A Mother like No Other

Olivia Meier, Staff Writer

Tinctures stacked everywhere and an array of herbs drying on strings hanging form the ceiling is what local herbalist and mother of 3, Lisa Meier’s house looks like.

Lisa Meier, who also happens to be my own mother, has been practicing herbalism for about seven and a half years now. She practices on and off with well-known herbalists and on her own. Herbalism is the business of growing, collecting and distributing herbal products to promote health and healing.

“We evolved around plants. Our bodies know how to use them. They were here first, therefore they give us everything we need. Shelter, food, clothing, medicine, oxygen,” Meier said. She has always loved plants and believes in maintaing one’s health through plants and food.

My mom has been working for Whole Body, a health food store inside of Whole Foods Market for about a year and a half. She wanted to work in a health food store, and she felt most of the little “mom and pop” ones were disappearing, so she turned to another alternative.

My mom also ties in her knowledge of herbalism with being a mother. Her middle child, Grant, was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in pre-school and has been suffering with it ever since. This affects his stomach and digestive system. My mom gives my brother an infusion of camomile and fennel seed tea every morning before he goes to school which helps significantly.

“Medication always has side effects. Herbs have side benefits,” Lisa said. She also uses herbalism to help her animals in ways that she would “ordinarily count on a vet for.” Her chihuahua, Diego, had eye lesions over a year ago which led to infection. Drops prescribed by the vet did not clear up the infection totally so she used a combination of vitamin A and herbs known to help the eye, and the infection has not come back since.

“People have been communicating with plants since the beginning of human kind,” my mom said. “It opens up a whole new way of seeing the world, ones body, and ones health.”

Many herbalists, as well as my mom, believe that a person can maintain good health most of the time but feel conventional medicine has its place in life-threatening situations, but wish they could work together.

“If I have a motorcycle accident, and my face is hanging off, I will not go home and put comfy salve on it; I will go to the emergency room and want pain killers. But the other 364 days of the year I could maintain my health by myself,” my mom explained.

Herbs have helped me a lot as well. Whenever I have a cold, my mother will make me mullen tea and give me some of her home-made elderberry cough syrup. Also, my mom makes the most fantastic salve in the world. It can be used as lip balm, on bug bites, cuts or bruises, or for anything else that needs healing. It works like magic.

My mother truly is like no other mother. She has found a way to incorporate her knowledge of herbalism in her everyday life.