Golden Poppy Herbal Apothecary offers classes to make homemade holiday gifts

Royce Hoffner

The holiday season is just around the corner and that means that it is time to start gearing up to find the perfect gifts for those in your life. Many people like the option of making gifts, adding a warm and individualized touch to the gifting season. Fort Collins is a city full of do-it-yourself ideas that translate nicely into gifts for the holidays.

The Golden Poppy Herbal Apothecary is a unique place to go learn to make presents for those you care about. The herbal shop specializes in homeopathic remedies for everything from stress to sleep aids. The apothecary is also offering special classes throughout the month of December to teach individuals how to make natural gifts.

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Sarah Josey, the owner of Golden Poppy, opened her business in 2013 to give Fort Collins residents somewhere to go to shop for herbs. There is nowhere else in town that offers these special plants in such a wide selection.

Josey attended CSU before she realized that she wanted to become an herbalist and help people learn about herbs and how to use them for medicinal purposes. She then attended a trade school in Boulder where she received her certification in Clinical Herbalism and Clinical Nutrition.

“I decided that Fort Collins needed a place for people to learn about herbs,” Josey said. “Because if I wanted to learn about them, I was sure that there were others who wanted to learn about them too.”

For the holidays, Golden Poppy is offering classes for people to learn how to make herbal oils and vinegars, herbal tea blending and aromatherapy sprays.

Classes allow attendees to leave with one creation for themselves in addition to the recipe and knowledge to make more at home.

“One of my favorite things about herbs is that they’re inexpensive, especially the herbs used to make teas,” Josey said. “Also, herbs were the original medicine; people have been using herbs to keep themselves healthy for thousands of years. Around this time of year with holidays and finals coming up, students are stressed, lack sleep and often get sick. There are lots of herbs to help with all of those things and to just keep you feeling better.”

Josey and her team of herbalists are always willing to answer questions that anyone may have about what herbs to use for any given ailment.

One such herbalist is Laura Cascardi, a certified herbalist who received a degree in botany from CSU.

“I feel like our world is toxic in a lot of areas right now,” Cascardi said. “And herbs are a nice way to gently keep yourself a little cleaner.”

Whether you are looking for a fun gift idea or to just learn more about herbs, the herbalists at the Golden Poppy Herbal Apothecary are always willing to help out.

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“Come on in and give us a try,” Cascardi said. “Talk to us. Ask us questions. Use us as a resource because that is what we are — a resource.”

Collegian A&E Writer Royce Hoffner can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @RoyceHoffner.