Shelley Torgove, a clinical herbalist for 20 years, owns Artemisia & Rue, an herbal clinic in Denver. As the cold and flu season heats up each winter, Torgove dispenses plant medicines to ward off illness and promote wellness.
In her charming store, Torgove sells about 80 healing and culinary herbs, as well as a vast variety of personal care products derived from plants.
“I love herbs!” Torgove said. “I love teaching the wisdom I continue to gain, learning from the Mexican culture."
Torgove believes most Americans have lost touch with plant medicines. "We have a unique situation in this country. We do have a broken lineage whereas Europe and Mexico and Latin America do not," she said.
As a reference book for readers interested in medicinal plants, Torgove touts the book “Green Pharmacy” by Barbara Griggs.
“It details why America lost it herbal knowledge and is still working so hard to get it back,” Torgove said. “But most importantly is that is happening."
Torgove reports a growing interest in herbal medicine. Her clinic bustles. Her classes fill up--and not just with women, but increasingly with male students.
She said, "The tradition I come from is called western herbal medicine--meaning plants that grow in the United States--specifically in Colorado, and the surrounding states. That it is our natural birthright in my opinion to have the knowledge of healing plants.”
To continue her education and to educate others, Torgove travels to Tulum each year to teach students about plants in wild places and Maya medicine.
Torgove shared her recipe for an ideal wellness beverage: Ginger-Garlic-Cinnamon Sweet Lemonade. She especially recommends this drink as a way to boost immunity during winter cold and flu season. As with all herbal remedies, you may want to consult your physician before adding herbal medicines to your wellness regimen, especially if you're taking other medications.
Ginger-Garlic-Cinnamon Sweet Lemonade
2-4 cloves of fresh garlic
2-4 quarter sized slices of fresh ginger root
½ - 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
juice of 1 fresh lemon
maple syrup/honey to taste (Honey only for children over 1 year old.)
Chop or crush garlic, slice ginger and add to 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes, and turn off the heat. Add the cinnamon powder, honey/maple syrup and lemon juice. Drink freely!
Coming Soon: Part 2 of this 3-part series, complete with another recipe from Shelley Torgove.
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