Herbs & More: A Bit Of History And The New Store

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

This weekend the dedicated crew, family and friends of Herbs & More are going to be banding together to move into their new location in the old Osborne’s Jewelers store on Jefferson St. in Athens, right across from the Athens-Limestone Public Library. Their plan is to be ready to roll on Monday, August 20th, at 9 am, and will throw a yet-to-be-announced Grand Opening celebratory bash later in September. The address of the new place is 622 S. Jefferson Street, Athens, AL 35611.

Recently, between the packing of boxes and loading of vehicles I spoke with Herbs & More’s owners, Roy and Gwen Williams who look upon this move as the fulfillment of a dream which began in 1999. They have owned several stores but always leased the locations, and being able to own their actual place of business gives them the freedom to even better serve their customers.

Gwen told me, “We are going to have a lot more room, and can offer more services.” Herbs & More customers will be able to take advantage of:

  • Massages by a licensed massage therapist
  • BEMER treatments (Bio-Electro-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation)
  • Infra-red Saunas (which will be in a separate room)
  • Reiki treatments
  • Ionic de-tox foot baths
  • Whole body vibration machines

There will also be some special opportunities to learn about the impact of food and emotions on various organs of the body, how Ph balance effects health, and more.

Roy began his alternative health journey (which served to launch his career) as a result of dealing with severe acne during his adolescence. He had the kind that makes you wince for a kid when you see it–deeply discolored, painful, pustular and scarring. “From the time I was 14 until was 17, I went to a dermatologist for treatments. He would lay me down on a metal table, and he had various-sized disks that he would literally beam radiation through on to the acne, depending on the size of the outbreak,” he said. “Wait, radiation? You’ve got to be kidding me!” I exclaimed. He smiled and continued his story, saying, “It was a long time ago. The treatment didn’t help, and once I had my driver’s license I drove myself there. One day I told him it wasn’t getting any better, and I didn’t want to do it anymore. That was when he told me that acne was bacterial, and if I quit drinking soda pops, used Vitamin E and ate right it would clear up. I was so mad. I couldn’t understand why he hadn’t told me about that in the first place, and then it occurred to me that my dad had great medical insurance, and it was in the doctor’s best interest to keep me coming in, not mine. So, I did what he said, and in 90 days the acne was gone, and so was the scarring. I never went back.”

Roy began to devour everything he could on nutrition, health care as opposed to sick care, and alternative treatments for a number of conditions and ailments. For awhile he seriously considered becoming a chiropractor. He read voraciously, learned from various medical doctors as well as alternative practitioners, and also met and married Gwen. “From the moment he walked in the room I knew I was going to marry that man, and I told my friend so,” Gwen said with a laugh. He was 25, she was 23, and within a few months they were married back in 1980. “For almost 90% of our married life we have worked together. My dad, Bobby Clem said something to us once: ‘You get with one thing, and stick with it,” she added. Helping people build their health became that “one thing.”

Roy had his first major positive, alternative health-building experience through overcoming acne. For Gwen, it was becoming a mother for the first time, and facing the challenges and responsibilities of caring for a newborn. They then came into the understanding that MSM (methylsulfonylmethane, a naturally occurring sulfur) combined with Vitamin C could greatly help with dehydration and inflammation; two major factors in most diseases. It is what is known as an “organosulfur” compound with the formula (CH?)?SO?. There are a number of rich sources of MSM found in foods such as cow’s milk, coffee, tomatoes, tea, raspberries, whole grains and legumes, and it is easily destroyed by processing, which happens so often in modern food distribution. Simply discussed, MSM helps “good stuff get into the cells, and bad stuff to get out.” It promotes faster healing of joints, burns, and broken bones. It aids in the absorption of other important minerals such as iron and calcium, and helps the body break down the detrimental form of calcium and plaque which settle in joints. There is research being conducted at present that suggests that MSM can be a powerful ally in the fight against cancer, and it is thought that it helps cancer cells self-destruct.

Through the help of master formulator Jan Marie Hornack, the Williamses launched their NEWtritional label and their flagship product, MSM+C. “Jan Marie came down here to Alabama to get to know us and see how we lived before she ever agreed to make the product,” Gwen said. She went on to tell me that it had always been essential to both Roy and Gwen that the ingredients were the finest and the formulation state-of-the-art. They now have 38 patents, including some Ph balancing drops, and Roy told me, “When we first got started, so many of the supplements that are commonplace now didn’t exist.” He gave the example of glucosamine and chondroitin, which almost no one had ever heard of “back in the day,” and MSM used to be only given to racehorses!

Roy closed our time together by saying, “We are in the business of educating, first and foremost. We know that our bodies are designed by God to heal themselves if we use the right fuel, and the right tools. We want to give our bodies the kind of support they need to do what they were made to do, and to spread the good news that good health is possible.” Come and see what he’s talking about at the “new and improved” Herbs & More.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner