Greetings from The Vervain Collective (or, to be more accurate: from our messy home offices!) We’ve been trying to write this newsletter for several weeks, but the oscillation of feelings, the seemingly endless stream of new information, and the desire to communicate with confidence and authenticity has caught us dwelling. We want to relay the mountains of information we’ve been compiling, studying, and transcribing in a manner that complies with the legal and ethical limits of communicating to a general audience and running a naturopathic health care practice and herbal apothecary . . . yikes! But we can no longer let perfection be the enemy of good. With gratitude for our community and reverence for the unknown, here we go.
Quick takeaways for those in a hurry . . .
We have reduced shop hours. During the course of the shutdown order, we’ll open the shop to limited shoppers on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11-4. This is subject to change so please check our website, socials, or call and leave us a message at 208-274-3274 and we will get back to you. We will have signage at the front door with current "rules" for entry.
We can take pick up and delivery orders via firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re working on our online shop but it’s not ready yet . . . online sales weren’t in our 2020 business plan, but, here we are! Stay tuned for an announcement as soon as we're live. [UPDATE - shop with limited items is available now!]
We’ll continue to work with local holistic and naturopathic practitioners to provide access to important plant medicines and supplements for their clients and patients.
Please follow our [developing] COVID-19 Help page for educational resources so you can empower yourself with credible knowledge. Dr. Nicole Pierce, NMD has been devouring peer-reviewed journal articles and other resources from her colleagues around the world. We originally planned to summarize them in this newsletter, but that was holding us back from getting this out as more analysis is coming out daily. We decided a dedicated site could be more useful to our community; check back often for updates!
Now bring it on in for a hug . . .
During this time of uncertainty and anxiety, we’d like to reach out with a virtual hug (since we have to stay 6 feet back!). You’ve undoubtedly been inundated by troubling news and lots and lots of speculation. Humans don’t do very well with the unknown, and nervous minds tend to fill in the gaps with information that may not necessarily be verified or credible. We seek to address this reality and provide you with resources to help you take care of yourself, your family, and your community. As of this writing, there are no proven treatment protocols, preventative measures, or cures specifically for COVID-19, and you ought to be suspicious of anyone who claims they can sell you safety. Please practice discernment, check sources and hidden agendas, and seek professional guidance if you need personalized comprehensive advice (email email@example.com to learn more about her telemedicine practice). The more you learn, the less helpless you may feel.
Fortunately, naturopathic medicine has always promoted a plethora of tools to enhance our general wellness, support our immunity, and balance our stress and fear responses. Given the incredibly traumatic progression of this global pandemic, we want to share ideas to inspire and support you. We are loath to make any of this sound like a sales pitch in this time of crises, but we want to share what we ourselves are using and providing our own families: botanically-based products that we have acquired from our trusted and talented suppliers. We can categorize these tools and allies as sleep hygiene, hygiene hygiene, immune support, and nervous system support.
Sleeping is critical for your body’s restoration and healing phases, and REM sleep helps make sense of the information overload of our daily lives. Good sleep can help you move “From Despair to Hope”, which is so crucial, but restorative sleep is also where our bodies heal and our immune systems regenerate. Stress lowers your immune system as a matter of evolutionary survival (when you're running away from the saber tooth tiger, you don't have time to mount an immune response!) so naturally, one of the most important things you can do for your body to prepare for exposure to the coronavirus is SLEEP!
Even before this new threat, sleep issues were in the top 3 list of concerns our customers have had. This fear and stress and angst are not helping lull us into sweet dreamland. For many of us, getting good sleep is becoming harder. To help, Vervain has a plethora of herbal tea blends, tinctures, supplements, and topicals created to help slow and calm the mind and body. And if you’re looking for a great book to read while stuck at home, we suggest "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker, PhD., which you can get through Rediscovered Books. If you prefer an audio/visual summary,check his video out and try implementing some of his suggestions ASAP.
As we've all heard over and over by now, thorough and frequent washes with soap and hot water are key weapons against the spread of viruses and bacteria. Of course, as you've no doubt experienced, washing your hands as much as you should is likely to cause dry, cracked skin. Cracked skin can be vulnerable to infection, and it’s annoying and painful! Thankfully, our local friends have created moisturizing options for you. We have Ra*Di*Ant Body Butter from Jodeen Revere, Parla and Laga salves from Sloane Marley, a variety of salves and creams from Woodland Wildcraft, Vervain’s general-purpose Healing Salve by Lindsay Kolpitcke, and more! We also have a wide assortment of bulk oils, waxes, and butters so you can make your own if you’re so inclined!
