5 Herbs to Plant This Year
~In-person class~


5 Herbs to Plant This Year {PLUS learn to make an herbal balm!}

As you’re planting your garden and filling patio containers this year, be sure to add a few medicinal herbs! They’re easy to grow and have multiple uses for common health ailments.

Join community herbalist Jillian Ehrenberg for a fun and informative class on Saturday, May 13. We’re going to talk about 5 herbs to plant this year for health and wellness. These 5 herbs are easy to grow and use as tea, or take it a step further and transform them into soothing skin care balms.

Register online now!

All of the herbs on our list will be available for sale at Revibe the day of the class.

Lemon Balm

Bonus Activity – Learn to Make an Herbal Balm!

And… because I believe so strongly in the power of herbs, I’ve added a bonus activity to this class! We’ll be making an herbal balm together using a blend of our 5 herbs and other ingredients you can find locally. Everyone who attends will go home with a container of handcrafted herbal balm from our activity.

5 Herbs to Plant This Year {PLUS learn to make an herbal balm!}

94 Broad Street
Schuylerville, NY 12871 (map)

Cost: $25

Every class participant will be given a reference booklet containing information covered in class and a tin of the handcrafted herbal balm we prepare together.

The 5 herbs featured in this class will be available for purchase at the class. Light snacks will be served.

Registration link is open now! 


A mid-winter peek at the beehive


Within the full line of herbal skin care products featured in our shop, you can find several balms and salves that contain beeswax. Beeswax is a wonderful addition to an oil-based type of product, especially one that you might store in your medicine cabinet. The wax we use at Jillian’s Apothecary is minimally processed and retains all of the beneficial properties that the bees put in it, even after it’s been cleaned and strained. Beeswax is hydrating, and holds in moisture by creating a thin barrier between our skin and the outside elements. It also attracts water, and our skin soaks up this extra moisture when it’s dry. The beeswax in our skin care products is used to store honey and pollen in the hive, and although the large particles are strained out when the wax is cleaned, trace amounts of these important building blocks for a healthy beehive remain behind. Beeswax is amazing stuff!

I’m a beekeeper, and a good part of the beeswax that goes into our products comes straight from my own beehives. When I run out, and have to wait until the next honey harvest to gather more wax, I purchase it from beekeepers in surrounding towns. My beehives contribute to so much in my life—not only do the bees provide wax for our products, they provide honey for our tea, and they pollinate the garden and apple orchard. Just as important, they help deepen my connection to our natural world. To raise bees in a way that primarily benefits the bees is to truly be a student of nature. I will be in awe of bees for as long as I live.

This week I checked on the beehive, the first time since last fall. The warm temperatures (up to 60 degrees!) prompted the bees to crawl out of the hive and take a short “cleansing flight.” They never take a restroom break inside the hive, so they store it all up during the winter months, waiting (anxiously, I imagine) for a day that’s 50 degrees or higher to go out and relieve themselves. Yes, this is all true! Crazy, right?

Since they were out and about and obviously not freezing, I weighed the risk of opening the hive to check on their food supply. I have patties I can feed them if they run low in the winter. The bees need enough food to make it until spring, but they also need a warm, draft-free hive to keep them warm and dry during the winter. Bees make a glue-like substance called propolis and seal up all the cracks in the hive so they can stay warm. If I open the hive to check their food supply, I’ll break the seal, and since it’s “off season” for them, they can’t seal it back up. They’re not in the business doing serious hive maintenance until we have consistently warm spring days. A few weeks from now, at best.

So the gamble is, do I open the hive to feed the bees and let cold air through the cracks, or leave the hive alone?

I put my ear to the wall of the hive and listened for their hum. In the winter, they don’t spread out all over the hive, but tend to cluster into a tight ball to stay warm. As they empty the honey comb, their cluster moves in an upward direction, moving on to the next set of full honey cells. This week the hum of the group was pretty close to the top of the hive, which means they’re running out of food.

I decided to open the hive and feed them the patties. The patties are made up of a thick, sticky substance that’s designed specifically for honey bees. I don’t make it, I purchase it from a beekeeping supply company. The consistency always reminds me of the inside of a fig newton, but I’m sure it’s significantly healthier than one of those cookie bars.

I’m happy to say that overall, the hive looks good. Some dead bees, but not a lot, and a lot of happy, healthy living ones. They have enough food to make it until the warm weather, so I’m hoping the cold won’t kill them. Crossing my fingers, tightly!

And check out these cuties… the bees weren’t the only ones out and about this week. Our 13 chickens are pretty happy about the warm weather too.

How I Erased a Bruise with Arnica


I have a quick story to tell you about bruising and swelling that should have been so severe that anyone taking a glance at me would have known something big happened… except the bruising and swelling never came. I owe it all to a powerhouse little plant called Arnica.

