In Marin / CURRENTS
More than 30 years ago, Eden Clearbrook, freshly arrived in Bolinas from Paris via British Columbia, took a walking tour with an herbalist and met Marion Weber, then the wife of organic farmer Warren Weber. It was an encounter that changed Clearbrook’s life. What happened that day? Marion told us about comfrey and its regenerative properties and we made a healing salve. Something happened inside
of me. I just fell in love with that salve. How did your business start? I started making the salve at home
and selling it at the Bolinas People’s Store and at the Good Earth in Fairfax. You opened your store in
1997. Was that a big step? Huge. I jumped into a great unknown, and yet a friend reminded me that years
before, I had mentioned that my dream was to have a shop.
I don’t recall that at all. Was it difficult? Well, I already kept
records of bills and I already had developed relationships
with organic suppliers, so it was really a continuation and
a deepening of what I had already been doing. And being a
Virgo with a moon in Capricorn, I have good skills with details and keeping track of things, so that has become very useful.
You have 175 herbs here. How much do you sell? I have promised myself that at the end of the year I’m going to tabulate
that amount because it’s astonishing how much a little hole-in-the-wall like this sells — hundreds and hundreds of pounds.
And the salves? I sell a lot of the salves, including the healing salve I’ve made for 34 years. That’s my specialty. That’s my
great love. You rub them on your body? We’re changing the paradigm here. We say rub it in. Plants and healing. Aren’t
people skeptical? Some people are afraid. People come from out of town and they are just terrified of the place and
they step right out. But others come in and are very open; they find there is something in the store that makes them feel
comfortable, happy and at ease. Any trends in herbal treatment? A lot more use of what I have by men. For? It could be
using the moisturizing cream as an aftershave. It could be using saw palmetto, a wonderful remedy for prostate issues. M
DEALING WITH STRESS
First, says Clearbrook, this caveat: “Each
human being is unique. Some things will
work for 90 percent and not at all for the
other 10. Educate yourself. Don’t just
grab something.” With that in mind, she
recommends the following steps to keep
stress in check:
• Start the day with deep breathing and
a body practice — say, yoga or qigong.
• Set an intention for the day.
• Drink warm water freshened with
• Eschew caffeine in favor of gotu kola
• For nerves, skullcap, either as tea or
• For mental overwork, oat straw (infuse
• For anxiety, passionflower leaf tea.
• For sleep, lemon balm.
Garden of Eden
A shop with 175 ways to cure what ails you. BY TIM PORTER
Eden Clearbrook, Garden of
Eden Apothecary and Healing Room,
65 Third Street, Point Reyes Station,
SET THAT INTENTION
Intention is key, says Clearbrook. “Having an intention is
like putting a stick in the ground that will keep on bringing
you back to that center. Your life circles around that
intention, so you become much more mindful rather than
being lost in your head.”
ON THE JOB