I sat down with Jennifer Vollbrecht and I was amazed at all of her talents. I think you will be too! The co-owner of You, Me, and Uni is a Master Herbalist who studied at Kingdom College of Natural Health, in 2018. It was a self-paced learning program which she completed in nine months. Her training involved over 200 hours of course study and hands-on practice.
Starting school while working full time and caring for her family seemed like a daunting task. She was helping a friend with researching herbal preparations for gut health and this friend suggested she obtain an herbal certification. She could tell Jennifer had a gift and a fine appreciation for plants and herbs.
It had been ten years since Jennifer had been in college and it didn’t sound too appealing or feasible in her very full life. She found a program that she liked but it was rigorous and demanding and she doubted she could pull it off. Through her friend’s gentle encouragement, she took a leap-of-faith and went for it. Much to her surprise, she found she thoroughly enjoyed the program! She became completely emerged in the coursework, knocking out each lesson with enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn more.
“I found a deep new love for learning and a new respect for myself as a wife, mother, and student, being careful to strike the right balance of diving into my coursework on evenings and weekends along with kid homework, sports and family time. I learned that I am capable of making time for things that matter.”Vollbrecht
As a mother of two young children, she found it especially helpful to have a home apothecary. She took an interest in herbs and oils to aid in gentle healing of different skin conditions and ailments. She enjoyed researching and finding the perfect remedies to mix, infuse, and make salves and oil blends.
She planted an herb garden with her children to give them the experience of tending plants. Her kids enjoy being with her during all of the stages of planting, growing, tending, and then using herbs in concoctions to encourage wellness and healing. They grow sage, oregano, thyme, cilantro, lavender, and rosemary. That sounds like an amazing garden for me! I want to stroll through it, gathering handfuls right now. She uses some of her herbs fresh and some she dries, for cooking, infusing oils, and making tea blends.
“My children love their nightly oil routine after bath-time every night. My favorite herbs to use on my children are lavender, peppermint and chamomile. We use herbs for skin conditions and upset stomachs. We have made elderberry syrup for stubborn coughs and colds. Some of our favorite oils to diffuse for aromatherapy include eucalyptus and ylang-ylang. We diffuse at bedtime as part of our nightly routine, it helps to set the stage for winding down.”Vollbrecht
While in school, Jennifer gained a tremendous amount of knowledge: researching, writing down herb facts, and making treatment plans. The clinical phase was especially fun, making recipes and experimenting with friends and family.
She found that her biggest takeaway from the coursework was a huge boost to her level of confidence.
“I learned to be creative with my blends, try different things and experiment with my recipes. Some of my favorite recipes from this phase were the pickled garlic, chamomile eye pads, and yarrow salve.”Vollbrecht
Eye-packs can be great to use when recovering from a cold or to use as a remedy for puffy, tired eyes.
Jennifer’s recipe for eye-packs:
• Add dried chamomile flowers and a little lavender oil into a muslin bag
• Soak in hot water for 10 minutes
• Let cool for a minute or so, they can get pretty hot
• Place the packs on your eyes and relax
She mainly focuses on making different tea blends. She makes small batches and drinks them daily. She loves sharing them with guests and giving them away as gifts.
“I have made my two favorite blends Know Your Gut/Trust Your Gut and Meditative State of Mind, which I sell on my website. I continue to refine my recipes and make different blends of herbal teas. I like to pack the herbs in a mason jar and steep for hours, this makes a potent blend that can be enjoyed hot with honey, or cold over ice. My very favorite herb is growing all over my back and front yard: lavender. It smells incredible and has a wealth of healing benefits such as calming the mind and body. Lavender tastes so yummy when added to most tea blends. I also love to infuse my fresh lavender into grapeseed oil and use on dry winter skin. At home, I also diffuse lavender and use this delicious flower in herbal baths.”
She shares how to make a linen spray:
Take fresh lavender, add witch hazel and distilled water in a metal, glass, or plastic spray bottle. Soak for 24 hours and use as desired for a fresh, clean scent on linens.
Do you ever buy essential oil blends in the cute little finger-size glass bottles with roll-on applicators? It’s so easy and much more affordable to make your own at home. You can purchase these bottles from health food stores or buy online in bulk. Keep pure coconut or grapeseed oil (carrier oil) on hand for diluting the oils. Add 10 drops of essential oil to a bottle, either a single or a mix of your favorites. Then fill the bottle with a carrier oil. These typically cost $15 – $25 when purchased at a store.
Jennifer makes her own essential oils from her collection of chamomile, red clover blossoms, comfrey leaf, nettle, lavender, sage, rosemary, violet leaf, and yarrow flower. All of these herbs are from her garden, created with love with her family. She stores her dried herbs in large mason jars, away from direct sunlight.
“The one most very important thing I learned during my certification was to always label everything! In the label, include ingredients, portions, and date. You can also include useful notes and possible uses.”Vollbrecht
As an herbal practitioner, Jennifer finds joy in bringing her knowledge of herbal remedies into her home. Promoting wellness and health with pleasant smells that are associated with pleasant moods, is a memory she wants to instill in her children. She loves their nightly peaceful oil routine, providing memories of joyful times full of laughs, tickles and foot rubs with great smelling herbs. She will continue sharing her love of teas, oils, salves, and tinctures with her family.
“One thing I love to share with others who are interested in natural remedies and overall wellness is that a home practice does not need to be complicated. Herbs are very versatile and mostly gentle.”
Refer to 9 effective ways to use herbs as medicine to gain a better understanding of the medicinal properties herbs can offer.
Incorporating herbs and natural remedies into your life is a great way to stay grounded and connected to the earth. There is a time and a place for conventional medicines and medical interventions and there is a time and a place for starting out with herbs to treat what ails you. Use your intuition, do your research, and feel free to reach out to Jennifer for a consultation.
Jennifer Vollbrecht is the owner of You, Me, and Uni. She sells two tea blends and a book on Feminism, which she co-authored with her sister. She can be reached by email @: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden, freelance writer in Gainesville, Florida