French Broad Food Co+Op

Apothecary skills- The Herbal Kitchen

Apothecary skills: The Herbal Kitchen
For many of us, our first experience with herbs was in the kitchen. We did not always see them as medicine, but they absolutely are! In this class, we will learn how to incorporate more gerbs into our diets. From herbal seasoning blends to add to soups, salads, or sauces….to broths and teas…to sweet treats with nuts and dried fruits….there are numerous ways to increase the flavor, nutrition, and medicine of your everyday meals. Come play in the spices, learn a little history, and be inspired to include more herbs into your everyday. Take home a customized spice blend to enjoy and get your flavor on!


Apothecary Skills Class Update

Immune Support and Syrup making

Every year we seem to be bombarded with a new group of viruses and flu. Luckily, we herbalists have a wonderful array of plants that can help. I cannot stress enough to be prepared! In the spring and summer, when so many of these plants are in their season is when we should think about preparing our winter medicines. Drying herbs, picking berries, and tincturing the wonderful fresh abundance of the season is not only fun and connects us to the seasons and the land, but gives us the wonderful health benefits of these plants when we need them.

One of the stars in cold and flu prevention and treatment is certainly elderberry. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra or Sambucus canadensis) is both delicious and has anti viral properties. Elderberries are terrific as a tea and a syrup. Here are recipes for both:


Elder Echinacea syrup

1 cup elderberries

½ cup echinacea angustifolia root

2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger (or 1 Tbsp. dried)

4 cups water

2 cups raw local honey

Place 4 cups of water into a pot with the herbs. Simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain out the herbs and add 2 cups of local honey and a splash of brandy or whiskey (if desired). Mix well so that the warm elder echinacea decoction blends thouroughly with the honey. Store in the fridge and take 1 Tbsp. daily during cold and flu season.

I love to make an elixir with the above syrup. Add 2 ounces of the elderberry syrup with 2 oz. of Herbs, Etc. Deep Health formula. The deep health blend contains a blend of both mushrooms and adaptogens. We know that stress can make us sick, it depletes our ability to fight off viruses and infections, so this is my everyday during the cold season support. 


Rosemary Gladstars’ Nutritive Tonic Berry Good Tea

2 parts dried elderberry

2 parts dried rosehips

1 part dried blueberry

1 part dried hawthorne berry

Blend all berries together and add 1 Tbsp. per cup of water. I like to infuse this one a bit longer (an hour or so) to get more goodness. I also love to add aronia, goji, and or bilberry to this for extra antioxidant support. If desired, add lemon juice and or honey to taste. Deeelicious!

Apothecary Skills Class Update

A wonderful group of folks have been attending the monthly apothecary classes here at the co-op and so much has been made and shared. I thought I would share some recipes for those of you who were not able to attend. Enjoy!

Assorted blogs and podcasts  that we love

Sustainable Herbs Project- A wonderful body of articles and info tracing our beloved herbs back to their source. It has amazing information on what we can do as consumers, as herbalists and as teachers to protect these plants that we love and how to protect the farmers/wildcrafters who provide them.
United Plant Savers- A wonderful organization focused on the preservation of medicinal plants. Any herbalist will benefit from the list of at risk plants, in depth articles, and even how to create your own botanical sanctuary.
Northeast School of Botanical Medicine
Castanea blog

Chickweed Pesto Recipe

With the warmer than normal weather we have had, my chickweed patch has been abundant! Chickweed loves to grow in the cooler seasons…it actually thrives fall through spring, disappearing in the heat of summer. This is part of chickweeds medicine too, it is cooling. One of my favorite hot rash allies, it makes a wonderful salve blended with comfrey, yarrow, or plantain. As an herb, chickweed is rich in minerals and vitamin c. It makes a lovely and delicate herbal vinegar to add to salads or greens. Chickweed is also useful in tea or tinctures for those with heat…infections, inflammation, fevers. She cools things right down.

My friend Lupo shared this pesto recipe many years ago. It has become a favorite wild nourishing food!

Chickweed Pesto

3 cups of chickweed
1 ½ cups walnuts1 cup parmesan (or feta)
2-5 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp. olive oil

Blend all ingredients, except olive oil in a blender or food processor. Slowly drizzle in chickweed until incorporated. You may have to stop processor and scrape down edges once or twice to get it all consistent. This is such a wonderful fresh tasting pesto. Excellent on bread, as a veggie dip, or on pasta or potatoes.