My accident involved a fierce encounter with a heavy steel hand truck. It bounced on its big, rubber wheels, flew up, and smacked me in the face. I knew right away that something very wrong had happened. Everyone asks if I saw stars, and my answer is no, I didn’t. And I did have the presence of mind to ice it on the spot with a handful of snow.

After icing the injury, I realized it was bright red and the side of my face was starting to swell up. Always on the lookout for ways to use plant medicine to my advantage, I remembered a jar of arnica-infused oil that I had recently strained and tucked away in my apothecary cabinet. I had steeped it a while ago but never found a use for it. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what it would be good for. In all of my classes on herbal medicine, and in all of my books about herbs, arnica is virtually invisible. No one really talks about it in great length. I had heard about it from sporty friends who sung its praises for treating sports-related injuries, and that’s about it. Not being a super-sporty person myself, I had little reason to use it.

Well, I thought, if there’s ever a time for me to experiment with that jar of arnica-infused oil, now is the time. I applied it directly to my face, covering every red, tender spot I could see. I allowed it to sink in to my skin and a few hours later I applied it again. And that was it for the arnica oil. Back it went into the cabinet.

I’ll tell you one thing, getting hit in the face like I did is awful. I was in pain, and I had a concussion that left me feeling dazed, exhausted, and unable to think clearly for a few weeks. I went to bed that first night feeling sure that I was going to wake up to a swollen, black-and-blue face.

The next morning I peeked in the mirror and was amazed at what I saw. Not a single bruise or discoloration of my skin. No swelling. When you looked at me, it was as if it never happened. A major injury was completely wiped clean, thanks to the arnica oil. I couldn’t believe it.

I’ve since learned that arnica is used for bruises, swelling, and soft tissue and muscle pain relief. You can bet it’s going to be a staple in my medicine cabinet, and I’ll be making some products for my shop that use arnica as the base. I saw with my own eyes how powerfully it worked on my damaging injury, and I know I have to add arnica to some easy to use, effective products. Now that I’ve had a chance to use arnica on my own body, I have an idea of what kinds of products I would like to see it in. A lotion or thick cream is a must-have. I applied the oil directly to my face, and I would have preferred to have a lotion on hand. I also think an oil and wax balm would be a great way to apply it to areas where it might be covered by a bandage.

How often do you have an experience like that, where one plant can change the outcome of the situation? I don’t have them often enough! I love hearing stories about how people use plants with amazing results, and I love sharing it when it happens to me, too.

Keep and eye out for some arnica-infused products in my shop! I’m excited to share them with you!

Herbal Winter Wellness Class (Part I)

Now that the holidays are over, we’re entering the thick of cold and flu season. This year, take a new approach when dealing with the viruses and bacteria. Herbs can help you stay healthy, and if you do get sick, they can ease your discomfort and shorten the course of the illness.

Join me for a fun and informative Herbal Winter Wellness class, and learn how common kitchen herbs can help you through the winter.

  • Have you wondered how you can ward off sickness during the cold and flu season?
  • Did you know there’s a hidden aisle at the grocery store that contains products to keep you comfortable if a cold hits?
  • Do you know what common plant to gather on your next walk outdoors if you want to make a cold and flu tea?


Herbal Winter Wellness Class
Part I

Saturday, January 14, 2017
10:00-11:30 am

94 Broad Street
Schuylerville, NY

Cost: $25

Arrive a few minutes early to secure your seat!











This class is packed with information you can put to use immediately!

Common Herbal Ingredients Make the BEST Medicine

I firmly believe that common ingredients we find in the grocery store or out in nature are the best ingredients for a family medicine cabinet. They’re safe, easy to find, and easy to prepare. And they taste delicious!

In this class, we will prepare these four easy herbal remedies, and you’ll take samples home.

Elderberry Syrup
White Pine Tea
Ginger and Lemon Tea
Honey, Onion, and Ginger Syrup

In addition, we’ll talk about ways to use kitchen herbs such as thyme, sage, and cinnamon when a cold strikes.

Every class participant will be given:

  • A reference booklet containing information covered in the class
  • Jar of Honey, Onion, and Ginger Syrup
  • Bottle of Elderberry Syrup
  • Ginger and Lemon tea to sample in class
  • White Pine tea to sample in class

Coming Up: Join me in February for Herbal Winter Wellness, Part II

In the second Herbal Winter Wellness class, we’ll be making two legendary herbal remedies that herbalists rely on to knock out a cold or flu: Fire Cider and Four Thieves Vingear.

As we make these two powerful herbal concoctions together, I’ll tell you about the folklore and the modern day drama surrounding them.

Best of all – you’ll go home with samples of each!

Herbal Winter Wellness Class, Part II
*Fire Cider and Four Thieves Vinegar*

Saturday, February 11, 2017
10:00-11:30 am

94 Broad Street
Schuylerville, NY

Cost: $25


A delicious herbal tea recipe for beautiful skin

A photo by Dominik Martin. unsplash.com/photos/JYFmYif4n70

If you’ve been looking for an easy way to get healthier looking skin, I have an answer for you. Two answers, actually, and they’re both really easy to implement.

