path. Get creative, enjoy every bit of the process and make it your own!

If you were a medicinal plant, what plant would you be and why?

I would love to say Elecampane because I think it is such a magical plant. However, I have always identified with Dandelion. It was the first plant I remember playing with as a child, popping off their golden tops or making a wish on their fluffy seeds. Dandelions are such light and playful little weeds, yet they pack a resilient punch- always managing to pop right back up after hardships. We all have a little dandelion power in us.

What else would you like to share?

Have fun, be patient, and respect our precious mother! You will never stop learning about the many gifts that plants have to offer us. Take care of this gorgeous planet so she can continue to offer us these incredible resources. Harvest responsibly and educate yourself on endangered plants through resources like United Plant Savers.

Tiara is a bright, shining light. We are so very happy that she has found her passion and we are very grateful for her work, her friendship and her beautiful presence in our lives. Thank you SO much, Tiara!

Do you have a favorite moment with or anecdote to share about Tiara? Drop us a comment below to share.

With love,
suzanne

Looking for more herbal inspiration?

Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight | Diane Harvey

NECTAR APOTHECARY CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT | DIANE HARVEY

This month’s Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight belongs to Diane Harvey. I haven’t know Diane very long, but her open heart and ready affection make me feel like I’ve known her a lifetime. She is a radiant, kind and light-filled soul. Every time she stops in the shop she brings a hug and a charge of positive energy with her. I love having Diane in class. As a former research librarian, I can count on her to ask pointed, clarifying questions that get right to the heart of the issue. Here’s more about Diane in her own words.

Would you share a little about yourself, your background, where you’re from, etc.?

I grew up on the east coast and lived there until my husband Dave and I relocated to Prescott last year. After spending my working life as an academic research librarian, I am delighted to be retired and doing yoga, hiking the amazing trails around Prescott, and learning about herbs at Nectar.

What did your family do for healthcare when you were growing up?

We always had a medicine cabinet filled with over the counter remedies — something for every condition. If we had an ache or pain, my mother would say, “Take something for it” and reach in the cabinet. I’ve tended to go in the opposite direction and resist taking medication. Herbs are something I feel much more comfortable with.

What are the biggest challenges you face in taking good care of yourself and living a healthy lifestyle?

Simply paying attention to how I feel, both physically and emotionally, is an ongoing challenge for me. As my mindfulness and awareness have grown through practices such as yoga and meditation, I’m better able to understand how I’m feeling and seek healthy solutions.

How have natural remedies like herbs and essential oils made a difference in your life?

For years I’ve wanted to know more about herbs and essential oils. Now I have resources, like the lovely folks at Nectar, who can help me. By using tinctures, teas, and skin lotions, I have been able to balance body and mind and establish daily and long term practices that work for me.

What else do you do to take care of yourself and the people around you?

My committed meditation and yoga practices are an excellent fit with incorporating more herbal solutions into my daily life. I love to cook and enjoy the variety of fresh ingredients I’m able to find locally. I venture out for hikes as often as I can — Arizona sunshine is a remarkable tonic.

Why do you like to shop at Nectar Apothecary?

Nectar was one of the first places I discovered when I moved to Prescott — right along with a yoga studio and coffee shops! It is a beautiful space where the products are invitingly and carefully displayed. But of course it is the staff that makes the store special. I’ve learned so much from them and they’ve become friends. Whenever I’m out for a walk downtown, I stop by to say hello and see what’s new.

What’s your favorite herb, essential oil or tea, what do you like about it, and why do you use it?

Suzanne blended a tincture for me that I use every day. I enjoyed the consultation conversation that we had beforehand. My favorite tea is Belly Calm Chai, and I am also a fan of the Green Goddess/Green Tea lotion that we made in class. It works perfectly for my skin.

Have you taken classes at Nectar? What was your class experience?

The classes are amazing! I can’t say enough about how helpful and congenial they are. In my work I did a lot of teaching and training, so I particularly appreciate the careful preparation that Suzanne and her staff put into each class. They are well organized, full of information, and have great hands on participation.

Do you have any advice for someone, just starting to explore natural remedies?

Seek out good teachers and good products. There’s a lot of information out there on the internet but it’s hard to know what is reliable. I would rather rely on conversations with people I trust.

If you were a medicinal plant, what plant would you be and why?