Enjoy, and remember to eat something wild everyday!

by Melissa Fryar

Apothecary Skills Class Update

A wonderful group of folks have been attending the monthly apothecary classes here at the co-op and so much has been made and shared. I thought I would share some recipes for those of you who were not able to attend. Enjoy!

Apothecary Skills Class – Creating Syrups

With a focus on immune support, this class will take you through creating your own various syrups to support health during cold and flu season. We will cover several wonderful plant allies that have immune supporting, anti viral, and anti bacterial properties and I will share some of my favorite home remedies. You will take home an Elderberry immune syrup for your home apothecary.
All classes require pre-registration and will be located in the upstairs Movement and Learning Center above the Co-op. Melissa Fryar will be the instructor for these sessions. Any questions can be directed to
A $10 donation per person is suggested, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.


Great Immune Booster Recipes For You To Enjoy!

Anti-infection Tincture

2 parts Echinacea root tincture

2 parts Echinacea leaf and flower tincture

1 part ginger root tincture

1/2 part usnea tincture

1/2 part licorice root tincture

1 part Oregon grape root tincture

You can tincture this all together or separately. Excellent for hard to shake infections of all kinds and tasty!

Shared by the late and beloved Cascade Anderson Geller

Elderberry Wellness Syrup

1 cup elderberries (fresh or dried)

1/2 cup Echinacea root

2 Tbsp. Ginger root dried or 2-3 inch slice fresh

4 cups water

2 cups raw local honey

Place herbs in water and decoct for 30 minutes-1 hour, until reduced by half. Strain and add to the 2 cups elder tea, 2 cups of honey. Mix together well and add a splash of brandy if desired. Store in the fridge.

Fire Cider Zest

Illegal Medicine

1 good sized ginseng root

1/4 cup fresh grated ginger root

Cayenne to taste


apple cider vinegar

1/8 cup fresh garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh grated horseradish root

*also consider: mushrooms, fresh turmeric root, hibiscus, orange slices, peppercorns, Echinacea, etc.

Place all herbs in a glass jar and pour in enough vinegar to completely cover. Let sit for 4 weeks. Strain and sweeten with honey to taste. Take a teaspoon daily or add to soups, salads, etc.

Flu Buster Tea

An old gypsy formula

1 part peppermint leaf

1 part elderflowers

1 part yarrow

Blend together and add 1 tsp. per cup of hot water. Infuse and enjoy!

Back to School Diffusions for the Family

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Co-op Stronger Together

Rosemary, peppermint and lemon – For motivating the student who doesn’t want to get out of summer mode and go back to school. This happy and energizing combo can wake up even the grumpiest summer gamer who got used to staying up into the wee hours and doesn’t want to get back on the school-routine clock.

Clary sage, rose and bergamot – For soothing a parent’s heart who is feeling sad about sending the kiddos off to school. Also a happiness booster for students who don’t want to give up their summer fun.

Bergamot, lavender and Roman chamomile – While this is more of an evening combo for bringing balance to anger and hot tempers (adolescence – lol), this can be a soothing diffusion to ease tempers and soothe emotions associated with the change that comes with back-to-school time. Great for volatile situations.

How to Clean a Yoga Mat with Dr. Bronner’s

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Co-op Stronger Together

The yogic practice of “saucha,” meaning cleanliness or purity, often incorporates various breathing techniques and postures to detox the physical body. Just as we wouldn’t want any contaminants or stagnant energy within our body, the same goes for our external world.

The most important thing when it comes to washing your mat is to first identify what type of material your mat is made of. Ayurveda teaches that “everything is medicine, and everything is poison,” implying that what may work well for one could be detrimental for another. The same philosophy applies for washing your mat—different mat materials require different approaches.

If you are in need of a quick solution to sanitize your mat, you can use Dr. Bronner’s Organic Hand Sanitizer as a mat cleaner on your PVC or TPE mat. This is not an ideal cleaner for a natural tree rubber mat as any type of alcohol, including ethyl alcohol, will cause it to start to break down. To be mindful of your fellow yogis, please disinfect your mat with the Organic Hand Sanitizer at home, as most studios advise against scents in the asana room.


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Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Co-op Stronger Together
Co-op Stronger Together
Make Your Summer More Environmentally Friendly with reef-safe sunblock. Protecting yourself from the harmful effects of the sun is important. About 14,000 tons of sunscreen wind up in our oceans every year, with the most damage being done to fragile coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean. The good news: you can use mineral sunblocks, which are reef-friendly and don’t contain the coral-bleaching chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate.