Using their extensive experience as pharmacists, Mike Rogers and Bill Cheek assist customers coming to Nature’s Vitamins and Herbs on Biltmore Avenue for advice about products at their store.
“People come to us for help with conditions,” Cheek says.
He and Rogers offer consultations based on their knowledge and background with traditional and natural medicines. They launched their original store called Nature’s Pharmacy in 1996 in response to patients’ needs for guidance and advice about the selection of natural medicines and supplements.
Three years ago Rogers and Cheek sold their prescription business and renamed it Nature’s Vitamins and Herbs.
Many of their present customers come in to buy multivitamins, B vitamins, calcium and magnesium supplements, Cheek says. Fish oil and glucosamine also are popular items that people seek.
Cheek, Rogers and staff at the store are available to discuss a customer’s needs in the context of a personal consultation, asking about current vitamins, minerals and herbs being used. For those not currently using supplements, the staff gives advice and recommendations that include encouraging a healthy lifestyle and diet.
One relatively new supplement that the store carries is cannabidiol (CBD) oil, an extract from the cannabis (hemp) plant that contains cannabinoids. These cannabinoids contain a high concentration of CBD but very little tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, Cheek explains.
“You can think of CBD oil as medical marijuana without the high,” he says. “It’s very calming and relaxing to the nervous system.”
CBD oil can be useful for alleviating anxiety and chronic pain and helping people with difficulties getting a good night’s sleep, Cheek says. The substance also can be helpful to people suffering from migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease and fibromyalgia.
CBD oil has been legally sold as a supplement for the past three years and is grown and processed in North Carolina.
“We have normal supplements (of CBD oil), and we also do a lot of special orders,” Cheek says.
Rogers estimates that 40 to 60 people a day come into their store to purchase CBD oil, which he says has no addictive qualities and therapeutic benefits, including relief from pain.
He explains that while homeopathic supplements, vitamins and herbs can be very beneficial, people with serious conditions should seek treatment in a medical setting.
Cheek has a long history in the pharmacy business, having spent many hours in his father’s drug store in North Florida. He has happy memories of the independently operated store where customers came to get prescriptions filled and also to enjoy beverages at the soda counter.
Rogers is an Asheville native who became friends with Cheek after he moved to this area in 1981. In the early 1990s, Rogers says that he was getting so many calls from people asking about natural medicines that he and Cheek decided to open a pharmacy that offered them.
“Mike and I had been thinking about how to use our experience,” Cheek said. “We talked a lot, and decided to do this. It’s been a good ride.”
“When you own your business, it’s different every day,” Rogers says. “We’re helping so many people.”
Nature’s Vitamins and Herbs is at 752 Biltmore Ave. Store hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the website at www.naturesvitaminsandherbs.com or call 828-251-0094.
By Sandra Barnes