Lavender grows easily, has many uses, and smells so good.

We’re lucky to have Diane as a part of our Nectar Apothecary family. I hope you get to meet her; perhaps in one of our up-coming classes, on the yoga mat, or out on the trails on a beautiful day. Thanks so much Diane, for showing up for our Customer Spotlight and for being such a radiant part of the Nectar Community.

Looking for more herbal inspiration?

Nectar Apothecary Team Member Spotlight: Cathie Devore

Nectar Apothecary Team Member Spotlight | Cathie Devore

Cathie has been an essential part of the team at Nectar since before we even opened the doors in September 2014. Her ready smile and commitment to serving others seem to endear her to everyone she meets. In addition to working as an herbalist, Cathie is a yoga teacher with a healthy, active lifestyle. You might find her out on the trails with her dog, Zack, or mountain biking with her husband, Bill.

In 2008, in the midst of a professional career, Cathie began studying herbal medicine when she moved to Boulder, Colorado, taking classes at the local herb shop, Rebecca’s Apothecary. Her time at Rebecca’s inspired her to become a life-long student again—reading, studying, and formulating with herbs. After she moved to Prescott in 2013, Cathie enrolled in the Foundations of Herbal Medicine course offered by Mike Masek at Forager’s Path two hours away in Flagstaff. Shortly before finishing that 9-month course, Cathie came to work at Nectar Apothecary.

What did your family do for healthcare when you were growing up?

My parents took the traditional western medicine route to care for us while we were growing up. We had a pediatrician named Dr. Buckley, and he actually made house calls when needed! I can still remember the three of us being pretty sick, my parents leaving the front door unlocked, and Dr. Buckley coming in during the night to check on us.

Oftentimes, if she thought what we had was mild, my Mom would take us to the pharmacist first before consulting Dr. Buckley. She trusted the pharmacist too, and it was a more cost-efficient route.

How have natural remedies like herbs and essential oils made a difference in your life?

Natural remedies like herbs and essential oils have had a HUGE positive impact on my life! The list includes (and is not limited to!) the quality of my digestive system (Bitters, Chamomile, Licorice, Wild Yam), the calm of my nervous system (Ashwagandha, Passionflower, Skullcap, Lemon Balm), the strength of my immune system (Echinacea, Osha, Elder Berry, Thyme), the beating of my heart (Hawthorn Berry, Motherwort, Rose), the balance of my inflammatory response (Turmeric, Ginger, Green Tea), the health of my skin (Calendula, quality oils, Shea Butter, essential oils of Frankincense, Helichrysum, and Lavender). I am so grateful to these many plants for being my dear allies!

How do you fit herbs and essential oils into your daily routine?

I start my day with green tea (after 3 large cups of hot water), and it goes from there. I routinely take Zyflamend for inflammation (I have a dislocated toe joint), Lion’s Mane (brain health and immune health), Milk Thistle (liver health), and Ashwagandha (nervous system) and then whatever I feel I need. This might include herbs at bedtime (Passionflower and Skullcap) or digestive herbs at mealtime (Chamomile and Ginger). I have a little apothecary at home, and that helps!

What else do you do to take care of yourself and the people around you?

Mostly, I prepare meals with healthy organic whole foods. I have a daily prayerful meditation practice and exercise just about every day (hike with my husband and our dog, practice yoga, bike ride, ski when possible). I also journal daily, usually as a gratitude practice.

Why do you like working at Nectar Apothecary?

I LOVE working at Nectar for a whole host of reasons. We have an especially loving, caring, knowledgeable team and I feel so fortunate to be a member. I love the culture that we have developed, one of a holistic health approach and deeply thoughtful listening. I love talking with customers, hearing their health concerns and stories, trouble-shooting together and formulating ideas to help them. That is truly an honor! I am so grateful that so many have trusted me, taught me, and provided helpful feedback. I also love teaching classes at Nectar and joining so many of our customers on their herbal journey! What a gift!

What’s your favorite herb, essential oil or tea, what do you like about it, and why do you use it?

My favorite herb is Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). It is a calming and restorative adaptogen, immunomodulating, and antispasmodic. As such, it helps the body adapt to stress, strengthens the nervous system, relieves anxiety, stress and exhaustion, supports a balanced immune function, and promotes vitality. I typically use it as a tincture.

