Herbs, Alternatives, and More Natural Goodies

Many Delawareans grow garden herbs for lunch and dinner salads and entrees. But how many of us seriously think about the health benefits of herbs, and spices for that matter? Oregano is one of the most widely available and popular herbs due to its powerful taste, and smell. It also is good for regulating blood sugar and strengthening the immune system against infection. An article in Medical News Today offers an informative rundown on what it considers 10 of the healthiest herbs and spices.  

Herbs, many of which are available in grocery or health food stores, can play an important role in one’s well-being. According to healthline.com, herbs can help with encouraging restful sleep, enhancing alertness or mood, reducing stress and increasing antioxidant intake. The site mentions holy basil (from India), elderberry and chamomile among others.   

A couple pf locally-owned shops – one in Lewes and one in Rehoboth Beach – focus on the healing benefits of such products.  

The bright-purple house on King’s Highway in Lewes – Mandie’s Magical Marketplace – is packed with various herbs, crystals, and gems as well as other related products like oils, sigil candles, and books on health and wellness options. The shop’s loose herb and spice selection is extensive with marjoram, hibiscus, sage, and cinnamon sticks for starters.

A unique shop feature is her twist on a wishing well, where customers can make wishes, many making monetary contributions which shop owner Mandie Stevenson donates to non-profits such as homeless shelters, single mothers and children’s cancer groups, and animal rescue organizations. Many of her customers are seniors who like crystals, sage bundles, sprays, books, and candles, for emotional and health support, per Mandy. 

Rehoboth’s Stoneworks Lapidary also attracts a significant number of seniors. While its herb selection is rather sparse, the gem and crystal collection may be the best in the area. Besides gems and crystals, the shop carries beads, rock oil candles, Himalayan Salt and more.

Frank and Debbie Navecky own the shop. Frank’s mother, Patricia, is just as knowledgeable. Patricia says many senior customers are seeking remedies for anxiety, improvements in mental sharpness and endurance, or even help with losing weight. Some are just looking for gifts for the grandchildren. A special feature of THIS shop is the back room filled with fossils, geodes, minerals, and a giant dinosaur head.  

Energy bracelets (AKA healing bracelets) are popular and affordable items for both purposes. Patricia says amethyst is appealing to seniors. It is a purple crystal (a form of quartz) that is said to offer physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing. 

Whether or how much they actually “work” or not is a matter of debate. Their effects could just be wishful thinking, but sometimes that may be all it takes to get results.  

By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist

Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.  

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