News

Longmont women steeped in lore of plants

By Ann Miller All About Longmont
Posted:   08/05/2012 01:00:00 AM MDT

Jane Anderson, left, and MJ Beaupre are certified clinical herbalists who share an office in Longmont. (Ann Miller, Courtesy photo)

When I was in college in Boulder, I used to love visiting the Green Mountain Granary with its squeaky wooden floors and bins full of pungent herbs and teas.

Sometimes I would go on one of their guided herb-identification tours high in the hills above the city, and I’d imagine myself in the future as one of those wise women steeped in the lore of plants and their uses.

My life took a different path, but the love of herbs, herbariums and pungent-smelling teas still runs through me like one of those rose-colored veins you sometimes see in quartz. That is why when my friend Al told me that two certified clinical herbalists had opened an office in Longmont, I made haste to make their acquaintance.

Jane Anderson and MJ Beaupre met while they were students at the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. They had come from different walks of life.

MJ had taken early retirement from a high-pressure technical support position, and Jane had managed her own natural skin care company. Their friendship evolved out of a mutual desire to help people, and from an abiding interest in herbs.

When I talked to them in their office suite on 420 21st Ave., they told me that much of what they do involves seeing a person as a whole within their environment. Everything is related, they said. What we eat, how we exercise, whether we make the time for relaxation and emotional support, are all factors in our overall health and well-being.

A client going to MJ or Jane for the first time should set aside a fair amount of time because, in that first intake review, they consider almost everything.

Although they share an office, the two herbalists have separate practices. While much of their knowledge and expertise overlap, they tend to attract different sorts of clients. Jane focuses on nutrition, energy work, herbs and flower essences. MJ works primarily with nutrition, herbs and essential oils. She is also a registered yoga teacher and reiki master. So far, they’ve used their expertise to help and support clients with conditions ranging from insomnia and anxiety to menopausal and adrenal fatigue issues.

MJ and Jane also teach classes for those who would like to expand their own herbal knowledge. On Aug. 15, MJ is offering a class on making natural body lotions and creams. Jane and her friend Kat Mackinnon are offering a class on herbal first aid on Aug. 22. On Aug. 19, the two herbalists are teaching a class together on infused herbal oil, wines and vinegars, and on Aug. 29, they are sponsoring a class by Sarah Wadleigh titled “Hydrosols: Magical Plant Waters.”

As I looked at the two women in their sunlit office, surrounded by shelves of herbs and custom-made lotions, I thought that these two had each become what I had once wanted to be: wise women steeped in the lore of plants and their uses.

Contact Jane Anderson at jane.bekindbelove@gmail.com and MJ Beaupre atmjbeaupre0@gmail.com. Jane’s website is bekindbelovebotanicals.com. MJ’s is elixirmixir.com.

Ann Miller is a travel, essay, and fiction writer who lives in Longmont. Read her book reviews at thejeffersonianreader.blogspot.com. Email her at fulcan@comcast.net.