The Herb Stop has been part of the Rim Country business scene since 1992. It was originally in Payson, first at the south end of town, then later in the Payson Village shopping center. This spring, it moved to Pine.
"We moved the business to Pine because we needed more space," said owner Natalie Hajdu. The new shop, at 4004 N. Highway 87, has 1,000 square feet.
"It gives us a chance to make more products," Hajdu said. "And it's beautiful here."
Hajdu and her mother, Leilah Breitler, along with their employees, manufacture and package the inventory they sell, plus that for another Herb Stop store in Ruidoso, N.M.
Another benefit of the move, with the manufacturing on site, products can be sold at wholesale prices to the public, Hajdu said.
"We used to do lots of bulk selling, and we still do, but we have moved into packaging, which makes it easier on the consumer," she said.
Among the shop's most popular products is its cucumber lotion, Hajdu said.
"It has no added scent and is 99.7 percent natural. The remaining percentage is a preservative. It's good for rashes, hot skin and as a moisturizer," she said.
Another popular product is their "Movement" capsule for people with arthritis and other joint pain. Hajdu said the capsule contains yucca, devil's claw, black cohash, kelp, nettles, wild yam and feverfew.
"Our African Rooibas tea is also popular. It has all the benefits of green tea, but next to no caffeine or tannic acid," she said. It comes in all kinds of flavors, including a raspberry blend that smells almost like the pure fruit.
One of the things the new shop size made possible is a regular tea tasting. Each week, a new tea is brewed up and customers and visitors come in for a sample.
The size of the new shop has also made it possible to hold educational programs on site.
"Classes are held every other Saturday on different topics," Hajdu said.
On Sept. 30, the shop will have a program on detoxifying from 1 to 3 p.m. There is no charge. A program on the immune system is planned for Oct. 14, and future topics will be applying mineral makeup and information on the cardiovascular system.
After learning about the immune system, customers might want to try some of the products carried by The Herb Stop for colds, flu, sinus congestion and drainage.
"We carry these all year round," Hajdu said. She recommends their Body Defense capsule for fighting off colds and flu, Clear Head and Breathe Flow for allergies and congestion. Some products come in children's formulas as well as adult dosages.
"One of my favorites is our Throat Spray," Hajdu said. "If I get sick it always goes to my throat and tonsils. I spray my throat three times before going to bed and I never get sick anymore." The ingredients are echinacea, barberry, marshmallow, licorice and sandalwood oil.
Herbs are a way of life for Hajdu. Her mother, Leilah Breitler, was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 16, she said. Using natural treatments, she was completely cured. Breitler went on to become a Swiss-trained pharmacy assistant and trained in Canada in iridology (the study of the iris), reflexology and spectrotherapy (using color and light in treatment). She has been practicing herbal medicine since 1969 and is available through The Herb Stop for consultation.
Both Hajdu and Breitler are available for speaking engagements for clubs and organizations.
"Our goal is to educate people in herbal medicine," Breitler said.
The Herb Stop has a variety of publications available and has a monthly newsletter, mailed free of charge.
The Herb Stop works closely with its suppliers, using only those with staff to test the herbs and assure the materials are organically grown.
The shop also has a Web site, www.herbstoponline.com. For more information, call (928) 476-4144. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Hajdu and Breitler celebrate their 14th anniversary Saturday, Sept. 23.
-- To reach Teresa McQuerrey call 474-5251 ext. 113 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.