On Tuesday March 10th, Beatrix Clarke, a Poughkeepsie school nurse and herbalist by calling, lead the first of two workshops at the Poughkeepsie Public Library on the benefits of Herbs for Health and Healing. Beatrix has been a member of Poughkeepsie Farm Project’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program since 2000. She has been a huge contributor to maintaining PFP’s meditation garden, which is a plot on the farm used for the growth of medicinal herbs. In this first session, Beatrix spoke to a room of about 20 community members about the beauty of medicinal herbs. Clarke believes that, “Herbs work best as a holistic approach.” They are not a quick fix for a poor lifestyle. However when taken in conjunction with healthy choices, herbal remedies can have amazing benefits from aiding in the healing process to even possibly improving the state of chronic and metabolic disorders! It is widely know that culinary plants are especially good for aiding digestion, but Beatrix had some uncommon and unexpected benefits to share, like parsley being good for the urinary tract, cinnamon for blood sugar, and that cloves could feasibly be used for toothaches. Beatrix even reaffirmed the old superstition of garlic warding off vampires (or maybe it was just mosquitoes…).
To conclude the evening, Beatrix had two herbal activities set up for the participants. Everyone came away from the evening with an increased appreciation for medicinal herbs as well as their own personally made tea bags with combinations of dried chamomile, valerian root, peppermint and sage. The participants also made small herbal pillows. Part two of the Herbs for Health and Healing workshops, Beatrix led participants in how to make their own herbal tinctures. Herbs for Health and Healing was a truly enlightening and fun event for anyone interested in learning how to more simply and naturally improve their lives.
By: Elana (Ellie) Marble, 2015 Education Intern