Creating Natural Remedies in the Home

Some people try to avoid certain ingredients that are in certain medications." ESTHER ARKFELD Herbalist

HARLAN -- Having grown up in a natural health-minded family, Esther Arkfeld had always taken interest in the idea of alternative health options found in plants.
    The Shelby County resident’s intrigue for the field came to full fruition four years ago, when she launched her natural health company, Stillwood Naturals, from her modern homestead in rural Shelby County, just northeast of Harlan.  
    Arkfeld studied to be an herbal nutritionist at the Herb School in Georgia eight years ago, where she learned how to grow the plants, harvest them, and process them into varying medicinal mediums.
    She also earned her Certificate for Master Herbalist. According to MedicineNet, Herbalism is the practice of utilizing plants to create medicinal uses through varying mediums.
    The herbalist now creates salves, syrups, teas, soaps, and other natural remedies by individual order for her customers.
    While Arkfeld said she is a believer in natural remedies, she explained that she is by no means trying to replace the position of a doctor.
    “Some people try to avoid certain ingredients that are in certain medications,” Arkfeld said. “And by no means am I trying to take the place of medication...I am not a doctor, I don’t pretend to be.”
    Arkfeld assembles her remedies on an individual basis, depending on what each person needs. For instance, if someone is battling a cold, she will concoct an herbal tea permeated with plants that alleviate congestion or help boost one’s lung function.
    The herbalist also makes salves that are utilized for superficial cuts, scrapes, bee stings, and bug bites, otherwise lovingly called “booboo cream” by her children.
    “It just kind of helps them to feel better without having to put any chemicals on their body,” she said.
    Out on her herbalist homestead, Arkfeld and her family strive to live self-sustainable, similar to what she describes how her generation’s grandparents used to live.
    Arkfeld’s family raises their own animals and tends to their gardens. When an ingredient is needed for a medicinal recipe, she simply plucks the plant from her herb garden, or forages for certain herbs throughout the countryside.
    Arkfeld then takes the fresh herbs and infuses them in an oil. She then warms up the ingredients together, and strains out the herbs, blending them with beeswax, ultimately forming into a salve consistency.  
    Along with her talent in creating medicinal mediums, Arkfeld occasionally fashions homemade soap. Soaps, she explained, are incredibly diverse and can be constructed with a mosaic of different ingredients. Some consist of herbal tea and others possess goat milk, which acts as a moisturizer, Arkfeld said.
    As a believer, Arkfeld said she believes that God created everything on Earth so people could utilize those natural resources to continue on a path shrouded in a healthy lifestyle.
    When she had her children, she began reading the labels on skincare products, becoming concerned with what exactly she was putting on her childrens’ skin, and her own. Arkfeld even made her own diaper rash cream after she noticed other mothers struggling to find a cream that worked for their babies. The products she used were of the natural world, plants that are well-known to bear skin-soothing qualities.
    “So it’s really all about what we put in our bodies, you know, how do we keep ourselves healthy if we continue to put things on our bodies or in our bodies that are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle, then we can’t expect to have optimal health,” she said.
    Anyone who would like to contact Arkfeld can do so at

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