Interested in learning about whether herbs might help you out at this stressful time? Shenandoah University’s Environmental Club aims to provide answers to any questions you may have about herbs and health.
The club is taking herb questions through its Facebook (Shenandoah University Environmental Club) and Instagram (@suenviroclub) pages (#letstalkherbs) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7. And leading up to that event, the club has been sharing information about how the natural world can help alleviate some of the stresses of this uncertain time, while also noting that its statements “are not claiming to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.”
Our students want to help people find healthy ways to cope with our current situation and teach them new skills, like growing an herb garden. We are genuinely concerned about people’s health (mental and physical) during a very stressful time, and seeing OUR students taking charge and doing what they can to help, it’s inspiring!”
Allyson Degrassi, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor Environmental Studies and Biology
Oressa Boelk, the club’s social media officer, attended a talk about herbal medicine approaches at Shenandoah by Lecturer of Chemistry and General Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator Danna Sharp, M.S., and environmental studies student Cree Catlett about a week before the university shifted to online learning, and that event proved to be inspirational. “Teaching people how they can benefit from their environment fits perfectly into the SU Enviro Club’s mission, so I reached out to Cree Catlett and we decided to expand the conversation through social media.”
“I talked with Danna Sharp at the LiveWellSU event about herbs for mood disorders,” Catlett said. “Herbal medicine and appreciation is my passion, and professor Sharp shares that with me. Being new to SU, I was thrilled when Dr. Degrassi said she wanted me to meet professor Sharp, who shares my same interest. This is a scary time, but also a beautiful opportunity to cultivate connection to what we have available: plants, our forests, our gardens and loved ones.”
The posts about herbs and other plants and their effects on the body have been popular. “The SU Enviro Club’s Instagram account has a small following but we have had the most likes we’ve seen since posting about garlic and mushrooms,” Boelk said. “We’ve also increased our follower numbers since posting these.”
Cree Catlett will take charge in answering questions on April 7. Right now, her favorite herbs to use are stress reducers and immune supporters. “Elderberry is a great antiviral and makes a delicious syrup. The reishi mushroom is twofold amazing: it is immunomodulating, supporting the immune system if it’s too high or too low, as well as incredible for reducing stress and protecting the cardiovascular system. Astragalus, known for immune support for thousands of years and is used in traditional and modern Chinese medicine. Herbs for mineral support such as stinging nettles; they are growing right now everywhere! Just make sure you wear gloves 🙂 Dandelion root is also everywhere right now and is powerfully nourishing for liver health.
For stress I make a daily tea of tulsi, linden, lemon balm, milky oats and hibiscus and drink it throughout the day.
Tulsi (Holy Basil) is a traditional, ceremonial herb to be had everyday. Linden and lemon balm are happy! Milky oats calm you down. Hibiscus gets the blood going.”
To learn more, ask a question on Tuesday, follow the club’s social media pages, or reach out with a direct message to the club on either its Facebook or its Instagram account.