Maria Noel Groves: Herbalist spreads the word on wellnessBy MELANIE PLENDA
January 21. 2016 12:29PM
Home: Allenstown (surrounded by Bear Brook State Park)
Birthplace: Chattanooga, Tenn. (My parents are from N.H. and I spent most of my life here and grew up in Derry.)
Family: Husband, Shannon Groves, and our seven chickens. My parents and in-laws live in Derry and Hudson, respectively, and we have a large network of extended family nearby. I have a younger brother.
Current job: Clinical herbalist, health journalist, author. I run Wintergreen Botanicals Herbal Clinic and Education Center. I also freelance for various publications including Herb Quarterly, Remedies Magazine, Taste for Life Magazine, and create/contribute to course work for the Herbal Academy of New England.
Key current professional challenge: How do I want my business to grow in the coming years so that I can have a greater impact on people’s wellbeing while also working within a supportive community of herbal and integrative medicine practitioners?
ALLENSTOWN — Whether it’s as an author, a journalist or clinician, Maria Noel Groves wants to help people get better and find balance, naturally.
To that end, this clinical herbalist spends her time educating the community on the benefits of naturopathy through her Wintergreen Botanicals Herbal Clinic and Education Center, in Allenstown and accompanying website, which offers tips, recipes and guides to local herbs.
“I see myself first and foremost as an educator,” Groves, 39, writes on her website. “I believe that good health comes with understanding, empowerment, and the grace of our natural world. Nothing compares with the healing we experience when we connect with nature’s bounty, whether it be food, medicinal herbs, or simply time spent outdoors.”
As if that wasn’t enough, she also fills her time freelance writing for various publications including Herb Quarterly, Remedies Magazine, Taste for Life Magazine, creating and contributing course work for the Herbal Academy of New England, and she just completed her first book “Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care,” a 300-page book that teaches herbal and holistic medicine in a very fluid way, organized by body system.
“It’s like a holistic anatomy and physiology/pathology lesson with an herbal twist,” she said of the book. “It’s very readable for the layperson, yet I also expect that the western approach will help the medically minded people better understand and appreciate an herbal medicine and nutrition. “The book is not a ‘use this for that’ approach but aims to help people better understand how the body can get out of balance, and what natural approaches are useful for bringing it back into balance and health.”
Groves was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., raised in Derry, where she graduated from Pinkerton Academy, and now lives with her husband and seven chickens nestled in the nature of Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown.
After earning her bachelor of arts degree in English and Journalism from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, she earned her clinical herbalist certification from the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine and became a registered, peer-reviewed professional herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild.
In addition to her clinical work and writing, Groves finds time to get out in the community to help spread the good word on herbs and healthy living, including founding the award-winning Wellness Education program at the Concord Food Co-op and teaching herbal medicine as an educator for the Concord Hospital Center for Health Promotion and as adjunct faculty at Nashua Community College.
As a volunteer, Groves is a co-founder and past-president of the 200-member N.H. Herbal Network, which is currently a chapter of the American Herbalists Guild. Over the years she has been very active with the Northeast Organic Farming Association-NH education committee and is a past recipient of its volunteer of the year award.
And in the spirit of practicing what she preaches, Groves does indeed balance out her active professional and community lives, with a little fun. When she’s not working, she said she likes getting outdoors as much as possible to hike, kayak, bike, cross-country ski and snowshoe. She also likes to cook, knit, garden and hang with her chickens.