Our practitioners are the heart and soul of our Pharmaca stores—they offer their unique expertise to customers every day. And we wanted to introduce you to a few of them!
First up is Brigitte Mars, Master Herbalist and author who has been helping customers find just the right herbal supplements at our North Boulder location for years.
Why did you decide to become an herbalist?
My grandmother was a French-Canadian woman who practiced herbal medicine. When I was sick, my grandmother would go out to her garden, so at a young age I learned of the healing power of plants. I decided herbal medicine was truly “medicine for the people” because it’s everywhere around us. By the time I was 15 I was treating all of my friends with herbal remedies. I went to a school that allowed us to choose our assignment topics, so I used every assignment to learn more about plants. For Spanish class, I researched “medicinas tradicionales” (traditional medicines). In chemistry, I wrote about plant chemistry. I studied with various master herbalists, including Dr. Alfred Vogel in Switzerland, Lesley and Michael Tierra, Christopher Hobbs, and Susun Weed. My teachers have inspired me to continuously expand my knowledge, both through studying with them and on my own. At one point I even lived in a teepee for two years, getting closer with the plants and learning more. When my daughters Rainbeau and Sunflower Sparkle were born, herbalism became a commitment to them as well. I wanted to heal their sore throats and other ills naturally using plants.
What are your top tips for staying healthy?
Base one meal a day on green leafy foods. Eat wild foods (i.e. elderberries, which you can find to forage all around us). Do yoga and meditation. Do the things you know are good for you (aromatherapy baths, clean one item a day so you don’t feel cluttered, etc.). Read every day. Walk or take public transit as much as possible. I’ve never owned a car! Walking is calming and allows you to observe nature.
What is your favorite part of working with Pharmaca?
Being at Pharmaca is an opportunity to be of service to our community by helping with health issues. I love that Pharmaca provides such quality products for me to work with so that I can offer the best products for great results. I enjoy making lifestyle suggestions to customers—such as to wear an eye mask along with an herbal sleeping potion, or to eat more or less of a particular food that might improve a product’s effectiveness. I am also grateful that Pharmaca carries some of my books that I can refer people to.
What Pharmaca product can you not live without?
Vitamineral Green by Health Force Nutritionals. I also love echinacea tinctures. Herb Pharm makes great tinctures—I visited them once and I was so impressed by how they cultivate their plants. I also like the quality of the Pharmaca brand herbal products.