Real Health

66 articles in category Real Health / Subscribe

saraforestwyfeWe are pretty picky about the ads we allow on Nourishing Days. We’ve turned down lots of ad networks that will not give us control over specific ads that will show. So when people want to advertise on our site that offer truly unique and natural products we get excited about giving them their opportunity to share what they do. So please join us in welcoming Sara of Forest Wyfe Herbals for a brief interview.


Shannon: You say on your site something that really rings true to me – you can find all sorts of opinions on herbs and essential oils all over the internet. As well as having a background in biology and nutrition, you are a trained Clinical Herbalist. Can explain what that means and how all aspects of your education have come together in your work at Forest Wyfe Herbals?

Sara: A clinical herbalist is someone who dedicates their life to working with medicinal plants and acts as a bridge between plants and people by sharing their passion for, and knowledge of, herbs. There isn’t a licensure process for herbalists, so I can’t legally diagnose or treat disease. Instead, I walk with people in their pursuit of vibrant health, entering into their stories in what I hope is a profound and meaningful way. My background in biology and nutrition has provided a firm evidence-based foundation for my herbal practice and all of these things – biology, nutrition, and herbalism – coalesce in my work. All of our products are grounded in clinical research and are formulated to be effective and nourishing, while also being rooted in the idea that beauty calls us back to well being and aids in healing.

Shannon: Your body care products like lip balm and eczema cream are made with a base of pasture-raised lard. While I’m personally pretty excited about the sustainability aspects of that, can you explain to us what drew you to using lard as the fat-base in your products, as opposed to the more common olive and coconut oils?

Sara: I wanted to create skin care products that were deeply nourishing to both individuals and the community – an invitation back to wholeness and health. Rich in nutrients (like the ever elusive vitamin D), pasture raised lard sadly languishes in the freezers at most of our local farms. Using pasture-raised lard in our products supports the families and friends that labor to raise our food, which pours into the health of us all. Beyond sustainability, I believe that pasture-raised lard deserves a hallowed place in the pantheon of high-quality oils and butters. It’s a nutrient-dense oil that softens the skin, doesn’t clog pores and slides easily over the skin – making lard a better carrier for essential oils and potent herbal formulas than other oils – so while I use other oils when they’re appropriate, pasture-raised lard forms the base for most of our products.


Shannon: In your bio you say: “I learned that herbs speak a biochemical language our body hears and understands.” I find this to be a profound statement and one that parallels the principle of the bio-availability of micro and macro nutrients we find in real food. That is, these plants and animals are familiar to our body’s design and therefore we are able to utilize them in an exponentially more effective way than something that was synthesized in a lab. Can you give some background on how you came to that conclusion and how that shapes the products at Forest Wyfe Herbals?

Sara: As I was studying the complex, elegant beauty of phytochemistry in college, I became convinced that nature creates things we may never be able to fully understand, much less replicate in a lab. Even simple weeds are heart-stoppingly complex, containing thousands of different chemical constituents that synergistically balance one another to give us our plant medicines. That complexity protects us and offers us the vibrant health so many of us are searching for. That complexity also explains why prescription drugs (taken appropriately) are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, but adverse reactions to herbs are incredibly rare. When I formulate products, I’m using whole herbs, with all their startling array of phytochemicals and nutrients, to nourish whole people, who also abound in their own complexities. In pairing people and plants with our products, we are building relationships that support the health of people and their larger environment. That makes my work at Forest Wyfe Herbals very satisfying!

You can learn more about Sara’s products and what she does at



I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but like a squirrel I feel like I should be stocking up on the essentials. I make bulk purchases of grains, beans, and coconut oil. I buy more toilet paper than I normally would and garner funnier looks than usual from the lady behind the cash register. (I wonder what her face would look like if I told her about our “composting” toilet).

And I generally replenish our usual stash of herbal and natural remedies.

I’m really excited to be growing more of our herbal medicines. Truth be told, some of these medicinal herbs were the easiest things to grow in this harsh climate and many of them are perennials, which is always exciting to me.

Along with our homegrown oregano, mullein, and a few others I’ve been meaning to tell you about, I like to keep some immune-boosting stuff on hand. I am definitely more interested in staying healthy and keeping the immune system strong with real food, plants, and good quality supplements than heading to the doctor with sick little ones. Then again, isn’t everybody?

With all of the hype at this time of year surrounding whatever current epidemic is going around the globe, I’m happy to find a common sense approach to generally aiding your immune system against all types of illness in this article. It reiterates some things we’ve done off and on for years that I may have gotten slack on, and is a helpful reminder to me to keep things on hand.

With that in mind, here is our latest stash of immune-boosting foods, herbs, and supplements:


Herbs & Plants

  1. Lemon
  2. Lavender
  3. Tea Tree
  4. Clove (I was happy to find it 20% off this month!)
  5. Cinnamon
  6. Rosemary
  7. Eucalyptus

(Boy howdy, am I ever not interested in joining in on the big essential oils debate. I’ve used several brands, including both of the big MLM brands, and liked some and not others. We use Mountain Rose Herbs oils most frequently, mostly because I trust and respect their company, their products, and their overall mission to bring all forms of herbal medicine to folks.)


We generally like to put more emphasis on foods and plants, but we also like to be realistic about times when our diet isn’t ideal. So, this is our general list.

Did we miss something? What do you eat/make/take to keep your immune systems up?