06.12.2020 Mind | Body

Follow the Flowers with Wooden Spoon Herbs

Hannah Updegraff
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Are flowers medicinal? Lauren Haynes says yes. A leading clinical herbalist and founder of Wooden Spoon Herbs, Haynes creates plant remedies in the Appalachians and offers a modern take into holistic wellness. Wooden Spoon Herbs are powerful, healing, and eco-conscious, their flowers organic and sourced from small farms all around the country.

Huge fans, we’ve covered WSH before and recently caught back up with the founder to discuss the relaunch of the brand and to dive deeper into the healing power of intuition, plant medicine beyond tinctures, and the vital connection between plants, humans, and the land.  

Your campaign tagline is “follow the flowers,” where are they leading us? 

The flowers lead many places: to healing, to yourself, to your intuition, and to the forest. Herbalism, like any craft, is a journey — it never ends! We follow the flowers endlessly, gathering along the way. We never know where they’re going to lead, but we always trust and look to the next one.

Tell us how people and plants are powerful, in your opinion? 

People and plants contain deep knowledge, which is both magical and factual. Our bodies, and plants’ bodies, acquire, retain, and transmit knowledge. Plants are powerful in that they can truly do so much for us. They allow us to sustain our energy and nervous system, so we can in turn extend healing and support to those around us.

The swath of conditions plants help with is vast: they can give us life and help us feel bliss. When used with proper care and guidance, they can remedy everything from a headache to a heart condition.

Our most powerful attribute is our intuition. So many times, people will gravitate towards the plant they need without even knowing — they’ll need magnesium and gravitate to an Epsom salt soak; they’ll have emotional tension and get a stem of a red rose. We know what we need, and that is the most powerful thing in the world. Little else is in our control.

You’re already so earth-conscious, how do you see WSH participating in the back-to-the-land movement? 

Well, there are several things to unpack here. Though deeply inspired by the ethos and aesthetics of the 70’s back-to-the-land movement, to champion this now would be to center privilege of those who can afford to buy land and leave jobs, etc. Not to mention land politics — how can land really belong to settlers? What we really want to foster is connecting to nature, the Earth, wherever you are. What plants grow through the sidewalks in front of your house? What trees line the streets? On your hikes, how can you learn to identify different plants? 

What we want to foster through Wooden Spoon Herbs is an attunement to the Earth, to her rhythms and the fact that anyone can learn about plants, no matter where they are or what their situation — even gas station coffee is plant medicine, if we can just see through that lens! 

We’re helping people tune in and get back to the earth, back to the land no matter where they are or what that looks like for them. We know what we need, and that is the most powerful thing in the world. Little else is in our control.

What does earth worship mean to you and how do you apply those beliefs to WHS? 

For Wooden Spoon Herbs, this is a guiding principle. We want to make sure every decision we make honors our Mother Earth, whether that’s choosing a supplier who grows biodynamically, shopping small and local for supplies, or working with as much biodegradable packaging as possible. We want to uplift the Earth’s cause in a way that feels easy and accessible. It also means highlighting the Earth’s rhythms and seasons, along with the plants that grow in the soil, and the people making it a better place.

You recently partnered with Free People. Tell us about that venture into the majors?

My goal with Wooden Spoon Herbs is to get herbal medicine into the hands of as many people as possible. I’m thankful Free People will help us do that. I think the FP community is interested in leading an eco-conscious life and when they approached us it seemed super aligned. We’re excited to work with them and see how it blooms. We follow the flowers endlessly, gathering along the way.

Who else do you hope to partner with? 

This year we joined 1% For the Planet, a non-profit founded by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. It’s a collective of businesses that pledge 1% of sales to environmental causes. WSH is using our 1% to fund community gardens in food deserts and to organizations doing medicinal plant conservation work. It’s something we’re honored to be able to do, and one way we can use our reach for good.

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The way Haynes talks about plants and flowers is refreshing and beautiful. To her, they aren’t just something to look at, but also an experience to be enjoyed and a chance to be in touch with our connection to nature. WSH proves that healing is possible by following your intuition — whether it’s chasing flowers or simply stopping at a local gas station for a cup of joe — healing is always available to us and that is what makes Wooden Spoon Herbs so magical.

For 20% off your Wooden Spoon Herbs order, use code THEFULLEST.

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