Louisiana native, Shamekia Bryant is a compassionate nurse and a self-taught herbalist who has combined her expertise in western medicine with her passion for herbs and alternative healing. Now dedicated to sharing that passion with others, Shamekia has launched her brand as The Herbal Nurse to educate, inspire, and heal those in need. Let’s take a closer look at Shamekia’s passion and career in this Sheen Magazine exclusive.
Who is Shamekia Bryant?
I am a loving, nurturing, passionate, self-taught herbalist who is grateful for every minute God grants me on Earth. I specialize in learning and perfecting the challenges placed before me with a “challenge accepted” mindset and an understanding that I can’t win them all.
I am a native of Delhi, Louisiana but, for the last 17 years, Monroe, Louisiana has been our home. I’m married to the delightful and supportive James Bryant and, together, we share five amazing kids, four grandbabies, and a dog named Tiger. I’m a registered nurse in the state of Louisiana and graduated Suma Cum Laude from South Arkansas College. I love nursing and have worked in several areas, but my true passion is working as an emergency room nurse.
Tell us more about your work as an herbalist.
I make herbal salves. My signature No. 19 was birthed out of fear and a physiological fight or flight reaction. There was something unseen that killed people without a cause, and I was terrified. My fear was at the forefront as I went into the kitchen and started working on something to protect myself. I made an antiviral salve to use and named it No. 19. I discovered its power and the rest is history. Now, the fun part is learning the herbs, how they act with the body, and the right formula to ensure they work at their best. Not all herbs are created equal and quality over quantity is of the utmost importance to me.
Tell us about some of your greatest accomplishments.
My greatest accomplishment is being a Christian because my faith is part of my identity. The degrees, marriage, My Herbal Nurse, family, travels, and career are my greatest blessings.
What advice would you give someone who wants to mirror your success?
I am a nurturer; to help others is my drug of choice because it gives me a sense of purpose and enables my passion. That’s why it wasn’t a huge surprise to my friends and family when I started working with herbs.
Research and knowing what’s required of you before you embark on any business adventure is incredibly important. You must also put together a sound business plan and apply the oil God gave you. If you find something that you’re passionate about, doing it won’t seem like work. I love making herbal remedies, salves, balms, and creams. I’m so intrigued by the herb world especially as a registered nurse who understands how the body works and responds to western medicine. Alternative herbals are under-appreciated because they truly work.
What sense of purpose do you draw from your culture and community?
I remember growing up and visiting the local nursing home with my grandmother. We would take bags of fruit to the residents and never once was race a factor. I am a lover of all people and my community is made up of those who stand with me. However, the lack of quality medical services available to Black Americans exists. It’s a lack of access through insurance, poverty, education, ignorance, financial restraints, and noncompliance. It’s my prayer that Herbal Nurse can enlighten her community to better health.
What is your truth?
I face my truth each time I look in the mirror. I face my truth daily in the professional world where few others look like me. I faced my truth every time I applied for a business loan, when I decided to continue my education, when I brought ideas to the round table, and when I stepped into an arena without diversity. I face my truth because I am the resilient one, the overcomer, and the nurturer called by God.
Where can we find you?
My Herbal Nurse Line: (318) 267-5088
All images by Roderic Willis of Hidden Production