Master herbalist to speak at Pittsburgh event |

Master herbalist to speak at Pittsburgh event

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Courtesy Sara-Chana Silverstein
Master herbalist Sara-Chana Silverstein is the guest speaker at 6 p.m. Tuesday at “Spa for the Soul” in Mt. Lebanon.

Sara-Chana Silverstein went through a range of feelings after finding herself sitting at her daughter’s hospital bedside and then for months in a rehabilitation facility.

The young girl had been hit by a tow truck, which doctors thought might have caused an undetected blood clot in her spine months later from the accident. She was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord.

Her daughter would be bedridden the rest of her life, Silverstein was told.

“This was the most challenging time of my life,” Silverstein told the Tribune-Review last week. “I tried to stay positive, but to see my daughter unable to even scratch herself if she was itchy or wipe her eyes when she cried was too much for me to bear.”

But the mother refused to remain down for long. In addition to the medical treatments, Silverstein moved the bed to a space where her daughter could see who was entering the room, sprayed essential oils and purchased fresh flowers to brighten up the area.

Silverstein took herbs every day to soften her sadness and anger, which helped. She was able to keep her daughter’s spirits up and says the girl is now on her way to a complete recovery.

Silverstein will share the story of how herbal supplements helped her keep her moods in check during this tragedy as the guest speaker at 6 p.m. Tuesday at “Spa for the Soul.”

It’s an evening of relaxation and spirituality. She will discuss her book “Moodtopia: Tame Your Moods, De-Stress and Find Balance Using Herbal Remedies, Aromatherapy and More. “

The 13th annual event is hosted by the Chabad of the South Hills in Mt. Lebanon, which promotes unity and pride among Jewish women in the South Hills from all backgrounds, said Batya Rosenblum, coordinator of the event and co-director of Chabad of the South Hills with her husband Rabbi Mendy Rosenblum, who is the director.

Batya Rosenblum said this event, which will be held in a private home, is about connecting through a topic that is relevant and practical.

With Silverstein’s book about taming your mood and helping to distress by using natural measures, her message is certainly relevant in today’s world, Batya Rosenblum said. The evening will also include spa treatments such as skin care and makeup tips, as well as hand massages.

“Sara is so engaging, and people who hear her speak really connect with her,” Batya Rosenblum said. “She is so passionate about what she does.”

“Moodtopia” was written to get the message across that it’s about being in control of your moods so they don’t control you, Silverstein said.

The book offers ways to tame you moods, de-stress and find balance using herbal remedies and aromatherapy and more. It is divided into five parts and includes everything from charting your moods to which herbs will help with those moods to rejuvenating your moods with color.

“Women are more stressed today than ever,” said Silverstein, who lives in New York. “And they need to know that they were created moody – it’s the way we are hardwired. It has its benefits because it makes us feel passionate about something.

Don’t look at moodiness as negative. I try to find inexpensive and easy ways to feel more in control of your moods so they don’t control you.”

What used to be normal complaining and bouts of sadness are now treated with medicine and that is not always good, she said. She is not anti-medicine. It’s about incorporating herbal supplements.

Silverstein said it is best to consult with a master herbalist to formulate a plan.

“Herbs are a gentle, natural way to enhance your emotional state and nourish your nervous system so you can withstand the stresses of modern life without the potential unwanted side effects medications can have, although I do not oppose them since I’ve seen that, for some, they can be lifesavers,” she said.

The evening will include a light dinner, spa treatment, silent auction and raffle prizes. Limited seats are available.

Details: 412-344-2424 or

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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