ISSUE 4  |  Herbs and Potions

Shopper’s Diary: Homestead Apothecary in SF’s East Bay

January 31, 2014 2:30 PM

BY Meredith Swinehart

Homestead Apothecary in Oakland, California is a small shop offering raw ingredients for herbal health alongside ready-made tinctures and salves. Founder Nicholas Weinstein believes that “the technology we have built to make our lives easier is causing disease and stress and taking up so much of our time that it is difficult to make space for self care.” As nature lovers who make our living on the computer, we empathize.

Homestead Apothecary sits in Oakland’s Temescal Alley, an artsy corridor of independent, like-minded businesses. After raising $5,000 on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, Weinstein started the brick-and-mortar store less than a year ago. Though he had been interested in natural health for some time, Weinstein got serious about it after his cat became ill and traditional vets told him he may have to put her to sleep. An herbalist veterinarian essentially cured her.

Weinstein wants to dispel the notion that herbal medicine is only for those with a specialized interest and expertise, and his shop has a marked focus on community–promoting health and wellness in his community of Oakland; supporting the local Bay Area community of naturopaths, herbalists, farmers, and makers; and as a physical space for community members to gather at low-cost health clinics, workshops, and art events.

To learn more, visit Homestead Apothecary.

Above: An “Herbal Folklore Guide” (L) created by Homestead Apothecary using information gathered from Eugene, OR-based Mountain Rose Herbs. Handmade labels (R) describe exotic-sounding goods like red clover tincture, blue violet tincture, and comfrey-infused olive oil. Photographs via Facebook.

Above (L): The interior of Homestead Apothecary, with tinctures on offer and beeswax candles hanging from driftwood. Photograph via The Radder. Above (R): Herbs and tea at the shop. Photograph via Spotted SF.

Above (L): A San Francsico-area seasonal color wheel created by the Permacouture Institute for a workshop on making seasonal plant dyes. Photo via Facebook. Above (R): Root beer compost, containing five types of roots, two types of bark, wintergreen leaves, hops flowers, and juniper berries. Photograph via Oakland Local.

Above (L): Outside the shop, the apothecary offers live plants for those interested in growing their own herbs. Photograph via The Radder. Above (R): Weinstein with an armful of greens. Photograph via East Bay Express.

Above (L): The Homestead Apothecary shop sign, hand painted on live-edge wood. Photograph via California Home + Design. Above (R): An artist’s display at Interface Gallery, part of an exploration of local plants held in conjunction with Homestead Apothecary. Photograph via Oakland Local.

Above: Could his tattoos be any more charming? They read, “Never for money, always for love.” Photograph by Bonnie Chan via Oakland Local.

Inspired to take your health into your own hands? Read Natural Remedy: Garlic Honey for Fending Off Germs, DIY: Rose Water Hydrosol, and 10 Chinese Herbs to Cure What Ails You.