“I’m a second generation herbalist,” she said as she slid over her business card. I knew there had to be some wondrous health secret this gorgeous loc’d woman was keeping from me. Her skin glowed and her hourglass shape was the stuff of pin-up legends. Niemah Nefertiti credits a lifelong dedication to the education and use of herbs for her youthful beauty.

If you’re not familiar with herbalists, they’re wellness gurus trained in the science of incorporating herbs and minerals into your daily regimen. Niemah’s father started dabbling in these earthy cures some 50 years ago and passed down his knowledge to his daughter and her siblings. “For my father, it didn’t start out as a business, just as a practice. At that time, people weren’t very health-conscious, but some were still holding on to African traditions. He started studying herbs and medicine on his own and became very good at it.”

Encouraged by her father’s passion, Niemah gained a steady stream of clientele for whom she created custom herb blends, along with Age-less Products, an organic line of skin care goods. I’m personally hooked on her Red Clay Face Mask, which tightens and tones the skin. Niemah says “It’s the key to taking twenty years off of your face” – something she’s managed to do as a woman well into her forties.

After a little coffee chat, I sifted her top cures for anti-aging and healthy living.

1. ConcenTrace Mineral Drops: “This is a 72 mineral infusion. It combines the everyday minerals that you’re depleted of because of our mineral-deficient soil. Even people who eat fruits and vegetables everyday are only getting about twenty to thirty percent of the minerals needed in their daily intake.”

 2. Sea Kelp: “People who live closer to the sea are much healthier because of the minerals they receive from the ocean. You can buy sea kelp in powder form. Add a little spirulina and barley grass powder for a super green drink.”

3. Schisandra Berry: “This is good for the cleansing of the blood. It’s very important for us to know how to cleanse our blood because it filters through the organs and right back to the heart. You should be using a constant blood cleanser and detox, or else you’re recycling toxic blood.”

4. Aloe Vera Juice: “This is great for your digestive system. Drink it every day. It cleanses your colon. Get it from your local farmer’s market and don’t get the diluted formula. Add it to smoothies or apple juice.”

5. Echinacea: “This is one of the most amazing immune-boosting herbs you can take. You shouldn’t just take it when you’re sick, but also for preventative measures.”

6. Fennel: “Many people don’t know that this herb decreases your appetite. You can take it to ease the hunger pains during fasting.”