While Republicans and Democrats debate the future of healthcare in the United States and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, flu season is already in full swing and allergy season is just around the corner. Instead of relying on traditional pharmaceutical means, many Americans are now exploring alternative and natural holistic personal care options to combat the rising costs of drugs and preventative care. Ninety9, a local holistic startup, was founded to provide the people of Murfreesboro with hand-processed herbal tinctures crafted from organic ingredients grown in Tennessee.
“I actually made the first few herbal tinctures out of desperation—leery that natural herbs could even work, but I was at my wit’s end with the entire pharmaceutical industry,” said Jessica Stafford, the founder of Ninety9. “After the first few weeks it was working so well that my friends and family tried it and, miraculously, it worked for them, too.”
Mother Nature offers a wealth of solutions for at-home cold, allergy and stress relief if you know where to look. Stafford now seeks to deliver her knowledge of these natural remedies and personal care methods directly into the hands of the residents of Murfreesboro for better health options.
According to Stafford, the first step in considering treatments for common ailments naturally is to consult with your doctor. Those new to herbalism should ask their doctor about both holistic and prescription medication, as some herbs may interact with prescription drugs. Women that are pregnant or nursing should be especially diligent in discussing their options with their physicians.
The next step is to decide whether or not to buy the herbs and create your own herbal products or purchase remedies directly from a trusted herbalist. For consumers lacking the time or space to grow their own herbs, it is crucial to research ingredients in any purchased remedies.
“In my products, I use hyssop for congestion and fever, lemon balm for immune support and tulsi for sleep issues,” Stafford said. “All of our natural, non-gmo herbs come straight from Twin Creeks Farms in Murfreesboro. Other herbalists will suspend their tinctures in alcohol, but I decided to use glycerine products at Ninety9 because they’re safer for diabetics and those in recovery. My dad has been sober for 18 years and I’ve watched him struggle to find products he feels safe taking. Glycerine products also naturally sweeten the taste without raising glucose levels.”
For those considering growing their own herbs, the Master Gardeners of Rutherford County, a University of Tennessee horticulture education extension program, provides beginner and advanced courses in gardening. The Murfreesboro Community Garden also provides introductory gardening information and a communal gardening space at their downtown Murfreesboro plot on East State Street.
For more information about Jessica Stafford’s story and information on holistic alternatives, visit ninety9byjess.com. To pick your own herbs or produce at Twin Creeks Farms, call Corrinne Lemoine at (815) 630-0999.