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Happy Birthday to Vervain!

Hello to our beloved Vervain Collective family and community! Has anyone else noticed that time has been playing tricks on us? That the hours seemed to crawl along during initial quarantine and stay at home orders, and then we suddenly jumped the space-time continuum and now it’s pretty much fall? And then bam - our one-year anniversary is here!  We’re reflecting on our amazing relationships with Roots Zero Waste Market, Garden City, and the Treasure Valley and are so grateful and proud of our team! We had all the intentions of throwing a huge bash with live music and libations, but unfortunately, it’s not the right time for that. But we still want to celebrate with you, so please come see us at the apothecary and reminisce about when and why you joined us!

Our caring and brilliant shop stewards are in the shop 6 days a week (Tues - Sat 11-7 & Sun 11-5) to help you find botanical and natural remedies for [almost] whatever ails you. We also continue to offer online ordering, curbside pickup, and shipping/local delivery!

Vervain's Consultation Room

After many years of legislative lobbying and struggle, Naturopathic Physicians are finally eligible for licensure in the state of Idaho, hurray!! Dr. Nicole Pierce, NMD has received her Idaho license and is happily accepting new patients. We also have some wonderful new practitioners rounding out our healing team. Magdalena and Jeffrey DeGeorgio practice CranioSacral Therapy and Rolfing, respectively, and see clients separately and in tandem for a full healing experience. Tesla Gillespie, a nurse and therapist with 30 years of experience, offers a unique blend of healing modalities. And drumroll! We’re pleased to welcome Michelle Steinberg back to Vervain in October for Reiki & Sports Massage and look forward to her cheerful and uplifting presence around the apothecary! Read our practitioner bios and make an appointment online or in the shop!


Diversity & Inclusion Practices at Vervain

We are proud to be connecting with some amazing local groups in our ongoing attempts to increase our knowledge, outreach, and social justice efforts:

  • Idahope is working to increase diversity, racial equity, and social inclusion in Idaho’s corporate, educational and non-profit spaces through education, policy reform, legislation, training, and community events and forums.

  • The Boise Antiracism Coalition is a group of arts, culture, and history organizations committed to dismantling systemic racism in our community.

  • Artisans for Hope is a volunteer organization that works to welcome refugees new to the Boise community and help them build a new home and life.

We are also reading, learning, and listening as we unpack our role in decolonizing plant medicine. We’ll announce when we post the first draft of the annotated bibliography, which will be an ongoing work in progress. And if you have any resources to share, please send them our way!


Classes

Although we’re chomping at the bit to offer in-person classes, we’re still very cognizant of the importance of physical distancing during these times of precaution. Since the Vervain/Roots classroom + patio is spacious and has such great ventilation, we have decided to offer an Herbal Study Hall on the 3rd & 4th Wednesdays from 4pm - 6:45pm through the end of the year. This is a free event - just bring your "homework", grab a beverage/snack, and set aside time to focus on getting your learn on! Join Avoline Ace to dive into aromatherapy and essential oils in a class she’s calling The Mystical Medicine of Essential Oils October 7 from 5:30-7:00. Cost is $18 for this virtual class and believe us, you don’t want to miss her incredible knowledge and presence that she has so generously offered to share with us! Our year-long Rosemary Gladstar’s Science and Art of Herbalism course is wrapping up in November and after that we’ll be gearing up for another 10-month series starting in January! Sign up now to reserve your space and learning materials, and join us for this wonderful exploration into the world of plant medicine! We’ve had so many amazing guest speakers this year, and are looking forward to ongoing collaboration with the magic-makers of our community!


Dr. Pierce's Corner

One of the things I’ve been working hard on since April is our Vervain Research Resources document which we continue to update as we learn more about the pandemic and how we can protect, support, and maintain our immune systems and overall health. We’re providing this resource because we believe in empowering our customers and patients to utilize all of the tools at their disposal to keep themselves as healthy as possible. One of the tenets of Naturopathic Medicine is Doctor as Teacher (Docere) which means that Naturopathic Physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. As we’ve been following the research, news, and politics regarding the pandemic very closely, an old familiar trend has emerged: people are desperate for definitive and soothing answers to complicated issues and questions. As a Naturopathic Physician, I’m accustomed to the propensity of customers and patients to long for simple and immediate reassurance, and sometimes it’s challenging to explain clearly the complexity of the human body, the multi-faceted cause and effect of “dis-ease,” and the multitude of tools in our toolbox that makes preventative medicine more than a quick fix or promise that we won’t get sick. The fact is that there are many precautions we can take to prepare ourselves for the inevitable exposure to the viruses and bacteria that we are exposed to, but there are no guarantees that anyone can avoid infection entirely. At this time, there is no prophylactic that can definitively prevent contraction of Covid-19, and this includes masks, washing hands, conventional medicine, and natural medicine. That’s why I recommend supporting the immune system as much as possible with a variety of methods including vitamins and minerals, botanicals and probiotics, exercise and healthful eating, and emotional and mental support. We wear masks in the shop to minimize viral load and protect our staff and our immune-compromised customers, sanitize ourselves and our space regularly and encourage as much physical distancing as we can by offering online ordering, curbside pickup, shipping, and local delivery. We care about you and will continue to refine and add to our product selection and knowledge base as we continue to practice Whole Person healthcare.

As we learn to decipher “mask Mumble” and learn to appreciate the subtlety of the “smize” (smile with the eyes) to maintain connection with our fellow humans, we also are endeavoring to find other ways to stimulate our parasympathetic nervous systems in a time when we are all in “fight or flight” way too often. In addition to the nervine and adrenal supportive tonifying herbs in formulas such as Adrenal Support tincture, Tranquilium Tea, and adaptogenic mushroom powders (just to name a few), we also encourage other ways to help our bodies and minds find respite in this chaotic world. These practices increase serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin levels, and bring our bodies and minds into a “rest and digest” state of being, regardless of what is swirling around us that is out of our control.


Learn More!

Dig deep into the importance of adaptogenic herbs to our overall health and well-being and listen to this excellent Herb Rally podcast “What is an Adaptogen Anyway? with Heather Irvine. Although discussing psychedelic-assisted therapy is not within the scope of my practice or this newsletter, this interview with Psychiatrist Dr. Julie Holland on a recent Fresh Air episode is a fascinating conversation about the role of stress/trauma in our mental/emotional as well as physiological health. There’s so much (too much) more to talk about as forests burn, political upheaval continues, and we all try to keep our heads above water. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook since that’s the place we post updates and share important information as it comes at us so quickly. For those of you not on social media, we intend to post more short blog posts on our website for more frequent access. We are here for you in lots of ways!  As a treat for making it this far in our too-long newsletter, we’ll give you 25% off our Joyful Heart Tea and bulk Stream 2 Sea suncare products through the month of September - this deal is good in the shop only! Just mention it at the counter!

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