She likes that herbalism takes the mental state of the person into consideration as well, as she believes a person’s mind can affect the body’s ability to heal, she said.
“It considers whether or not it meets the persons needs based on their ideology, religious beliefs, their comfort level,” Allen said.
Herbal remedies may also be more aesthetically pleasing than mainstream medicine.
“Meaning that taking a tea may become a pleasing ritual, and hopefully it tastes good, too,” she said.
In the future, Allen would like to see herbalism and mainstream medicine work together.
Allen often learns information from herbalist communities, and she said that there are many conferences and symposiums on the topic.
“The herbalist community is really eager to help each other out,” Allen said.Edible herbs Edible herbs can be found growing locally, and are sometimes mistaken for weeds despite their many beneficial properties. Most can be made into a tea or a tincture, and have more than one medicinal purpose. These are a few useful plants that grow in upstate New York, according to Allen: Mullein: The leaves are good for colds, coughs and congested lungs, among other uses. Stinging nettle: This anti-inflammatory that is chock-full of nutrients can be added to teas or soups. Motherwort: A mild sedative that doesn't make you groggy, this plant is good for cramps and menopausal symptoms. Dandelion: Every part of this highly nutritious plant can be used. Medicinally, it's used as a cleansing tonic for the liver and kidneys. Yellowdock: The root is an excellent laxative, but it has an unusual taste. Chickory: Inulin, found in the root of chickory, can be helpful in regulating blood sugar. St. John's Wort: It's thought to help with mild to moderate depression, anxiety, headaches and a variety of other issues. For more information about North Country Herbalists, visit www.meetup.com/North-Country-Herbalists/, or contact Jenn Allen at 593-4677.