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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