Born in 1924 in the midst of Jim Crow and segregation in the deep south, Savannah would grow to be the phenomenal matriarch of our family. Affectionately referred to as Mama Sylvie by those closest to her and Mama Odie by my youngest daughter who swore her great-grandmother was just as powerful plus they had a similar accent. Unlike Mama Odie, Mama didn’t do any voodoo unless loving people has gotten a new title over time. She grew up watching her daddy use plant based medicine to heal and help others.
As a healthcare professional Mama understood the benefits and the drawbacks of conventional medicine. When she learned that I was studying herbal medicine she was so excited for me. Mama recounted one of the things she always regretted; that she had not able to learn herbal medicine from her daddy. Mama was never one to take a lot of medications and she was a woman of amazing health. I was elated and honored when she asked me in 2006 if I could possibly make her something for her hip pain.
As with any individualized consult the first thing we did was go over her medications, allergies and relevant medical history. After that I went about the process of making the formulation. Each herb takes me roughly 2 hours to research when I am considering it for a formula. I cross reference my current or prior knowledge of the plant with any books that I have. Then I search for any new information available via qualified research studies or trusted websites like the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health . I also look for any known contraindications either with medications or other herbs.
After about a week of researching herbs Savannah’s Blend was born. A final taste test sealed the deal. The only thing left to see was if Mama would like it and more importantly would it help. Mama Sylvie absolutely loved it and aptly named it her ‘Hip-Tea.’ I accomplished my goal. and was filled with a great sense of joy being able to help someone that I loved, but there was just one more issue to attend to. Mama wasn’t your typical great-grandmother, she was on the go.
Whether she was on her way to do something for family, a friend or herself, Mama Sylvia stayed moving and grooving. So how could I know she could attend to her hip when she couldn’t drink or steep tea? Well what better way than with a topical solution know today as Savannah’s Salve. A light formula with a mild warming action, it has been used for a variety of reasons. From Mama’s hip pain, to my son’s achy muscles from being a high performing athlete and competitive power lifter.
In 2014, we bid our beloved Mama Sylvie farewell, and as with any powerhouse of love and life she gone but not forgotten. In honor of her birthday, August 28th, we will be making Savannah’s Salve available for the first time ever. One of the greatest in a string of life lessons we learned was about the value of knowledge and using that knowledge to help others. So we hope that should you try either of these formulas they will be a blessing for you too. From our family to yours. Happy Birthday Mama, we hope we are making you proud.