By Stephanie Larkin, reporter

Two of Colorado Springs’ herbal stores, Sage Woman Herbs, and Anna’s Apothecary can recommend herbs that help with stress, memory, strengthening immunity, and pain relief, and offer alternatives to a pharmacy as Flu season and upcoming tests and assignments wreak havoc on students’ mental and physical health.

Herbs can be cheaper, last longer, be more effective, are not nearly as addictive, and are more organic than processed medicines.

“Medications just don’t feel natural,” Mitch Treible, a student at the Downtown Campus said.

“We realized there was a huge disconnect in what is being advertised and what is being sold,” Jordan Park, owner of Whole Body Apothecary inside the Chapel Hills Mall, said.

Many apothecaries that sell quality herbs often make their own products, so they know exactly what is in them and what they are meant to do.

Park said, “We stick to the simple formulas. Everything is made in store.”

Herbs also cost less and can last longer than traditional medicines. A few drops of herb extracts with water can go a long way.

According to Kaine Stuart at Anna’s Apothecary, many herbs can be more useful than most medicines people buy at general stores and pharmacies.

Lisa Harding at Sage Herbs explained that each herb has its own use and the help herbs can provide stretches from stress easement to even curing certain diseases.

When helping with illnesses, “herbs do take longer,” Harding said, “but it’s only because they are fighting off the actual virus and not the symptoms like medicines do. Medicines only ease the symptoms and let the body fight off the disease, but herbs fight the actual virus.”

Some herbs like arnica and kava kava can be turned into gels or creams to ease tense and aching muscles and are not addictive like contemporary painkilling medicines.

Burning sage can kill bacteria without toxic fumes like those caused by bleach.

“People burned sage in the past to stop what they called ‘ill winds’,” Kaine said. “Historically, people used to associate herbs with witchcraft and burned sage to ward off spirits and bad omens before anyone knew they were actually bacteria.”

Eleuthero can ease stress symptoms by making your body adapt to stress itself.

Ginkgo can help improve memory which helps studying performances before big tests.

Many students still use medicines because they don’t know much about herbal alternatives, or, they simply take what the doctor gives them when they have an illness.

PPCC student, Alex Whims said, “The military gives me pills instead of herbs.”

All of the apothecaries were adamant that it is important to consult an herbalist and physician before taking any herbs or supplements. Some herbal remedies can interfere or interact dangerously with medications.

While side effects in herbs are not as common or as severe as side effects from overdosing on medicines, it is still harmful to your body to take too much of a dose of herbal extracts, these experts warn.

Anna’s Apothecary is located at 116 Canon in Manitou Springs.

Whole Body Apothecary is located inside the Chapel Hills Mall at 1710 Briargate Blvd.

Sage Woman Herbs is located at 2727 N. Tejon St.