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Sunnyside Swap Shop closed on August 31, 2013.

We have re-opened as Southside Swap & Play in the Woodstock neighborhood and are accepting new member families! Please visit our new website for information about membership!


Know Your Neighbor – building up immunity with the Herb Shoppe

There’s a big storm brewing on the East Coast that, thankfully, everyone can see coming and plan for. Every year, there’s a combination of factors that brew the perfect storm for our immunity systems too and this week’s Know Your Neighbor post is all about the resources we have to plan ahead to weather the cold and flu season well.
Right when the weather turns and turns us all more indoors, we often start at a new school or work or day care situation and then up our sugar intake (which has a reputation for lowering immunity) starting with Halloween running through the New Year.
Former co-op member Jennifer Curtiss is one of the two naturopaths at The Herb Shoppe on Hawthorne. I’ve learned so much from her and Dr. JJ Pursell and their wonderful staff and interns. An ounce of prevention is, no doubt, better than a pound of cure and less costly too! As much as Jennifer and JJ enjoy seeing and treating parents and kids in their office hours on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, they also enjoy knowing that everything offered in the Herb Shoppe can be a great first line of self treatment for way less than an office visit.
I love that the Herb Shoppe is open everyday. I had a nice chat with Nicole today from her vantage point at the main counter overlooking all the teas and tinctures and suppliments ready to take us through another winter. Nice time to stock up on some vitamin D for sure and there are several immunity boosting tea blends – some specifically made for children (who don’t have our same savory taste buds for the more bitter side of things.)
Everyone I’ve ever talked to at The Herb Shoppe’s been very helpful, not just in what might be great for us to get but also how to use what we get really well. Yes, there really are many ways to brew up some tea, I’ve discovered. I try not to even pretend that I know what I am doing. I ask a lot of questions about the things that might be obvious and have always been glad I did.
The immunity boosting properties of elderberry syrup make it very popular this time of year. Something I wouldn’t have even known existed before getting more educated at The Herb Shoppe. It’s tasty as well just as the word “syrup” promises.
Local bee pollen dropped into tea, on yogurt, in hot cereal or a smoothie gives a lot of help as well and you can get a little bit or a lot by the ounce.
Green food powder can either play front and center on your taste buds if you like nettles, kelp and alphalfa or slip into the background of that bee pollen laced smoothie.
If you like your food to be food and medicine to be medicine, Nicole is a big fan of the just-a-few-drops-and-you/re-done winter support tincture.
I like all the prices. $12.50 for a tincture. Items by the ounce for $2-$4 so you can easily get a little to try before you buy up more in bulk.
Whether that family bank account is close to zero this month and there just isn’t a lot of room for big medical expenses or you feel grateful for the financial resources you have and want to spend them where they will make the most difference, I highly recommend getting to know Jennifer and JJ and all the staff at The Herb Shoppe.
Dr. JJ Pursell and Dr. Jennifer Curtiss
The Herb Shoppe:
3327 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97214
503-234-7801
theherbshoppe©gmail•com  (theherbshoppe©gmail•com)  
Shop hours:
Monday-Friday 11-7pm, Saturday 10-6pm
Sunday 12-5pm. Doctor’s visits by appointment.

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