Anyone who’s stopped into the Saxapahaw General Store knows this is not your typical gas station convenience store. Sure, we have many of the quick-grab soft drinks, snacks, toiletries, and motor oil that you’ll see in most of the mini-marts attached to gas stations, but we also have a ton of local, artisinal treats, homemade soaps and candles, produce from North Carolina farmers, and homeopathic personal care items.
Staff member Maddie Baker recently began assisting store manager LaShauna Austria with local product purchasing for the store to ensure our shelves stay stocked with North Carolina’s best! Maddie and I had the privilege of visiting Suki Roth, Herbalist and Owner of Herb Haven in Graham, NC. Suki makes teas, tinctures, salves, and other products from plants she grows in her own garden. She offers classes teaching how to identify medicinal plants, what the medicinal qualities of plants are, and how to prepare your own tinctures and teas. In addition, Suki gives consultations to individuals who want to incorporate her healing herbs into their lifestyle by guiding them in creating herbal profiles, individually matched to fit their specific needs.
Maddie and I arrived at the Herb Haven, stepped out of the car and into a sanctuary. The air smelled fresh, the sounds around us were of birds’ songs and the wind moving through leaves, and the energy felt calming and renewing. Suki greeted us with a big smile and hugs and then took us on a tour of the Herb Haven garden. The garden was filled with many plants one would see everyday and know them to be weeds or wildflowers. It’s certainly eye-opening to learn that much of what is growing all around us has the potential to heal us from our body’s imbalances and ailments. Suki explained the importance of having the garden and providing her apprentices and interns the opportunity to work in the garden. She said one must have a relationship with the plants, with the source of the medicines and be able to identify the herbs and flowers that carry healing properties. The garden also offers the freshest source for Herb Haven’s medicinal products. Of course there are plants that Suki cannot grow because of the North Carolina climate, but those that she can, she does.
We then made our way into the Apothecary. The shelves were lined with dried herbs and flowers for teas, and bottles filled with finished tinctures. Suki has been practicing herbalism since 1994. Her father was a doctor and she has used some of his medical texts to learn about the traditional practice of medicine and other approaches to diseases and symptoms. She still prefers using flora to support health, but has a more well-rounded base of knowledge.
Suki has a very youthful spirit and a great respect for nature, and there is a genuine joyfulness and positivity that radiate from within her. Maddie and I left with an enthusiasm for the day and week ahead and a greater respect for the plants and trees all around us.
You can find Suki’s Blends tinctures, medicinal tea blends, and Suki’s topical salves at the Saxapahaw General Store. If you have any questions or suggestions for products, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org