My favorite essential oil is Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). It is such a beautiful oil and so multi-purpose. Lavender is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, a calming nervine and wound-healing, to name a few of its actions. I add it to most of my skin care products (salves, lotions, creams, body butters, etc.) and often rub some (diluted) onto the soles of my feet before bed. I love its calming effect!

My favorite tea is Matcha. As a green tea (Camellia sinensis), it is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and has a pronounced effect on the cardiovascular system. Green tea contains L-theanine which both helps stimulate alpha brain waves responsible for mental clarity and focus, and promotes feelings of tranquility and calm. I make a latte with it most mornings! Delicious!

Do you have any advice for someone, just starting to explore natural remedies?

For folks embarking upon their herbal journey, I have some suggestions. Enroll in herb and essential classes at your local apothecary (Nectar offers great classes!). Learn from herbalists and aromatherapists. Buy a book written by a respected herbalist and/or aromatherapist and read it from cover to cover. Become a student! Start experimenting with just one herb: find the one that calls to you and incorporate it into your life. Then add another! Keep an herb/essential oil journal so that you can record your formulations and experiences! Have fun! Ask lots of questions. Herbalists like Suzanne, Tiara, and me are so happy to talk with you and share your journey!

If you were a medicinal plant, what plant would you be and why?

This was a really fun question to answer! I would be Osha (Ligusticum porteri). Osha is also known as “Bear Root” or ” Bear Medicine”, because the bears dig it up when they come out of hibernation to help boost their immune systems and protect them after their long sleep!  I love the smell of Osha root, its many herbal actions, and where it grows in the Rocky Mountains. Additionally, I have a strong connection to the spirit of the Bear. I was a single mom when my children were young and my daughter called me “Mama Bear.” If I were Osha, I might be able to see a bear now and then, and perhaps I could help the plant somehow. It has unfortunately been over-harvested over the years.

Herbalists come from all backgrounds and perspectives, but none with a heart as big as Cathie’s. We are so grateful for her work at Nectar Apothecary, for her expertise and inspiration, and for the deep connections she has created in our community. Her presence is a gift to all who have the opportunity to know her. A deep bow, heart-to-heart hug, and many blessing to you, Cathie.

With love,
suzanne

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Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight | Heather Mead

Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight | Heather Mead

This month’s Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight belongs to Heather Mead, a Prescott native who embodies everything I love about this small town. The first time we met she was making an herbal concoction for her family and I had the most enjoyable experience talking with her about recipes and ingredients. More recently Heather brought me a handwritten copy of the shaving cream recipe she created for her husband. Heather radiates warmth and kindness. She’s real, down to earth, and always has helpful advice.

Would you share a little about yourself, your background, where you’re from, etc.?
My name is Heather and I was born and raised in Prescott. I am married to Garrett and we have eight year old twins, Trace and Ruby. I attended Northern Arizona University and have a BA in Interior design. We are all passionate about learning new things, design, art, cooking, creating, and being in nature. I am most comfortable being a doer, cleaning, and making whatever space I am in more calming, organized, and balanced.

What did your family do for healthcare when you were growing up?
My little brother and I were raised by our Mom who worked hard to provide for us. She put herself through beauty school when we were young, so we spent a lot of time with our grandparents. The two of them had many alternative remedies in their bag of tricks as they grew up during the depression, so we became used to that. Our grandmother also had a bottle of Merthiolate and she used to swab our sore throats with that…let’s just say, no one ever faked having a sore throat!

What are the biggest challenges you face in taking good care of yourself and living a healthy lifestyle?
The most challenging thing for me is time. I am trying to be more mindful about giving myself a little time each day, even if just to wash my face or reflect on my day. I’m good at taking care of other people, and I enjoy doing that, but it is also important to take care of myself. Having young children and other responsibilities means a full schedule most of the time. As they grow and become more self-sufficient there will be more time for other things!

How do you fit herbs and essential oils into your daily routine?
I love cooking and use culinary herbs in most all of our meals. I have also been making facial and body oils that we use daily. My husband uses homemade shaving lotion—when he feels like shaving! We have also been making elderberry syrup to keep our immunity strong.

What else do you do to take care of yourself and the other people around you?
I am very good at making sure my family gets plenty of rest and stays hydrated. We eat healthy, but also enjoy special treats in moderation—that is important for our wellbeing! We try to spend as much time as we can outside, usually riding our mountain bikes on the trails.

