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Interview with Lauren Haynes, Founder of Wooden Spoon Herbs

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Lauren Haynes, founder and clinical herbalist, came to plant medicine via an interest in the counterculture, the counter-cuisine of wild foods, fermentation and eating food fresh from the ground.
She stumbled into medicinal plants by way of deeply nourishing wild foods, and was immediately under their spell. She began her plant journey in 2013 by reading every herbalism book from the 70’s she could find.
After this core curriculum, she dove into a rigorous three-year formal study of herbalism at the Appalachian Center for Natural Health. Lauren began crafting herbal medicines by hand in a converted greenhouse within the lush backdrop of the Appalachian foothills, and all the medicinal plants tucked in woods. Lauren’s studies are centered in folk healing, which inspires her deep trust in nature and her medicine making approach: accessible, easy-to-use, and effective.
1. What sparked your journey into herbalism?
I came to herbalism through a passion for wild foods, and slow foods, and DIY sustainability culture. Once I realized the foods that grow in my backyard could be used as foods AND medicines, something just really clicked with me and I've never looked back. I read every herbalism book I could get my hands on, and still do.
2. What is your favorite tincture and what inspired its formulation?
My current favorite tincture is Rose-Colored Glasses. I wanted to make something for mood, as we get lots of requests for products to help with mood, depression and anxiety. After a particularly hard spell with burnout in 2018, I ended up taking a few drops of a rose tincture I had. I was stuck in "overdrive" and finding it really hard to calm down or let things go. But after the drops of the rose tincture, I truly felt all my frazzled edges just melt away. Rose became my go-to for "softening" and just giving myself energetic permission to relax and let go. Blending rose with holy basil (another calming favorite), oat tops (a third calming favorite) and hawthorn for grief seemed like the best heart opening, nerve nourishing blend I could imagine. I added hawthorn, which is for physiological or emotional heart support, because so often anxiety goes with grief and trauma. Even the grief of "I feel anxious and therefore unwell" is so often swept under the rug. This just helps us through it, acknowledged or not.
3. What’s the most common problem people come to you with?
Stress and everything stemming from that - low energy, gut health problems, thyroid issues, anxiety, depression, burnout. 4. How has your path in herbalism changed your life? In literally every way! It's my shoulder to lean on when I need support, keeps me and my friends and family well when hard times strike, and has provided a livelihood and community I could have only dreamed of. Not only among the plants I love, but also with other herbalists and small business owners. 5. Many people struggle with insomnia, especially during this stressful season, and don’t want to depend on sleeping pills. What would you recommend for them? Our Sweet Dreams tincture! It works like a charm and tastes like sweet lavender.
4. How has your path in herbalism changed your life?
In literally every way! It's my shoulder to lean on when I need support, keeps me and my friends and family well when hard times strike, and has provided a livelihood and community I could have only dreamed of. Not only among the plants I love, but also with other herbalists and small business owners. 
5. Many people struggle with insomnia, especially during this stressful season, and don’t want to depend on sleeping pills. What would you recommend for them?
Our Sweet Dreams tincture! It works like a charm and tastes like sweet lavender.
Check out Wooden Spoon Herbs and enjoy 15% off using code: CLARY15 

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