Herbal Remedies with Angie Oriana Jenkins

Farmers’ Market Week (3-10 August) is the only event of its kind in Canada. The festivities highlight the wonderful fresh food, artisan products and local crafts available at more than 40 markets province-wide. Rustik Magazine has teamed up with Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia to profile some of the vendors and producers that make up Nova Scotia’s vibrant markets.

bellydance-herbalistAngie Oriana Jenkins, aka ‘Wolfville’s Belly Dancing Herbalist’
Sister Lotus Body Care Products, Belly Dance, & Herbal Education
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Facebook: SisterLotus
Twitter: @AngieOriana

1) What products do you sell and why?
I sell luscious all-natural body care products that nourish the mind, body and soul. I believe our bodies are our temples and that they deserve to be adorned with exotic-smelling herbal ingredients that work as ‘medicine’, which most of us need because of our stressed and busy lifestyles. By using the smells of essential oils, herbs and spices, I like to transport people to another time and place. Many of my products contain locally grown and harvested plants, some of which are from my own garden. My employees are other belly-dancing women who love to play with herbs.

2) If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?
I have done lots of bartering for my products and services! I have received everything from a truckload of manure (for my garden) to free paragliding trips in the jungles of Mexico. Other things/experiences I would like to trade for: antique furniture, wooden Adirondack chairs, dental work, travel…

3) What are your ideas for future pieces and artisanal works?
I have a great idea for the future! I’m not yet sure what I will call them, but I am thinking of making up some sort of Herbal Surprise Box, kind of like a CSA, that features all sorts of fun herbal items. They could be filled with body care products, herbal foods, dried or fresh plants, teas, spice blends, etc. Customers could pick their boxes up at the market, which would encourage them to support other local businesses too!

4) What three items would you take to a desert island?
If I was stranded on a desert island and I could pick three herbal ingredients, they would be: 1) Lavender Essential Oil: it’s an antiseptic and takes the itch out of bug bites (mosquitoes love me!), plus it would help me sleep. 2) Ginger: for nausea/motion sickness, cramps, energy, colds/flus, warming. 3) Yarrow: to apply to cuts to stop bleeding.

5) How did you get into your line of work? Any advice for someone just starting out?
Herbology started out as a hobby for me. When I was growing up, a herbalist was basically a fairy tale character, a witch living in a cabin in the forest. I studied English Lit/French and was on my way to becoming a professor. While working on a Masters thesis on the poet Walt Whitman, I couldn’t help but listen to the message that resounded throughout his works: throw out the books, go listen to nature and to the plants. As one friend says, I am now ‘living my thesis’. Advice to someone starting on a similar path as a herbalist: It might not be the easiest way to earn a living. The rewards, however, are great! Your ‘work’ will feel more like play and you will sleep soundly knowing you were able to help people, animals, and the earth, on a daily basis.

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