People | Places | PROJECTS

PROJECT: Jenny Q’s Herbals

Jenny Q’s Herbals is the perfect project to showcase as we shift into earthy + abundant Taurus season …Jenny Q’s Herbals blends nature and nurture in aromatherapy alchemy. Using a combination of both her person and place, she is offering results in her remedies you can smell for yourself! Aromatherapy and essential oils gives us insight with scientifically spiritual scent in small, organic batches.

aromatherapy (with its HQ in Joshua Tree).

Aromatics has been an ancient source of healing cross-culturally. Whether inhaled, ingested, applied, or through other various methods, the medicinal effects of these plant extracts have proven timeless over thousands of years.

Although she could be included in our PEOPLE section, the multi-methods and offerings of Jenny Q is more discernible and more accurately defined as a PROJECT…Indeed, the perfect PROJECT highlight both as a Spiritual Degenerate and as an Alchemist.


Hey all you Spiritual Degenerates. Meet Jenny Q. !
This Herbalist + aromatherapy barista is the founder/owner/brainchild of
Grateful Desert Herb Shoppe & EcoMarket, a must-know on your metaphysical map if you’re in Joshua Tree.

“Jenny Q’s Herbals offers an exquisite line of responsibly sourced, hand-crafted herbal, aromatherapy, and natural health products. Formulated with the highest quality ingredients to support the body’s strength and balance. Created in small batches with spirit and intention, in the heart of the Mojave Desert.”

Combining knowledge of herbs and essential oils alongside her own healing experiences, Jenny Q has uses a combo of plant medicine and passionpreneurship to manifest heart-centered healing— to create a space in a sacred place (JOSHUA TREE). It is the home base for her shop and aromatherapy bar.


Grateful Desert Herb Shoppe & EcoMarket.

Magical and a must-see on California’s map, oshua Tree is the home base of Jenny Q’s Herbals formulations. Known to locals and lucky travelers as the go-to apothecary and aromatherapy bar. First and foremost is the foundation upon which this legacy has been built. Jenny + Co makes sure any products, companies, or creations they carry align with their values; which are, of course, ethical, organic, fair trade, and ultimately beautiful.


Natural body care and home care products, international foods, local art, gourmet chocolate and other sweet surprises. The Joshua Tree shoppe includes a wellness room, used by founder—RN and Herbalist Jenny Qaqundah—for herbal consults, and by local and traveling practitioners. See the consults page for more information.


“We’ve long known about the emotional benefits of aromatherapy, but we’re now discovering more of their physiological effects,” Jenny says. She notes the story of a French chemist who, about a century ago, burned himself in his lab. “He instinctively dipped his hand in the first liquid he could find, which happened to be lavender essential oil. When the chemist’s hand healed rapidly, and without scarring, he was inspired to study the [properties] of these oils.”

For more than 6,000 years we have have relied on aromatics for health. Egyptians unlocked the secret to their benefits, using them in massage oils and even skin care. Europeans have long employed more sophisticated methods for using essential oils, but only recently have Americans become intrigued about the medicinal effects of these plant extracts.

The idea, Jenny explains, is that after oil absorbs into the skin — the body’s largest organ — it then enters the blood stream. “People used to inject essential oils,” Jenny says. “You can die from this, so I wouldn’t recommend it, but a drop or two of an essential oil like ginger, for instance, can be added to a glass of water to ease digestion.” Even when applying oils topically it’s important to be knowledgeable. “Some essential oils be applied directly to the skin, others need to be diluted with a carrier oil,” Jenny explains.

Oils also have different molecular structures, and will result in various consistencies when mixed with essential oils. “The molecule of jojoba is the same size as a hair follicle and so it absorbs deep into the skin. Other oils, like almond oil, have larger molecules that cover the skin’s surface.” That’s why you can apply jojoba and the outer layer of skin will still feel dry. Jenny opts for a blend of oils that will moisturize deeply while also leaving the skin feeling emollient.
At the Aromatherapy Bar (an actual bar with stools, a shelf and a bartender), Jenny keeps about 70 essential oils (“I keep adding more — I have a problem!”), organic Shea lotion and sunflower and jojoba oils. If you’d like to add another kind of oil like grape seed or olive, you can purchase them next door at the Health Foods market. Most customers come to the shop looking to have a personalized perfume lotion made. “While they’re at my bar, I teach them about the benefits of the essential oils they’re choosing — and then they want another formula for their health,” Jenny says. Common ailments include anxiety, depression, flightiness and sleeplessness.

Last year, Jenny Qaqundah developed an acute infection that put her in the hospital for several months. It took all of the fingers on her right hand, both legs — and nearly her life. “Doctors said it must have been prayer that saved me, because I shouldn’t be here,” says the Joshua Tree resident. An herbalist for 20 years and registered nurse for four, Jenny believes the doctors and prayer saved her life. A cocktail of self-prescribed herbal remedies as well as aromatherapy, she’s convinced, aided in her full recovery. Her surgeons, surprised by Jenny’s resilience, have even asked about the herbs and put them on her medical chart. More than a year and forty surgeries later, Jenny is in good health and even better spirits. “This experience made me realize I’m here for a purpose.”

Long before her illness, Jenny believed in the healing powers of herbs and essential oils. A passion for climbing ultimately carved her route as an herbalist and aromatherapy “bartender.”
“My hands were getting badly cut on the granite here,” says the owner of the Grateful Desert Herb Shoppe and Aromatherapy Bar in Joshua Tree. “I started making my own hand salve with nourishing natural oils, and then sent it to other climbers to try. It took off from there.”
Jenny’s home lab soon included healing herbal infusions called tinctures (aiding everything from digestion to stress), aromatherapy sprays and handmade scented lotions (for moods, energy and physical well being).
For a peek into the workings of the Aromatherapy bar, check out this recent article on Jenny in the Desert Sun.