Why do you like to shop at Nectar Apothecary?
I love everything about Nectar! The moment I walk in, the smells lift my mood. Everyone who is part of the shop is so knowledgeable and kind. I feel like I still have SO much to learn and try and I love that.

What type of DIY herbal projects do you have in the works?
I am making rosewater with rose petals from my mother’s organic garden and also working on an herbal salt-water spritzer for our hair. I will be sure to let you know how it all goes!

Do you have any advice for someone, just starting to explore natural remedies?
Explore Nectar, ask questions, and just go for it! It’s so amazing to be able to use nature and creativity to create incredible products for your health. It’s much more cost-effective to make things yourself, and you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.

If you were a medicinal plant, what plant would you be and why?
This is a great question, so challenging to answer! I think Rosemary is my best answer. Low maintenance and strong, Rosemary is an independent and simple plant. Rosemary doesn’t like much attention and thrives with very little maintenance. It can be used for so many things from food, to internal healing. Rosemary is an achiever, and so am I!

What a cool person, mom, wife and maker. I feel so fortunate to have gotten to know Heather and look forward to more great conversations with her. Thanks so much Heather, for showing up for our Customer Spotlight and for being such a bright part of the Nectar Apothecary Community.
Blessings,

suzanne

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Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight

Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight | Rhonda Johnson

Rhonda, an Arizona native, medicinal plant lover, and Nectar Apothecary regular, already led a clean and healthy lifestyle when we met. It has been a joy getting to know her as she deepens her wisdom of herbs. Rhonda has taken our Materia Medica classes and the herbal manual she created has been an inspiration to other students. I was really surprised to find out that Rhonda has two grown sons, 25 and 27 years. I suspect her positive outlook, healthy lifestyle, and the DIY skincare products she makes help her look so youthful.

What did your family do for healthcare when you were growing up?

I was raised by a single mother who followed whatever the doctor or pediatrician recommended. I was a “healthy kid” for the most part. However, I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis in my 30’s and the doctor was pretty sure it had started in my teens based on my symptoms since that time. This diagnosis was a turning point for me, as this disease was heavily influenced by my diet (hormones in food to be exact) and up to this point I had no idea that diet was so important.

What are the biggest challenges you face in taking good care of yourself and living a healthy lifestyle?

Learning more about diet and the herbs and medicinal plants that can complement our diet and replace over-the-counter medications and even prescription medications has been fascinating to me. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to change old patterns of thinking and old habits. I believe there are alternatives to every choice we make; I want to make the cleanest, purest choice when putting something both in and on my body.

How have natural remedies like herbs and essential oils made a difference in your life?

Making this lifestyle change has been huge for me. I not only feel better but my hair and skin look better. Eliminating hormones from my diet and chemicals from my shampoo, deodorant, and beauty products was pretty easy, but I’ve had a more difficult time finding good moisturizers that are chemical free. I now make my own body butters and facial oils that actually hydrate, heal, and nourish my skin.

Have you taken classes at Nectar? What was your class experience?

Yes, I’ve taken a lot of the classes offered at Nectar. I’ve learned how to identify plants in this area, what medicinal properties these plants have, and a variety of ways to use them. I’ve learned the art of wildcrafting to create teas, tinctures, and herb-infused body butters and salves. I’ve learned how to use herbs as a preventative, for healing, and for nourishing my body.

What type of DIY herbal projects do you have in the works?

I’m currently wildcrafting the fall plants in my area, specifically Yarrow and Mullein to dry and use in my own “winter wellness” tea. I’m also drying many of my herbs that will die off during the winter. And, I’m always whipping up a fresh batch of my body butter that is infused with Dandelion root.

If you were a medicinal plant, what plant would you be and why?

If I were a medicinal plant, I believe I would be a Lavender plant. I’m a little bit of a flower child anyway, and purple is my favorite color. People who know me tell me I’m a calming person and I have a gentle spirit about me. I would like to think I’m a “relaxing nervine” to others, making them feel relaxed and accepted, and free to be themselves around me.

We could not agree more, Rhonda. We love to be in your calming and joyful presence, and are grateful for your friendship and support.

Join us for an up-coming class and you might have the pleasure of meeting Rhonda, too.