Your skin is a complex organ. It’s affected by what’s happening on the inside of your body, and also by what it’s exposed to one the outside. For truly healthy-looking skin, you’ve got to pay attention to both.

Helping your skin from the outside

If there’s one thing I hear from my customers over and over again, it’s how they can’t believe how well-behaved their skin became after using our herbal toners. If you haven’t had the chance to try them, check them out. Firm is great for hydrating your skin and giving you a youthful glow; Clear works wonders on acne prone skin; and Smooth is extra softening, perfect for dry skin.

Helping your skin from the inside

Herbal skin care products are only one piece of the puzzle. Healthy skin also comes from a healthy body, and I’m here to tell you about an herbal tea that tastes delicious and works wonders for your skin.

Ginger tea.

It’s zesty and fresh tasting, enjoyable hot or cold, and drinkable all day long. I make a big batch at once and enjoy it for a few days in a row. Easy, delicious and effective – what more could you ask for?

The rest of the world else already knows…

Ginger tea has been used around the world for centuries. It’s largely used to treat colds & flu, and stomach bugs. It is added to herbal mixtures intended to address specific medical conditions because it works so well to move medicines to where they need to go.

Safe and effective for all ages, ginger is a superb herb to add to your diet.

Ginger is an excellent ally for your skin

What makes an herb that’s good for congestion and stomach bugs great for your skin? Remember that your skin reflects what’s going on inside your body. Ginger is a powerhouse, cleaning you from the inside out.

Ginger has hundreds of active constituents in each piece of the root. It’s full of antioxidants, which fight free radicals and protect against aging. It improves circulation by helping your blood move much-needed oxygen to cells around the body. Not only does it increase your body’s ability to function, it helps to remove waste, too. And if all of that weren’t enough, ginger has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

When your cells are getting the oxygen they need, and at the same time, your body is ridding itself of impurities, your skin is going to quickly reflect all of this by looking healthier, firmer, and clearer.

Easy recipe for ginger tea

Fresh or Dry?

It’s important to note that there is a difference between fresh and dried ginger. Around the world, the fresh root is used far more often than dried ginger root.

When the root is dried, some of the constituents of the plant (the gingerols) are converted into different types of constituents (shogaols) that act upon the body in a different way. If you’re taking ginger to mediate a specific condition, such as a stomach bug or virus, the dry ginger may not work as well as the fresh ginger.

If you’re looking to boost your overall health and wellness, increase your circulation, and gently detoxify your body, both fresh and dried ginger are acceptable to use.

I make ginger tea from both fresh and dried ginger root.

Ginger Tea Recipe

This is my go-to ginger tea recipe. I make this in big batches, pour it into large pitchers, and keep it in the fridge for a few days. In our house, a gallon of ginger tea will be gone after 2 days because we drink it so much. Keep in mind that herbal teas will go moldy after 4 or 5 days in the fridge, so you’ll want to use it up.

I like to make it on the weak side, and enjoy large cups of it all day long. I’ll tell you something that can happen if you make the tea too strong and drink too much. This is particularly true if you’re using dried ginger exclusively. Ginger is excellent at cleaning out your gallbladder. If you google “ginger for gallbladder”, you’ll find nothing but good things about how helpful ginger is for gallbladder issues. What you won’t find is a warning that too much strong ginger tea can overtax the organ, resulting in gallbladder pain. If this happens to you, rest assured that it’ll go away on its own once you stop drinking so much ginger tea. To be safe, keep your recipe on the weaker side (use the guidelines below).

Don’t ask me how I know. Let’s just say that I’ve been hooked on ginger tea for a long time and have a bit of personal experience using the herb.

The recipe below is for a quart of tea (4 cups). If you’re just starting out with this recipe, start with a quart.

Making larger amount of tea

When you’re ready to make larger amounts, increase the water to 4 quarts (a gallon!) and increase the ginger to 2 inches. When the tea cools, pour it into pitchers (don’t throw out the ginger slices – include them in your pitcher!) and store in the fridge.

Print Recipe
Ginger Tea
A delicious, easy to make tea that boosts overall health and wellness.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 4 hours
large tea mugs
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 4 hours
large tea mugs
  1. Peel 1/2 inch of the fresh ginger root and cut into slices 1/4" thick.
  2. Heat the water in a stock pot on the stove, and add the sliced ginger.
  3. Bring the pot of water and ginger slices to a boil.
  4. Cover. Reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat. If you want to sweeten the tea with honey, now is the time to stir it into the pot.
  7. To drink the tea hot, strain and pour into a tea cup immediately. I like to add a big squeeze of lemon to my tea. It gives it an extra layer of flavor.
  8. To drink the tea cold, let the pot sit, covered, for 4 hours.
  9. When the tea has cooled, strain and pour it into a glass. Add a squeeze of lemon and ice cubes if desired.
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