a couple months ago, i was invited to collaborate with Moon Mama Herbals. they saw potential in our overlapping worlds and suggested we bundle that somehow. it’s been my IMMENSE PLEASURE to work with these women, so i wanted you to get to know them, too. graciously, they answered a few Qs of mine…
S/S: i am always curious to hear origin stories – how did you find yourself immersed in the herbal and holistic work you do? and. what brought you two together to create Moon Mama?
Kris: i reached a point almost two years ago where i knew i had to make some meaningful changes in my life. i was traveling constantly for work, under immense pressure and stress and completely immersed in the “grind culture.” i had been with the same company for 19 years in leadership roles that were high stress. somewhere in all that, i reached out to learn about herbalism. eight years earlier, i had attended an introduction class – way out of my comfort zone! yet i felt a pull to it that i had never felt before. i see it as a “remembering” of a practice that is in our heritage, our ancestry, and i felt it very strongly. i began taking courses, wildcrafting, and working with the plants around my full time hectic career. two years ago when i finally said “enough” to an unhealthy job and work culture i knew where my heart was. i also knew that i wanted to make it easier for others to find herbalism and experience this remembering! partnering with Maria was a perfect way to put our collective strengths, energy and passions into what has become Moon Mama Herbals.
Maria: when Kris mentioned her idea for starting an apothecary one night at dinner, everything in me said “Yes!” and i offered to support her in whatever way she needed before my brain even recognized what she said, so we partnered up and i brought my retail and design experience for the ride and have been learning quite a bit of herbalism from Kris along the way. for me though, i was open to the idea of working with Kris to help her make the apothecary happen because i had been seeking out a more holistic balance to my own health and that of my family for quite a while. i’d successfully worked with a naturopath years ago to help my son over a few bumps that we weren’t seeing progress with through Western medicine. and then last year as i was going through breast cancer treatment, i felt like i needed some balance between traditional treatment (chemo and surgery) and complementary treatments (that list is much longer) and worked with a naturopathic oncologist to help me navigate the whole process. the supplements i take are herbal in nature and origin. i think herbal medicine is useful and important and sadly overlooked. i have found it indispensable and feel pretty damn good these days because of it.
S/S: what do you think most people get “wrong” about herbalism? (if you could clear up one misconception once and for all, what would it be?)
Moon Mama Herbal: tough choice! there are many misperceptions that we would love to clear up. for the sake of time, we would say it is that people need to choose herbalism or their doctor. we are so fortunate to live in a time when we can have both, and we feel strongly that both have a part to play in our lives and wellness. while there are plants that can “treat the symptom”, whether illness or first aid, they have a strong role in prevention and holistic “root cause” medicine. the plants have an incredible way of supporting our systems and helping us find, restore, and maintain balance. our doctors can certainly “treat the symptom” and disease and illness. we would never hesitate to go to my doctor when needed. we are in awe of the lifesaving medicine we have access to. however, our health system is not always strong in supporting prevention or looking at the whole person. that is where the plants truly shine. there is a place for both, and with good communication with your doctor(s) and community herbalist, you can have a strong health network. best of both worlds!
S/S: like most energy work, herbalism and holistic approaches to health require a heightened level of intuition. what practices help reinforce / protect / enhance that “inner knowing”?
Kris: this is such a great question and something that i continually work on. sitting with the plants (yes, i know it sounds woo woo but it’s a strong connection) and working directly with them is an important practice for me. this can be something as simple as having a cup of tea, mixing up a tea blend or tincture, or sitting or walking outside in different weather and observing the plants around me. plants have a “Doctrine of Signatures” and can tell you about themselves by where they grow, what they look, taste, smell, or feel like. we all have such a strong connection to nature, to the cycles the earth goes through. unfortunately, many of us have forgotten that connection and as a society we have gotten further away from it. we have grown apart from nature rather than being a part of it. for me, as i remembered that connection and paid attention to it, my intuition working with nature strengthened. as did my confidence!
Maria: meditation and quiet when i can get it (that’s become harder with everyone home during the pandemic), but i find staring out the window by my work table while i listen to jazz music (my brain loves lyric-less freeform music) and have some sort of pink grapefruit-y candle or citrus oil blend handy helpful.
S/S: for someone curious but brand new to herbal rituals and remedies, what one thing could they do today to start on this path?
Moon Mama Herbals: play! little kids play with flowers, mud, and cut grass and jump into making “potions” without doubt. pick up an ounce of one herb you want to get to know at your local apothecary, or natural food store. some suggestions are stinging nettle, holy basil also known as Tulsi (a personal favorite), or lemon balm. make yourself an herbal infusion (yes, tea – but doesn’t that sound cool?!) with one herb only. get to know the taste, smell, and energy of it. do a little research online about your herb. two great books that we have found accessible are Rosemary Gladstar’s A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use and Maria Noel Groves Body into Balance. you can also look for a community herbalist in your area or online for some great introductory classes. we will be launching ours soon!
S/S: Where can people learn more about Moon Mama Herbals and its offerings?
Moon Mama Herbals: you can find Moon Mama Herbals online apothecary at www.moonmamaherbals.com and we are on Instagram (@moonmamaherbals) and Facebook (MoonMamaHerbals). we ship our products throughout the US and hope to open a brick-and-mortar apothecary in New Hampshire in the not-too-distant future.
S/S: thank you SO much, Kris and Maria! and if you want to hear even more behind-the-scenes, watch our IG Live Convo! also, give this post a read and take a few of their tips for making your own *clean start*! and then, make sure to sign up for the Sweet Life bundle giveaway! xo