With love,
suzanne

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Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight | Tina Rose

Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight | Tina Rose

When I created Nectar Apothecary I envisioned a welcoming community, a sea of calm in a busy world, a place where people from all walks of life would feel at ease asking questions and discussing their needs, and where new relationships would be formed and nurtured. Since we opened in September 2014, these relationships with our customers and the connections that have been made between them have been the sustaining energy of the business. These warm and up-lifting relationships inspired me to create this Nectar Apothecary Customer Spotlight.

I want you to meet some of these beautiful souls that have become part of our community at Nectar. I am delighted to introduce you to Tina Rose! It seems like Tina, with her sunny personality and infectious smile, has been with us since the very beginning. Here’s what Tina had to say:

Would you share a little about yourself, your background, where you’re from, etc.?

I was raised in Goodyear, AZ. At the time it was a pretty small town and as kids my brother, sister and I would be outside from the time we woke up until sunset. It was a pretty beautiful way to live. In early college I met my husband. We knew each other about six weeks before we got engaged… we got married six months later. Last July we celebrated our 23rd anniversary, so I think it’s worked out well. ☺

I’m a career writer (I work for a digital marketing agency in Scottsdale, but work from home), an avid traveler, a lover of dogs AND cats, an enthusiastic cook, a mediocre gardener (though I do hope to improve my talent), a slow-ish runner who waves to everyone, a bawdy laughter, a semi-regular practicer of yoga, a novice climber, and an enjoyer of almost all workouts. I also stop to watch ants scurrying about the sidewalk – and if you ever pass someone sporting two ponytails who just happens to be staring up at an unkindness of ravens, well, that’s probably me – so give me a quick honk and a wave, and say hi!

What did your family do for healthcare when you were growing up?

Oh goodness. My mom had an arsenal of antibiotics and doctors in her address book who would call in more for us without anyone stepping foot in the office. Thinking back, it’s all pretty horrifying.

How have natural remedies like herbs and essential oils made a difference in your life?

I can’t even address this without talking about Nectar. Home remedies and keeping a home that’s healthy and natural has been a passion of mine for decades, but finding the information and finding the reliable resources necessary to make that happen were difficult. Then, a few years ago I popped into Nectar, and it was like discovering my tribe. Suzanne, Steve, and Cathie (and now Tiara – who wasn’t there in the beginning), are so warm, welcoming and knowledgeable, that I knew I’d found my place – my space – to learn and grow. And I have, and am continuing to do so. By allowing me to gain the education, and confidence to make my own home and self care products – and buy the quality supplies I need – I’m able to create a healthier home, and that’s about all I think I could ask for.

How do you fit herbs and essential oils into your daily routine?

Between my body lotion, lip balm and salves, shaving cream, and body spray, plus the essential oil diffuser, homemade laundry detergent, spray cleansers, teas, and general cooking, I don’t think there’s an area of our home where herbs and essential oils don’t make an impact.

Why do you like to shop at Nectar Apothecary?

It feels like a home away from home; a place where you have to be nothing more than that which you are. You can ask questions and really smart, kind, caring people will answer them. It’s a wonderful place – and I’m so grateful for it.

What’s your favorite herb, essential oil or tea, what do you like about it, and why do you use it?

Belly Calm Chai tea is easily the tea I drink most. I like that it takes 20 minutes to steep. It quietly builds anticipation – then it satisfies you with a warm mug of deliciousness that smacks of crisp fall days.

Have you taken classes at Nectar? What was your class experience?

So many (and there will be so many more). I love the interaction, the education, the laughter. The cocktails and mocktails class yielded an especially giddy crowd, and it was tons of fun, but every class I’ve taken has given me some new way to incorporate natural products into my life. Literally every class is worth it.

Do you have any advice for someone, just starting to explore natural remedies?

Start with something that sets you up for success. Salves are so simple and settle beautifully into their tins – and they feel so good on the skin. They also don’t take much in the way of supplies, so they’re a pretty inexpensive way to test the waters. And because they set up so well, they make pretty impressive looking gifts.

At Nectar Apothecary, our lives and our work have been made better because of Tina. I can’t wait to introduce you all to others who started as customers and are now part of our community. If we haven’t met you yet, we look forward to getting to know you, too – stop in at the shop or say hi on social media.

much love,
suzanne

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