Herbalist knows plants from study, personal experienceTalk to detail how to keep healthy through the winter
Camden — Herbalist Katheryn Langelier, owner of Herbal Revolution in Lincolnville, will give a talk about how to prepare your body for winter and keep your immune system strong and nourished through the cold weather season.
The talk is Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 10:30 a.m. at Quarry Hill.
Growing up in Turner, Langelier spent a lot of time in the woods as a youngster. She said she has lived in the Midcoast, mostly in Lincolnville, since the 1990s.
Her interest in herbs began in late adolescence, she said. She attended college briefly, but decided it was not for her. Instead, she lived in the woods, alone and off the grid. She said she had lived off the grid, “most of my adult life.” Now, however, she has electricity and running water in her home in Lincolnville.
Much of her knowledge of plants came from books, including “The Woman’s Handbook of Healing Herbs,” by herbalist and Avena Botanicals founder Deb Soule. She also learned from classes and farm apprenticeships. She studied with an herbalist for three years and still goes to as many workshops as she can. She has also taught outdoor education at Tanglewood Camp and elsewhere.
She started her business making herbal products in 2009, and the same year her body butter won first prize in the body products category at the International Herbal Symposium in Massachusetts. Last October, she was recognized by the American Herbalist Guild for the Best Overall Herbal Product Line. The award led to a chance to teach at the Women’s Herbal Conference in New Hampshire next year, she said.
Langelier makes and sells herbal teas, medicines, flower essences and body products. She also has T-shirts for sale. She grows many of her ingredients herself; others she gathers from near and far around Maine. She explained that she’s careful to harvest only a small amount of each plant, and never picks plants that are endangered. The location is important too: she never takes plants from near a road, but looks for them in more remote, “clean and pristine” locales, which can mean she has to travel farther to find them.
The making of teas, as well as medicinal tinctures and elixirs, is a delicate business of balancing the effects of different ingredients to provide a particular benefit, but also have a general tonic effect, she said.
For example, her heart tea contains several ingredients meant to tone and nourish the heart, including rose petals and hawthorn berries, along with milky oats, good for the nervous and circulatory systems, and several other ingredients.
The tinctures are distilled in a solution of grape alcohol and water, and the elixirs in brandy and water. The elixirs are also flavored with maple syrup or honey. Langelier recommends using a dropper-full daily, either straight or mixed in water or tea.
She uses elderberry elixir to relieve, or even prevent, flu. Elderberry is an anti-viral; she also includes mushrooms and roots in her mixture to stimulate the immune system.
Langelier prepares her ingredients in a special way. When she uses medicinal mushrooms, she makes a tincture of some of them, and cooks some into a concentrated form called a decoction as well, then combines the two.
“You’re going to get more from the mushrooms that way,” she said.
She has a commercial kitchen license to make her products at home.
Langelier is also a massage therapist, and she has been using herbs increasingly with massage clients, she said. She may offer herbal consultations in the future.
She believes Americans are over-medicated, and advocates using sound nutrition, breath work and herbs where possible instead of drugs, although she acknowledged that sometimes it is necessary to use pharmaceuticals. The two can also be complementary, she said.
Langelier does not have a shop; instead, she markets her products through businesses like Zoot Coffee in Camden, Fresh Off The Farm in Rockport, The Good Tern in Rockland, and others, as well as through her website at herbalrevolutionmaine.com. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 713-0856.
She said she is interested in purchasing a farm in the area so her business can expand.
“I love what I do,” she said.
Courier Publications reporter Sarah Reynolds can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at email@example.com.
Sarah E. Reynolds is a reporter for the Camden Herald.
Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, hike and play word games.
Recent Stories by Sarah Reynolds
Dec 03, 2013
Nov 26, 2013
Nov 20, 2013
Nov 14, 2013
Nov 13, 2013