Although physical distancing (read here to find out why we prefer this term as opposed to "social distancing") and washing your hands are the most important things you can do to prevent COVID-19 infection, sometimes it is necessary to go out into the world. By now, we’ve all experienced that sinking feeling of trying to buy rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer and seeing the shelves bare. Our main wholesale suppliers were out of sanitizer and aloe vera gel, so we made some for the shop and our homes with a giant, sustainably-sourced aloe leaf from Roots Zero Waste Market and the rubbing alcohol and essential oils we had on hand. We know a lot of people who gained DIY skills over the last few weeks!
More good news is that Sloan Marley rose to the occasion and created a new hand sanitizer in individual bottles and bulk refill! SANERA hand sanitizer was created using CDC/WHO/hospital specifications + natural plant-based ingredients for extra defense. Pair it with the LAGA salve to increase your resilience to infections. Sloane Marley is offering 10% off of their amazing Resveratrol-packed products and we're passing those savings on to you while supplies last!
Some essential oils, the powerful volatile organic compounds found in plants, have also historically been used in the fight against germs. Vervain carries an assortment of useful oils, including those in our Germs Away roll-on: tea tree, lavender, rosemary, clove, eucalyptus, & lemon. We can send you home with one of our blends, or you can come into the shop and we’ll help you (from a safe distance) make your own!
Immune Support & Adaptogens
We'd like to give a shout out to our friend Kristen at Salt Creek Apothecary in Cashmere, WA. We are grateful for Kristen for her talents and look forward to continuing to build our relationship with her. Many of her products are in the shop, including Viral Punch, Elecampane Beehive, Sick Ninja, Hawthorn Heart Elixir, Immune Tonic, and much more. We've stocked our shop with formulas we believe are useful for our community.
Our bodies are complex miracles with multiple processes happening at any given moment. When faced with the stress of everyday life, or perhaps even when responding to a global pandemic, it’s important for us to nourish our systems with adaptogenic (those that help us adapt to imbalances) and immunity-boosting herbs. You can get these herbs into your body in a variety of ways: capsules/pills, adding powders to your smoothies, drinking teas, drinking tinctures, or eating herbs in your food.
We often suggest Elderberry, Echinacea Triple Blend, Immune Support, Respiratory Complex, or Reishi-Shiitake tinctures, or our Sore Throat Soothe, Alternative, or Farm + Forage teas. We suggest finding a combination that works for you based on your needs and desired practices. We are stocked up on many options and we’ve been working with our suppliers to ensure we have more on the way.
Save your chicken bones, or stock up on fresh mushrooms at Roots Zero Waste Market and cue up this great Herb Rally bone broth podcast dedicated to the myriad ways to make your own version of nourishing, immune-supportive, warming broth. Broth is an excellent option for delivering plant medicine to your body. Between Roots and Vervain, you can find fresh and dried ingredients to make your broth have extra immunity and adaptogenic properties. Consider adding sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme, oregano, lemongrass, reishi, ginger, fennel, cayenne, garlic, astragalus, hawthorn berries, elderberries, chaga, cordyceps, turmeric, anise, and clove. Not into cooking broth? Roots has some in their deli!
We'll leave you with one more of our favorite immune supportive and circulation-enhancing treatments which is FREE and readily available with supplies you probably already have on-hand. Traditionally used as a naturopathic treatment for colds and depressed immune function, the Warming Sock Treatment can be used nightly by the whole family! We know, we know, it sounds like torture to some, but it's really quite relaxing; try it and tell us what you think!
Like many of you, we were looking forward to spending Spring Break discovering new music and celebrating with friends at the Treefort Music Fest, but it was postponed to the fall to help “flatten the curve” and protect our community from COVID-19. We are some of Treefort’s biggest fans (our first public launch of Vervain was at Yogafort last year!) and, of course, we were 100% supportive of the postponement. We're now daydreaming of a balmy early fall Treefort when we can offer our special #Teafort blend made entirely of tree-derived ingredients (Silver lining: this gives us more time to venture into the woods to harvest fresh fir and spruce tips!) We already have our 5-day passes and can't wait to offer this special blend that will be served to artists, storytellers, the press, and you! Get hyped and stay tuned for more details!
Please reach out if we can be of service to you.