By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America
When Lauren Palsa was eight-years- old she’d mix yard clippings from her Munson, Ohio, backyard into magic potions. The only child of two self-employed parents had a vivid imagination and used these potions to heal her neighbors’ pretend ailments. Twenty-plus years later Lauren is still doing the same thing. Well, not quite. As a massage therapist the holistic healer has added herbs into her body work. She works with oils, tinctures, salves and more to elevate the massage experience.
For example, when I recently visited her in Willoughby, Ohio, she used an oil infused with St. John’s Wort as a hormone balancer and anti-inflammatory while pressuring tension from my trapezius and rhomboid muscles. Then, she worked oil infused with foraged Solomon’s seal into the skin of my arthritic big toes. Both were wonderful.
“The plant I use most often – Solomon’s seal — is a result of my body work,” she says.” It is an incredible musculoskeletal ally. Infused in oil and rubbed on the skin it helps people with aches, strains, pains. I also drop kava, chamomile, or passion flower tincture down the spine to sooth and restore the nervous system.”
While she doesn’t make medical claims, Lauren is a trained herbalist who discusses a client’s medical history and medications before suggesting herbs. An herbalist is defined as “an individual collaborating with plants to facilitate health and wellness.”
Lauren’s favorite herb is always changing, often following the season. “I was just on a dandelion kick,” she says. “I was drinking dandelion tea as I was making dandelion tincture as I was drying dandelion roots.” Dandelion is purportedly good as a skin toner, blood tonic, and digestive tonic and more.
To learn more about herbalist Lauren or subscribe to her newsletter, visit laurenpalsa.com.