Thursday, February 23, 2012

What do I do with my wildcrafted nettles?

Wow - what a great lunchtime lecture yesterday, Health and Culinary Benefits of Nettle, with expert ACHS instructor Scott Stuart! We were thrilled to fill the American College Apothecary Shoppe with more than thirty community members eager to learn more about the herbal, health, and culinary benefits of nettle (Urtica urens).

Did you know that nettle has a dry, slightly sweet and slightly salty taste, which comes from its enriching minerals? Nettle is also high in protein, which makes it a healthy and flavorful addition to your favorite recipes!

Nettle is a lot like spinach. For example, you can steam or sauté nettle and serve it plain or with a little sea salt as a healthy vegetable side dish. You can also add nettle into omelets, salads, pastas, soups, and stews, and use the herb to make teas and tinctures.

In fact, we posted a delicious nettle pesto recipe to ACHS Facebook you can download at This recipe is part of the PowerPoint presentation Scott has shared with us for everyone who was unable to attend the live event. Download a PDF of the presentation here, including information about traditional and medicinal uses for nettle, and be sure to leave a comment!

How will you use nettles? Will you make a delicious meal? A body care product? A tincture? Tell us about it!

Interested in learning more about herbal medicine classes for health and wellness? American College accelerated online classes start March 19: Herb 101 Basics of Herbalism and Aroma 101 Introduction to Aromatherapy. >> Click here to request more information today.

Image: Health and Culinary Benefits of Nettle Lunchtime Lecture participants in the ACHS Apothecary Shoppe. Image © Dorene Petersen 2012.

*This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

ACHS Student Jane Thomas Awarded 2012 Rising Star of Entrepreneurship Award

We're proud to share some very good news ...

ACHS Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine
student Jane Thomas' health food store, JB's Healthmart, was recently awarded the
2012 Rising Star of Entrepreneurship Award at the 2012 Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) Stars of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase. Congratulations, Jane!

The Rising Star of Entrepreneurship Award is "given to SBTDC clients from traditional business sectors who offer forward-thinking products and services or develop new ways of doing business," explains the Missouri State University University Communications press release. "Since becoming clients of the Missouri State University-West Plains SBTDC office, JB’s Healthmart owners Dan and Jane Thomas have nearly doubled the business’ sales, added employees and developed an educational and e-commerce website. The Thomases also received a proclamation from the Missouri House of Representatives recognizing their efforts to invest in the local economy and honoring them for their award."

To learn more about this distinction and Jane's holistic health food store, check out the article "JB’s Healthmart Honored with Missouri Entrepreneur Award," including a link to a short radio clip!

1. Button, E. (30, January 2012). JB’s Healthmart Honored with Missouri Entrepreneur Award.
Ozark Area Network. Retrieved from
2. Missouri State University. (2, February 2012). JB’s Healthmart receives SBTDC entrepreneurship award. University Communications. Retrieved from

Pictured (back row): MSU-WP Chancellor Drew Bennett, Ward Franz, and Darryl Hampsten, (front row) employee Lisa Newcomb, Jane and Dan Thomas, and employees Kara Pilz and Jason Hartgraves.
Image © Ozark Area Network. (30 January 2012). PostHeaderIcon JB’s Healthmart Honored with Missouri Entrepreneur Award. [Photo}. Retrieved from

Monday, February 6, 2012

Aromatherapy for Valentine's Day: How to Create a Romantic Atmosphere

The combination of scent and touch is a powerful mood enhancer.

This Valentine’s Day, create a romantic atmosphere with aromatic essential oils.

Traditional "romance" oils like jasmine, rose, and ylang ylang work well in blends with neroli, but for a little extra spice, you may also want to try adding essential oils like black pepper, bergamot, patchouli, and vetiver.

To create a sensual atmosphere, you can:
  • Create a private space.
  • Fill your space with your favorite colors and fabrics, including pillows and/or blankets.
  • Minimize outside noise.
  • Details: relaxing music, aromatherapy candles, and fresh flowers.
To enhance romantic massage you can:
  • Diffuse the essential oil of your choice into the room (essential oils can also be added directly into massage oils and bath water; see the recipe included below).
  • Focus on comfort and intent.
  • Communicate through all of your senses; don’t focus on conversation only.
  • Play. Laugh. Enjoy yourself.
To get started, try this basic aromatic massage recipe, and augment with your favorite essential oils. For massage, essential oils are best added into a carrier oil like jojoba, almond, or avocado.

Basic Aromatic Massage Oil
  • Sweet almond oil: 4 oz
  • Rose Rosa damascena oil: 1-2 drops
  • Jasmine Jasmine grandiflorum: 1-2 drops
For more aromatherapy recipes and tips, visit the free downloads section of the Apothecary Shoppe College Store website online here.

To learn more about the health benefits of aromatherapy for personal and professional use, check out ACHS's aromatherapy training programs and aromatherapy classes online here:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How-to Create Herbal Infusions: To blend or not to blend?

Using oils to create an herbal infusion is both an art and a science. But, how many herbs should you use? If you can make a tea blend from two or three herbs, should you use several herbs in your infusions, too? The answer is: it depends. If your goal is to make a great smelling aromatherapy body oil for personal use, then go for it - use the herbs you most enjoy in an aromatic blend.

But, if your goal is to make an infusion for medicinal purposes, you will want to consider each individual herb, including the solvent (i.e., oil or water) that best extracts the active constituents from the herb(s) you are using. For example, flavonoids and condensed tannins are poorly soluble in cold water; ethanol and ethanol water are much better. In addition, saponins dissolve well in an ethanol/water combination (80% ethanol, 20% water), while terpenoids dissolve well in ethanol or olive oil.

Check out this article “How To Make Your Own Herbal Body Care and Culinary Oils” by ACHS President Dorene Petersen for more information:

What are your favorite infused oil blends for personal use? Leave a comment and feel free to include recipes for exchange.

Interested in learning more? Check out upcoming herbal medicine classes from ACHS here:

Image by American College of Healthcare Sciences. 2005. Making an infusion at ACHS Summer School in Greece.