A haven for herbs: Teaching garden contains medicinal herbs & trees

By Chandler Holland
Times-News correspondent

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Jiaogulan is a "balancing" plant. [Chandler Holland / Times-News correspondent

   Did you know plantain, violets, dandelion and Creeping  Charlie are far more than common weeds in your pretty  lawn? These are just a few of the many plants our great  grandmothers knew how to use — both as culinary  accents and medicinal herbs.
In the southern part of Alamance County, near Eli  Whitney, Herb Haven has revived this lost art with its  teaching garden containing more than 70 medicinal  herbs and trees lovingly tended by Suki Roth.
Roth, steward of Herb Haven, is a community herbal  practitioner, educator, plant guide and herbal medicine  consultant. She became interested in herbs because she  “was curious as to why we had lost the art of self-care,  our power to stay vital and balanced.”
Over the last two decades, she has studied the use of  plants as medicinal foods, teas, and tinctures, and discovered how consuming vital nutrients in these forms makes them more “bioavailable,” with fewer side effects than those found in most pharmaceuticals. Roth says her goal is to both preserve and share the knowledge she has worked so hard to attain.
Herb Haven, 7922 McBane Mill Road, Graham, offers programs on the nutritional, medicinal and spiritual potential of plants. These include garden herb walks, classes on preparing medicinal teas and oils, and the upcoming Moonlight Tree Tea Ceremony, Summer Garden Celebration and Tree Camp. Roth even offers a personalized herb walk to learn about what awaits you in your own backyard.
Her workshop on July 8 focused on tincture preparation, and it remains a perennial favorite. This program, a half day of hands-on herbal discovery, begins with an herb walk through the extensive medicinal herb garden to gather fresh plants, and it includes instruction on the use of roots, berries, flowers, and leaves to formulate tinctures using both folk and scientific methods.
Roth’s hands-on workshops are limited to small groups to maximize personal attention, and they quickly sell out, so make your reservation early.
Roth is involved from start to finish in creating all the Suki’s Blends products, with items ranging from tinctures to tea blends, salves, sitz baths, smoke mixes and immune broth. Roth — together with members of the community that support Herb Haven’s mission — plants, grows, harvests, creates and packages herbal medicines. Products from her herbal apothecary are available locally at the Saxapahaw General Store, Weaver Street Market, Chatham Marketplace or though individual arrangement with Roth.
Interested in signing up for a workshop, arranging a private consultation or simply learning more? You can find Herb Haven online on Facebook or at www.herbhaven.com, or reach out directly to Roth at 336-376-0727 or Suki@HerbHaven.com.

Chandler Holland is a senior home-schooler and a Teens & 20s writer. She looks forward to attending Warren Wilson College, and will obtain her NC Environmental Educator Certification during her gap year. 

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