By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

No one is sorry to see 2020 go, and that includes Roy and Gwen Williams, as well as their crew at both of their stores. For many years we have done an Athens Now article around the holidays or the beginning of the new year because it’s the time of giving and for making a fresh start, and this year was no exception. However, what WAS different was that this year in October they lost a loved one unexpectedly, and some of this article is going to be dedicated to Mollie Clem, and to celebrate her impact on us. Perhaps most interestingly, we are going to learn how the Williams tribe had to apply to themselves the principles of multi-faceted health that they have long preached to others in order to handle grief well. Though it has been tough, they have been able to serve others in challenging times such as these.

Mollie Clem was Gwen’s mother, and as Herbs & More’s matriarch, she was an iconic presence in the store. “She was the first one here to open up, and the last one out every night,” said Roy. I can say that she was one of many “moms” that have loved me in the decade we have owned the paper, and with a smile she always expected me to hand her the latest edition when I would come in to do deliveries. She would also talk to me about various articles that she enjoyed, and I was honored to see her own copy of Athens Now right next to her Bible.

Mollie was one who possessed a wealth of hard-earned wisdom, a healthy dose of sass, an uncommon work ethic, a heart to help, and an absolutely unshakeable faith. Two weeks before she died, she demonstrated in the store that she could still do a squat and stand back up. When she was at Vanderbilt in the few days before she passed, she was ministering to everyone who was around her and comforting them. Roy was quick to note that, “The Vanderbilt staff was amazing.” When the doctors suggested the possibility that if she came through surgery it might would leave her paralyzed, she just looked at them and said in true Mollie fashion, “Y’all ain’t cuttin’ on me.” That was that; she and Gwen planned her celebration of life, and the next day she “was gone on home” at the age of 82.

Roy and I talked at length about what they did, how they were a “product of their own product” when it came to experiencing bereavement in the midst of the strangest year ever. “Well, the first thing, and the most important thing was faith. We know without a shadow of a doubt where she is and that we will see her again. The support from the people around us carried us, especially in the first few days and weeks. Herbs & More has always been a landing place for this community, and they were that for us,” he said. He also mentioned how grateful he was for their staff, and how even though they grieved together, they stepped up to fill the unfillable void left by the Unsinkable Mollie Clem.

I asked Roy, “What else did you do, change, take, or increase that you found helpful?” He said, “As far as lifestyle was concerned, we had to be careful to not eat too much ‘funeral food.’ It’s easy to eat too much of stuff that is not going to build your health during a tough time. Gwen and I counteracted that by eating a lot of salads We try to lean toward eating live food. Exercise was another thing. I have always done it, but hiking out in the wilderness to have alone time with God helped with the stress. Then there was the BEMER mat that we have in the shop. Every day when Gwen came in, she would go get on it.”

BEMER stands for Bio-Electric-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation, and the therapy uses a low-frequency pulsed magnetic field to stimulate capillary tissue. Herbs & More has a lovely room where you can experience the benefits of this FDA Class II-cleared consumer medical device. They also have a set of WBV (Whole Body Vibration) machines, which reduce stress and increase circulation, along with an infra-red sauna. I have used all three of these machines, and can attest to their benefit. Quite frankly, my intention by grace in the new year is to get back into what before COVID was my weekly Herbs & More routine, and would encourage you to do so as well. Roy says that it is not at all uncommon for people to “just have the feeling that they need to stop by, and then they tell us that all of it, the people and the products, are an answer to prayer.”

“Sleep is super important during a time of grief,” said Roy, and he added, “and that is where both Gwen and I struggled for a while. We took a supplement called Somatomax that helped us to sleep without all the side effects. It raises dopamine, and also helps with body building.”

There were other all-natural supplements that were beneficial as well. “Remember,” Roy said, “We can either use God’s things from creation or we can lean on Man’s concoctions, and we have found that it is better to go with God’s. CBD oil was helpful, and something else that we all took was a product that we can’t keep on the shelves. It’s called True Calm, and it’s made by NOW. It contains valerian root, magnesium, GABA, (which comes from certain teas and fermented foods, and helps with mood), magnesium and niacin, along with a few other food-based ingredients. “Essential oils are powerful, too, because the oils get right past the blood-brain barrier and get right to work,” said Roy. We both remember the days when essential oils were looked on as fraudulent, and it is encouraging to see that mainstream medicine now recognizes their many benefits.

We moved on to goals, dreams, and plans for 2021. While we all know that nothing in life or society is ever guaranteed, here is what Herbs & More plans to do in the coming year:

  • Upgrade/update the website and their online presence. They have made a major investment to put all the online buying ports, the Athens Now Alternative Approach articles, the podcasts, newsletters, and radio shows under one umbrella.
  • Roll out a new product for weight loss called AOD-9604, which stands for Anti-Obesity Drug. It comes in a dropper bottle, works from the premise that peptides can be powerful in winning the battle of the bulge, and has received the FDA’s GRAS designation. (GRAS stands for Generally Regarded As Safe, and the FDA does not assign this category lightly.) For more information, see Roy’s latest Alternative Approach article in this edition.

Finally, Roy and Gwen wanted to reacquaint our readers with the core values of Herbs & More -- what they believe and why they do what they do. “People need to know that they have a choice when it comes to their health and what they do with their bodies. Even Benjamin Rush, the first Surgeon General of the United States, fought hard to have the concept of Medical Freedom be spelled out in the Constitution, and told George Washington that the day would come when he (Washington) would have wished that Rush’s request had been granted. History tells us that not long after that, Washington was subjected to blood-letting, and mercury was put in him to help him get better. It didn’t, and now we know why. When President Trump signed ‘The Right To Try’ Act, which gives terminally ill patients the right to try experimental/alternative drugs and treatments, it opened up a lot of doors and hopefully will help things to change. Our company is called NEWtritional Care. The word ‘Care’ may be the last word of our title, but it is always the first thing on our minds.”

Stop by Herbs & More today, and experience care, community, and maybe even some “Mollie stories!”
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

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Athens Now Online 2019