UMass CRC's Extravaganja, April 2018
Undergraduate Research Conference
at UMass Amherst, May 2015
My passion for helping others through illness is rooted in my own experiences with my mother. At 13 I became my mum’s primary caregiver during her battle with Stage 4 lung cancer. Though she lost her battle at the age of 40, caring for my mum instilled in me an instinct to help others to the best of my ability. Though my time with her was short, she taught me patience, love, and how to face anything in life with a smile.
When I started my Associate’s degree at Middlesex Community College for Liberal Arts and Sciences, I was searching for a subject to study for my B.S. that I could fall in love with and enjoy a lifelong career in. At that point I had just left Johnson and Wales University after pursuing a degree in Bakery and Pastry Arts--I was really after something where I could truly make an impact and improve the lives of others. After a variety of college courses, I took Botany and when starting the Herbal Medicine unit it was like a lightbulb went off! I requested an independent study the following semester and ended up testing the antibacterial properties of thirteen different plants against E. Coli, Bacillus, Staphylococcus, and Pseudomonas. I discovered that garlic will save you from almost everything under the sun, and my Professor pushed me to continue on to UMass Amherst for a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Food and Farming with a specialization in Herbal Medicine and Holistic Health.
My advisor and mentor at UMass was a remarkable man named John Gerber. He would push me every single day to be the best person I could be and to always ‘Go forth with dignity and grace’ as he would say. I was in a major that was mostly farmers and I was making my own way as a medicine maker so it was a vastly different but amazing experience. Since no one else had really set out solely to be an herbalist within the Sustainable Food and Farming degree before, I had to set up independent studies and work closely with a lot of amazing local herbalists to complete my degree. By the time I graduated I had learned so much but I knew that there was a lot more for me to do.
My grandparents and I at my Middlesex Community College Graduation, 2013
At the 2015 Boston Freedom Rally, I was invited to take cannabis
education courses at the New England Grass Roots Institute. The opportunity
to expand my medicinal plant knowledge was something I became very excited
about. At the time, cannabis was something that I knew a little about but in
truth I often found it overwhelming to sift through the vast amount of information
available to fully understand fact vs myth about cannabis. Many of the herbalists I
studied with actually frown upon the use of cannabis as medicine so it surprisingly
was not something I had studied during my Bachelor’s degree. For me when I am
researching a plant for medicinal uses, I want facts, studies, and information from
people that have worked intimately with it. I believe these are necessary to
understand the delicate complexities involved between the botany, chemistry,
biology, and anatomy incorporated into herbal medicine. NEGRI, Northeast
Institute of Cannabis and many other New England-based educators, growers,
and medicine-makers were able to take me under their wings to give me a wide
variety of techniques and knowledge.
By October 2015 I had launched Muffins’ Apothecary as a small Etsy shop
with the goal of offering simple, organic herbal medicine at an affordable
price. In the beginning, I started with 3 products and through countless
hours of hard work, research, and testing, my product line has expanded to
9 year-round offerings and several seasonal specialty items.
The original 3 remedies in the heart of my product line,
Elderberry Syrup, Fire of the Mother, and Healing Salve are still my bestsellers.
Though I have now expanded to a full website of my own at
MuffinsApothecary.com and offer herbal education classes throughout
New England, my goal of offering simple, organic herbal medicine at an affordable
price is still the same.
My first NECANN as a speaker, April 2016
Sparkle Saturday at The Studio
in Lewiston ME, December 2018
In the future, I plan to expand the shop to include more permanent and seasonal products as well as bringing back Muffins’ Care Package, a seasonal subscription box filled with unique products from around New England. I am currently in the process of developing a multi-week herbal medicine course that I hope to host in 2020, as well as looking for more workshop spaces and speaking opportunities in New England and beyond!
In my spare time, I study the Usui method of Reiki healing. Reiki is a form of energy healing and I am currently a level 2 practitioner; I am hoping to progress to the Master Teacher level soon! I also enjoy reading, cooking/baking, and playing video games.