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Megan Gurule is the cofounder of Herbal Moon Apothecary, a small family-based business located in the lush woodlands of the Pacific northwest. After feeling the profoundly transformative effects of plant medicines in their own lives, Megan and her husband Santiago felt called to share the magic to others.

Megan and Santiago opened up shop in 2015 so they could share the eco-friendly offerings with others who wanted to eliminate chemicals in their health and beauty routines.

Herbal Moon has thrived over the years and is now known for their high quality ingredients that incorporate the natural healing cycles of Mother Earth. They strive to use their own homegrown plants and ethically foraged ingredients whenever possible and consciously craft each creation in small batches that incorporate crystals, herbs and lunar infusions.

The Alchemist’s Kitchen is collaborating with Megan Gurule to create a Headache Tincture and a Jetlag Tincture that are part of a line of botanical functional remedies under The Alchemist’s Kitchen’s Plant Alchemy brand.

We spoke with Megan to learn more about how herbalism has forged her path in life, and the spiritual influences on Herbal Moon Apothecary.

How did you get interested in herbalism? 

My journey into herbalism began with a strong desire to live more naturally and organically. I remember it starting with my second pregnancy, which coincided with the semester in my BSN program that focused on mother and baby health. I graduated from a liberal university in San Francisco that had a strong focus on natural remedies and alternative medicine for prenatal and postpartum care.

Being curious, I started integrating these preventative remedies into my own pregnancy, starting with red raspberry leaf tea, ginger, elderberry and echinacea. It was these wonderful plant allies that opened my eyes to the innate and underused benefits of plant medicine.

As I researched more about alternative medicine, I was shocked to learn about all the “safe” chemicals found in everything we all keep under our sinks and in our cabinets. It was EVERYWHERE and it seemed inescapable — unless you took that leap to make those changes yourself. Being a starving student with a family to support at the time, I couldn’t afford to go to Whole Foods and replace everything in our cabinets with their lovely all-natural alternatives – so I began making them myself. I started with creating natural cleaning products and quickly moved to making my own elderberry syrup and organic teas — which then quickly grew into making tinctures, salves, and infused oils. I essentially went into a black hole of natural-healing madness and never looked back. 

 

What inspired you to take it on as your life’s work and start Herbal Moon Apothecary? 

Seeing the positive changes that our homemade remedies made in our own lives, my husband and I felt the need to share this magic with our friends and family. We received such great feedback over the years, along with the encouragement to open a shop so we could share our creations with others. I am glad we took that leap because every moment I spend making one of our offerings, I am filled with a combination of peace, joy and excitement, and know that this is my true calling.

I feel that plant medicine is underutilized because it is misunderstood, and deemed too confusing and scary for many people. I love being able to share simple, natural remedies through plant medicine and hope to introduce safe, comfortable ways to incorporate plants so people can live healthier and happier lives.

Can you tell us more about how Herbal Moon incorporates the natural healing cycles of Mother Earth, as well as crystals, herbs, and lunar infusions, in your creations? 

Through working closely with these plant allies and connecting with their special messages, we’ve been blessed to re-connect with nature and the inherent energies of Mother Earth. We hold Mother Earth as sacred and it’s our mission to honor her through our offerings. We strive to create our remedies in sync with nature’s cycles, including using waxing and waning moons to fine tune our elixirs depending on what energies we want to incorporate in that remedy.

We also utilize the seasons by solar infusing our oils during the summertime, foraging for plants during their natural growing seasons and creating special offerings based on seasonal celebrations like the Equinoxes and Solstices. We also try to utilize crystals into our products when appropriate, adding another layer of focused healing energy to our remedies.

How does Herbal Moon Apothecary source its plants? 

We are in the process of growing all our plants organically and currently have 40 plants in various stages of growth on our property. We are also lucky to live in the PNW and strive to forage for whatever else we can during peak seasons, including nettles, St. John’s wort, chickweed, plantain, yarrow, cleavers, mullein, comfrey, red raspberry leaf, and dandelion root.

It’s been a joy to be able to connect with these plants in nature but when we aren’t able to find them during off season, we source dried plants from Mountain Rose Herbs. We love that they are also in the PNW and are community focused with a large selection of high quality, organic and fair trade plants to choose from. 

                       

Tell us a little bit about the headache and jet lag tinctures you’re creating for The Alchemist’s Kitchen’s Plant Alchemy brand. What’s in each, and how do you recommend people work with them for best results? 

I am so thrilled to be able to share these remedies as part of the Plant Alchemy brand. I love both of these remedies and have intuitively chosen the plant formulas based on what felt right for the needs of each tincture. Both tinctures are 100% organic and made with with a base of grape alcohol with raw honey for flavoring.

The Headache is one of my favorite remedies and incorporates White Willow Bark (Salix alba), a powerful and effective remedy for pain and inflammation due to the salicin found inside the bark. This salicin is chemically similar to aspirin and helps with inflammation without the adverse side effects that aspirin has, such as increased risk of bleeding and stomach upset. The Headache tincture also includes feverfew, mullein, lemon balm and lavender to help relax the blood vessels and reduce tension.

The Jet Lag tincture is a wonderful remedy that incorporates a variety of adaptogenic and relaxing nervine herbs to help deal with the stress of traveling. Ashwagandha is my favorite plant in this blend because it protects the immune system while regulating stress levels, helping prevent illness and fatigue. We also added blue vervain, milky oats, passionflower and skullcap to help relax the mind and body and make adjusting to sleeping in a new time zone a bit easier. It’s a nice, well-rounded blend to help your body adjust to long days of traveling and managing the changes to your circadian rhythm, without feeling hung over or overly wired from sleeping pills or caffeine. 

Faye Sakellaridis

Faye Sakellaridis’s interest in psychedelics and consciousness led her to become an managing editor at The Alchemists Kitchen and Reality Sandwich, where she enjoys the scope of visionary thought that she regularly encounters from the site’s many contributors and the “rich spectrum of intellectual essays on consciousness through a diverse lens of art, culture, and science.” Faye recently earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens College in NYC, and her professional and academic life have been centered on journalism and creative writing. However, Faye—a classically trained improvisational pianist—says that spiritually, she identifies herself first and foremost identify as a musician. “Music is my most intuitive language,” she says. “If it weren't for music I'm not sure I'd truly understand the concept of the sublime. Writing and music are two are elemental parts of me, and communicating through them is what I do.”

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