The first real snow fell last night here in Durango. It’s funny how the snow sometimes comes exactly when we need it.
Just yesterday, I was feeling a slight grief for winter’s coming. Everything seemed tinged with grey- the sky, the cottonwoods in their long legged leafless branches, the frozen plants decomposing under deeper and deeper frost. It felt overwhelming, like the blooms of spring are so far away. And as I came to terms with accepting this season for the dullest parts of itself, I realize now that I forgot about one of the most uplifting & delightful aspects of the winter, snow!
Lately, I have been feeling a little bit of imposter syndrome. This is the part of me that is afraid to be shut out, abandoned, not good enough. The reason I am here sharing this with you now is because I know I am not the only one.
I recently heard that every successful person experiences imposter syndrome, the difference is they don’t let it stop them from showing up for what they are here to do.
This is your invitation, to stand along side me, and show up for that which feels scary.
It is only by recognizing and loving these parts of ourselves, but seeing them for what they are- a defense mechanism, not the truth, that we are able to see our inner snow, glistening and gleaming in its innate beauty.
This is what I know, I am an exceptional herbalist. I feel deeply passionate about sharing plants with you all through my classes, writing, and herbal products! And I am going to keep showing up in this way, time and time again.
I have been really trying to pour more of myself into Dancing Willow Herbs, in order for the business to be reflective of who I am. I have been doing this through this newsletter, my blog posts, my classes, and now 5 new herbal products.
Each of these 5 new products has a story, one that is reflective of my journey as an herbalist. Many of them are formulated to be delicious, and are perfect for gifting this holiday season. Read below to learn more about the story behind each formula.
Southwest Mushroom Cacao Cordial
Many of you may not know that I grew up in New Mexico. This landscape taught me the love language of nature, my passion for plants and the taste for Red Chile. The Southwest Mushroom Cacao Cordial is an ode to the flavors of the four corners. Earthy flavors of Cacao and double extracted mushrooms are paired with the spice of Cinnamon and Red Chile to create something that is as delicious as it is medicinal.
I have always loved the concept of making your herbal medicines delicious and easy to incorporate into recipes. This cordial is designed to be taken by the spoonful, added to hot chocolate or coffee, combine with sparkling water, or mix into mocktail/cocktail recipes!
Our medicinal mushrooms are double extracted to optimize the constituent profiles which nourish the immune system and support overall well-being. This is a wonderful gift, which will help support the immune systems of your loved ones... while tasting delicious!
Contains: Double Extracted Cacao, Reishi, Chaga & Turkey Tail, Cinnamon, Red Chile, Raw Honey, Gluten Free Alcohol, Water
Rooted Heart Elixir
This elixir is one of my oldest formulas. It was originally combined out of sheer intuition. I had double extracted Reishi, Hawthorn and Rose tinctures at hand in my home apothecary- 3 of my most beloved plant allies. It suddenly struck me that they wanted to be combined, to create a medicine that helps ground someone into their heart. I started selling the tincture to friends and acquaintances, with such success that my demand could not meet my at home seasonal production. Everyone reflected to me how nourishing, and sweet it felt to take this tincture blend. “Like a hug for your heart” has been used several times to describe the feeling of this tincture.
With more experience, I now know some of the reasons why this formula was so supportive to people. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, all three of these herbs are considered to be “shen tonics”. Shen is where our purpose and spirit resides, and it is held in the heart. Rooted Heart Elixir helps you open and ground into your heart in a gentle, soothing and profound way.
This elixir can be taken daily to connect to your heart and show up in the world with more authenticity. It is also indicated for folks dealing with grief, heartbreak, lack of purpose or connection with ones self.
It is absolutely delicious- sweet, earthy and floral. It is a delightfully supportive gift for yourself or a loved one!
Contains: Double Extracted Reishi, Rose Petals, Hawthorn Berries, Gluten Free Alcohol, Water, Honey
Adaptogenic Honey Paste
Since taking over Dancing Willow Herbs, my stress levels have been much higher than ever before. I mean, see above, putting myself out there, managing an apothecary, seeing clients, creating new products… we have a lot going on! This honey paste has been a lifesaver for me during the past year and a half!
It is a combination of calming adaptogens blended into raw honey to create a delicious, nourishing way to soothe your nervous system! My favorite way to use it is in my nightly drink. I will simply add hot water to a heaping teaspoon of honey paste, then stir in some frothed almond & coconut milk. It is deeply soothing to my nervous system, and helps me unwind into a restful evening.
Shatavari and Ashwagandha are adaptogens which help to regulate the HPA axis and stress response. Especially when taken daily over time, they help to nourish the adrenals, nervous system and help promote a sense of calm. In this honey paste, they are combined with Rose and Cardamom to delight the senses and calm the heart!
It can be taken by the spoonful, added to water for instant tea, spread on toast or incorporate into other recipes! It is a great gift for that person you know who is stressed, overwhelmed, or doing a million things at once- plus, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!
Contains: Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Rose Petals, Cardamom, Raw Local Honey
Spiced Bitters Spray
This Spiced Bitters Spray was created from my experience seeing clients who were experiencing digestive insufficiency, paired with a very cold constitution. Most classic bitter herbs are quite cooling, so we wanted to create an option that not only stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, but also cultivates digestive fire and warmth. In addition to some warming bitters like Angelica and Calamus, there are warming herbs with carminative action. These help to ease gas, bloating and the assimilation of nutrients. The clove in this formula is a microbiome modulator, meaning it helps prevent and reduce overgrowths of detrimental bacteria while promoting the cultivation of beneficial bacteria in our gut.
All in all, this spiced bitters spray is great for anyone experiencing digestive issues that tends to run cold… especially in the winter months! It is indicated for belching, bloating/gas, the feeling of being overly full after meals, and undigested food in the stool.
We put it in a spray bottle so that it will be easy to carry around with you and spray into your mouth before meals, even if you are out to dinner! The spray delivery also coats more of the mucous membranes, making the bitter flavor more effective at stimulating the release of digestive enzymes and bile.
Contains: Angelica, Calamus, Dandelion Root, Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, Gluten Free Alcohol & Water
Our long requested anti-inflammatory formula is here!
It contains a blend of my favorite herbs that help modulate the inflammatory response. There are herbs which contain salicylates, a compound that was originally used to create Asprin- Meadowsweet and Willow Bark. In addition to other classic anti-inflammatory herbs like Turmeric and Ginger which can help to modulate the Cox 2 inflammatory response.
This formula is great for folks who deal with chronic inflammatory conditions or more acute bouts of inflammation.
Contains: Meadowsweet, Turmeric, Willow Bark, Frankincense, Ginger, Black Pepper, Gluten Free Alcohol, Water
Thank you all for all of your support! For witnessing and contributing to our growth, in the business and beyond!
We are endlessly grateful to connect with each of you in the shop, by sending you packages, in classes, on the phone and more! This community is so incredibly special, thank you for being an integral part of it.
Shining bright like the first snow,
Elliott & the team at Dancing Willow Herbs