Hedgerow Herb Co. Is Here to Heal and Educate With Nature’s Medicine

Hedgerow founders Madrone McCarthy and Teresa McKee want to bring back the full-range healing reputation of apothecaries.

Tessa McKee and Madrone McCarthy Hedgerow Herb Co Evoto (Hedgerow Herb Co)

Located at East Burnside’s colloquially christened “Feminist Mini Mall” is Hedgerow Herb Co., a singular apothecary that sets itself apart by offering consultations, classes and customized herb blends, tinctures and salves to treat all manner of malady. Essentially, Hedgerow, which opened in May, is a femme-owned and -operated compounding pharmacy for folks who prefer botanical remedies.

“The apothecary has always been a place where people would go to treat allergies or menstrual discomfort, headaches, all the things that you would basically go to CVS for,” says Madrone McCarthy, who, alongside Teresa McKee, owns and operates Hedgerow. “Teresa and I both care about accessibility and preservation of traditional ways, not just herbal medicine, but craft as well. The benefits of herbs are manifold.”

McKee and McCarthy founded Hedgerow after the eastside herb shop where they worked together moved online due to rent instability. The location had been an apothecary for almost 20 years—first as The Herb Shoppe, then as Fettle, and finally as Wildish Botanicals. “Teresa and I were torn,” McCarthy says. “We did not want to leave the eastside without a place to talk face to face with an herbalist, so we decided to find our own space.”

Eager to see what the two entrepreneurial herbalists had done to transform the Feminist Mini Mall’s most conspicuous vacant retail space, WW visited the newly opened Hedgerow Herb Co. What we found was an atmospheric, arcane healing space replete with dried herbs hanging from the rafters, shelves overcome with amber-colored potion bottles, and a community-forward ethos that’s an inarguable value not only to its Lower Burnside Street neighborhood, but all of Portland.

WW: For someone who doesn’t really have any experience with an herbal apothecary, what should they expect from a visit to Hedgerow?

Madrone McCarthy: All these plants have medicinal properties; they can support your body functions and also ease various symptoms. The role of the herbalist is really to just help alleviate suffering wherever possible. We do in-depth consultations, but it’s also pretty much free care to just talk to us at our counter about what you’re going through in your body. It’s vulnerable, and people share whatever they feel comfortable sharing, but we just try to be really disarming.

Where does your love for naturopathy come from?

Both of us have a really deep love for ancestral skills and traditional ways, and herbal medicines from apothecaries were the people’s main medicines for a really long time. That’s how everyone was treating themselves until about 150 years ago. But even at that turning point, when apothecaries started to fall away in a sense, doctors became so expensive that people would still just go to their local apothecary and get treatments, medicines, whatever you want to call them. We’re definitely not saying, hey, don’t go to the doctor. But there’s a lot of remedies for people that are easy, things that people can do at home.

What kind of community events are you two planning as the space continues to take root?

We are going to be doing five monthly events, specifically workshops with one specific plant. We had our first one with the hawthorn tree just about a week ago, and it was a sold-out night. Rose is happening in July. Our friends from Olympia who run Hyldyr Publishing will be holding one of their book releases here next month. We’ve got a class coming up on medicinal gardening. We should see a floral arrangement class in the works soon. We have so many amazing people in our lives who are artists or writers or musicians that need a space like this to be able to share their craft, so we also want to make offering classes really accessible.

What has the community’s reaction been?

The shop we worked for previously was on Hawthorne, which is a great neighborhood but didn’t really have much connection to any of our neighbors. Throughout our build here, though, so many neighbors from our building, but also from the block, have come over and introduced themselves. Everyone is really excited to have an apothecary in their neighborhood. It’s been really, really sweet.

The Haul:

Good Belly Tea Blend: lemon balm, peppermint, chamomile, fennel, ginger and orange peel

When sipped after meals, I noticed less bloating and less intestinal discomfort.

Be Still My Heart Tea Blend: hawthorn berry and flower, hibiscus, rose petal and hip, and spearmint

As a nightcap, this is a very satisfying cuppa, but the bright notes of rose and hibiscus would also make this an unfuckwithable summer sun tea.

Don’t Panic Tincture: motherwort, valerian root, blue vervain, cane alcohol, spring water, and wildflower honey

When taken sublingually before a big speaking gig, this tincture relaxed my high-octane anxiety without any fuzzyheadedness.

GO: Hedgerow Herb Co., 811 E Burnside St., #116, 971-666-8693, hedgerowherbco.com. Noon–6 pm daily.

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