For Nancy Morgan, herbalism isn’t about healing – the mind, body and soul.
Morgan is a certified herbalist who runs the Wild Thyme Herb Shop in downtown Waxahachie. She formerly studied under New Jersey Herbalist David Winston, who guides the Center for Herbal Studies and helped found the American Herbalists Guild in North Carolina.
Before she even got into herbology, Morgan ran a plant nursery with her husband in Bastrop, Texas, where they grew small plants, trees and shrubs and sold them at their local farmers’ market.
She was encouraged by one of her friends to pursue herbology after one of her trips to the farmers’ market. Since her family has a history in the medical field with her sister being a doctor, her brother being a pharmacologist and her mother being a microbiologist, she thought herbology might be a fun specialty to pursue.
“I’ve always kind of followed the family tradition, but in a black sheep kind of a way,” Morgan chuckled.
Morgan said she cashed out her 401K in order to study herbalism with Winston. She studied for four years, becoming a certified herbalist in 2012.
Morgan said she appreciates herbology because most medicines derive their properties from plants and herbs.
She believes that the medicinal qualities of herbs are most potent in their rawest form rather than in a prescription.
“They’re pulling herbs apart, they take one thing that they think works well, and they wrap it into a pill,” Morgan expressed. “In turmeric, for instance, there’s curcumin. Curcumin is supposed to be anti-inflammatory, but what they’re not seeing is that if you take too much curcumin, it can make you ill in another way. But if you try the whole plant, it’s healthy for you.”
“If there’s a side effect that happens from a certain constituent in the plant, there’s another constituent in the plant that offsets it,” she elaborated. “The whole plant is healthy for you. That’s why it was put here – to heal you.”
But a few years into opening her shop, something happened that motivated Morgan to more vigorously pursue herbal knowledge. Her husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma and, later on, lung cancer. She said the medicine he was prescribed was supposed to help him – but she saw it only make him weaker. He died a few years later.
“I got mad about what they were giving him and what it was doing to him,” Morgan expressed. “The FDA can approve a pharmaceutical that has a million side effects that are detrimental to the body, the mind and the spirit. Yet, herbs to them are ‘dangerous.’ I don’t understand it.”
She eventually remarried and moved to Waxahachie in 2015 and opened a new shop on the downtown square. Unlike her previous shop where it focused solely on herbs, Morgan wanted her new store to be “Holistic,” where it treats the body’s physical, mental and emotional health.
“You’re addressing the whole organism versus just a piece of it - the human organism,” massage therapist Bea Rocha. “We all help a person come back into homeostasis. It’s that balance we need in order to be fully well.”
One of Morgan’s most popular products is a Nervous Headache tea blend, which is made from lemon balm, passionflower, skullcap and California poppy.
“Everything I try to sell people is organic,” Morgan stated. “All herbs – no caffeine. You wouldn’t believe how many people can’t sleep at night.”
She explained that many times, most people’s health issues stem from what they put into their body – namely, their diet. She said many refined foods and sugars can lead to inflammations and other muscular pains.
She stated that more consumption of fruits and vegetables can sometimes solve many of the health issues some individuals may experience.
“That’s really key,” she expressed. “If you’re not eating right, then you’re most likely going to be sick. Sometimes it’s really that simple. You just change what you’re eating. You don’t even have to take herbs.”
Morgan stated that she also hosts classes and consultations so people could learn more about herbalism practices. She said she appreciates how herbalism has benefitted her life since she began studying it and loves arming others with the same knowledge that she has.
“Herbs don’t cure you,” Morgan explained. “What herbs do is make your body stronger so they can fight off disease. You’re drawing on the body’s innate ability to heal itself.”
To learn more about the Wild Thyme Shop or sign up for an appointment, call 512-284-1152 or visit the store at 110 North College Street.