Grit and Grace: New apothecary brings herbs, herbal teachings

August 2021 Posted in Uncategorized

By Melissa Wagoner

Amanda Baird of Grit and Grace Apothecary

Few things make a parent feel more anxious than watching a child’s late-night struggle for breath, a situation Amanda Baird – whose son, Jacob, was born three and a half weeks premature and with significant lung damage – is accustomed to avoiding at all cost. 

“We had him on daily steroids and rescue inhalers and the nebulizer,” Baird said of the early years of Jacob’s life. “We were giving him all these medications that were terrible for him and he wasn’t better. But breathing is a big deal.”

Having tried everything in the way of modern medicine to no avail, Baird found herself searching for answers late one night in 2019 in the only place available – Google. What she found changed her life. 

“I came up with herbal remedies,” she recalled, noting that, to her astonishment, they worked. “Now, when I hear his spastic cough, I can give him some mullein and some marshmallow and it’s better.”

And so, with her interests piqued, she began researching more herbal treatments, eventually stumbling upon lessons of herbalist trainer Sajah Popham at the virtual School of Evolutionary Herbalism in Washington. 

“[Popham] really goes very in-depth and explains the why,” Baird said as to why she chose Popham’s school in particular. “I really appreciate that.”

What started on a whim quickly became an obsession, with Baird filling binders with information on the purported uses of everything from horsetail to stinging nettle and dandelion root. 

“COVID offered a great opportunity to really hunker down and study what would normally take me years,” Baird said. 

That’s when she had an idea – to share her newfound knowledge.

“I mainly want to make things accessible to people who want to try herbs at home,” she said, gesturing toward the rows of neatly labeled jars that now line the shelves of her newly opened shop, Grit and Grace Apothecary, in Silverton. “They can get [herbs] in tiny quantities if they only need a teaspoon or in large quantities if they need more.”

It’s one-stop shopping for all things herbal, including teas, salves, tinctures and of course bulk herbs used in baking, homemade cosmetics, spa products
and more.

“The majority of people are trying to find health,” Baird said of her customer base. “A lot want teas.”

Ranging in use from anxiety relief, gut health, digestive comfort and sleep aids, to discouraging nail biting and even calming the “feral child,” Baird is quick to remind clients that, as with all potential healing modalities, herbalism is not an exact science and what might work for some does not work for all. 

“I don’t practice medicine,” she stated. “But I will sit down with you and say – this is what I would do.” 

Coined Grit and Grace in honor of the “grit” required to cultivate or forage the herbs and the “grace” the plants exhibit through the potential healing of sickness and wounds, Baird hopes to continue expanding in the coming years, eventually outgrowing the tiny space she now occupies in the waiting room of the Fingers and Toes Nail Salon. 

“I’d like to have all the tools people need for foraging and tinctures,” Baird described. Adding that she would also like more classroom space.

“I already had my first workshop,” she said of the Apothecary 101 course held in July, which she plans to repeat several times each year for those who are interested in a basic introduction to the top nine herbs she says every home should stock. 

In August, Baird led participants in crafting and bottling elderberry syrup, which is thought to boost immune function. In September she will host a night of teas, and in October a course on fire cider. 

“It’s hot and pungent,” Baird said of the fire cider recipe, which is said to be ancient but often varies from person to person. “It fights infection and clears the sinuses.”

Open for drop-in customers on Friday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Baird also offers personal consultations by appointment through Instagram, Facebook or at [email protected] 

“Herbalism can seem like such an overwhelming subject, when in reality it’s one of the most simple and natural methods of self-care,” Baird said.

 “That’s why I’m here, to share these gifts and to show you how to incorporate them into your daily life.”

Grit and Grace Apothecary

Bulk herbs, teas, tinctures and salves as well as classes and in-person consultations.

210 East C St., Suite A, Silverton

Friday and Sunday 12 – 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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