In recent years, DIY culture has exploded. Today, you can easily make your own clothes, furniture, and jewelry. But clinical herbalist Lauren Haynes has gone one step further — making her own medicinal remedies.
As the founder of Wooden Spoon Herbs, Haynes has taken her extensive knowledge of the herbs of the earth and turned them into teas, skincare products, powders, and tinctures, all available through her website.
Haynes and her family have been rooted in the Appalachian Mountains for generations where she grew up around the rich biodiversity of the terrain. Her calling blossomed when she discovered the power of herbalism. “When I learned you could essentially make medicinal preparations for free, it blew my mind and consumed my life,” she says with a smile. She took that passion and went on to get her certification at the Appalachian Center for Natural Health with Phyllis D. Light, and, after graduation emerged as a leading herbalist. From there she decided to take her newfound knowledge and established a herbal community where she lived and created Wooden Spoon Herbs.
Haynes’s expertise shows in her products. Each product listing, whether it be a tea or a tincture, has a comprehensive list of ingredients that are surprisingly easy to pronounce and have a detailed, specific purpose.
Anxiety Ally, one of their best-selling tonics, is made with tulsi, (a species of basil), skullcap, (a calming nervine), and milky oats (the unripe seedpod of oats) to create a soothing, daily supplement. Their Shatavari Sugar Scrub is entirely plant-based and has only five ingredients: honey, rice flour, cane sugar, kaolin clay, and Shatavari (an adaptogenic plant). Haynes and her team work hard to maintain the highest degree of quality possible with all products being gluten-free and 99% organic (they’re shooting for 100% in the near future).
Because of her passion for enriching the lives of their customers, Wooden Spoon Herbs is very intentional with who and where they get their herbs from. About 80% of their herbs are grown just for them and sourced directly from small, women-run organic herb farms across the country, with the rest coming from mindful, sustainable herb suppliers or wildcrafters who wildcraft to order in pristine wilderness spots. This model works best for Haynes and her products because the care with which the botanicals are sourced maintains optimal flavor and potency — which translates to more effective goods.
Though Lauren and Wooden Herb Spoons do good work, Haynes still wants to encourage others to pursue healthy living for themselves. “Our mission is to empower everyone to take their self-care into their own hands, and if that’s via our super well-sourced organic remedies, then amazing,” she says. “I don’t want people to feel like they have to buy our products to be well.” Keeping in line with that sentiment, Wooden Spoon Herbs has a virtual journal where Haynes shares the ins and outs of tinctures, herbs, and even a funky playlist.
Within five years of its start, the brand has made quite a name for itself in the wellness sphere. Its Instagram account (full of gorgeously photographed botanicals and bottles) has over 41,000 followers and counting. The company has captured the attention of supermodel and change-maker Karlie Kloss, Anxiety Ally has been seen in Vogue, and Sacred Sister Tisane Tea made an appearance on New York Mag’s The Strategist “What I Can’t Live Without” list.
With those lofty milestones already met, future goals for the company include digital education, small group learning, zines and books, many more delicious herbal remedies, collaborations, and wider distribution.
At the end of our interview, I asked Haynes what she wanted everyone to know about Wooden Spoon Herbs and she responded, “That we’re here to stay and we love you!”
And we can feel it. The future looks as bright for Lauren Haynes as her Solar Power Energy makes its users feel.
Johanie Martinez-Cools is a blogger, writer, book editor, and aspiring author. Follow her on Twitter at @jmartdotcom.