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Unearthing our Herbal Roots

I recently made a guest appearance on Britt Brown's podcast, Body Care Breakdown. Britt is a Licensed Massage Therapist, with over 13 years of experience help people care for their bodies. We talk all things herbs and how to support your body through the changing of the seasons as well as how to thoughtfully integrate herbalism into your day to day.


Listen here,













Below you can also read the transcript, if that is more your jam.


Britt: “Hey there listeners, welcome back to the Body Care Breakdown podcast, I’m your host Britt Brown LMT, and today we’re here with special guest Kassaundra Lynn, owner of Rooted Remedies, here to unearth some of the true facts about those herbal remedies you might be finding in your kitchen and online nowadays. Kassaundra what initially sparked your interest in medicinal plants, and how long have you been working with them?”


Kassaundra: “Ohh uhh, I think what initially sparked it was – just growing up in the garden with my mom and my grandpa and being surrounded by the plants in that way, and growing our own food. Then what sparked my interest in the medicinal side of herbs is when I was around twenty-one, and I was taking a walk around Portland, and saw this plant, it smelled so delicious! After realizing it was lemon balm, I looked it up in this little book I had, '100 home remedies.' It really sparked my interest, and I just dove into herbalism! I grew up with a bunch of ailments and western medicine – it definitely has its benefits, but it was always just a band-aid. Herbalism just had this more holistic approach to all of the health issues that I was personally dealing with, and it changed my life."


Britt: “That’s rad, that’s awesome! And so your business, Rooted Remedies, you produce a wide variety of herbal products - is that correct?”


Kassaundra: “Yes.” Britt: “Great, wonderful! What are some of the products you produce, like what have you got going on right about now?”


Kassaundra: “Yeah, actually, so – at the beginning of February, so last week, we launched our Spring

Seasonals. Which include Lymphatic Massage Oil and Sumac-Lemon Balm Drinking Vinegar.” Britt: “Oh I love that!”


Kassaundra: "Yeah! The lymphatic system is another detoxifying system in our body, and, so important and overlooked I think. It doesn’t have its own pump, like the heart or the lungs when it comes to circulation and our respiratory, so massage is a really nice way to get those fluids moving in a healthy way. Especially after a long cold winter where our bodies just naturally hibernate.” Britt: “Absolutely, can confirm.”


Kassaundra: “And the drinking vinegar is really great for our digestion and high in vitamin C.. It can help stoke our digestive fire and prepare our bodies for the turning of the season.”


Britt: “Right, absolutely! Now, those are some things where if it’s like you’re gonna start adding things like massage and drinking vinegars to your daily routine and you’ve got health conditions, it might be wise to talk to your practitioners as well. Just to make sure there aren’t going to be any, you know, counter-effects with any medications you might be taking or just anything your LMT or herbalist should look out for when making recommendations. So what are some of the reasons someone might choose this massage oil that you’ve created, or any of your other products? You know, far as what you’ve got coming out this season. You mentioned like detoxifying, so if someone needs to detoxify right, what are some feelings that they might be feeling that these products can help them with?” Kassaundra: “Yes, um, yeah that’s such a loaded term ‘detoxifies'. I like that you used air quotations, because that is so spot on! When I say detoxify, our body just naturally moves toxins through our body so our body has healthy flow and continues to be vital and well throughout the seasons, so these two specifically are targeted toward the seasonal change from Winter to Spring. Sometimes stagnation can build up — we’re eating heavier foods during the Winter.We are sleeping more, usually. Up here in the northern hemisphere we have less exposure to sunlight. There’s a natural slowing down when we’re listening to the rhythms of nature.” Britt: “That’s pretty true.”

Kassaundra: “And with Spring things are starting to wake up and open and move and flow a little bit more, so the lymphatic massage oil is helping that stagnation that can set in over the Winter. Lymphatic massage, as you know, is very gentle and just something you can do after a shower. If you are doing it, make sure to hit the hot spots – the neck, under the armpits, and the groin area – where there can be build up - which can get uncomfortable!” Britt: “Yes! That’s important absolutely, yeah there’s definitely some things you have to be careful of when doing self-massage.” Kassaundra: “Definitely, yes, yes.” Britt: “Well that’s great, that’s fantastic, so what is in this massage oil; what are some of the ingredients and some of the medicinal plants you put in there?” Kassaundra: “Yeah! This is actually probably one of my favorite herbal oils that I make, with no essential oils. There's just calendula, cleavers, violet, red root, and plantain.” Britt: “Oh those are all fantastic!” Kassaundra: “Yeah, very lymphatic focused, and also just really nice and moisturizing and nourishing for the skin. So you get a double whammy with the oil.” Britt: “Yeah, calendula oil especially I love the way it feels on the skin, it’s got this like lovely light and silky feeling to it, and I love the way it helps with like tender spots and soreness in this really gentle way. And all of those oils, like none of them are overpowering in their scent, so like if someone’s really sensitive to that or is worried about that kind of – I dunno, some of those blends out there are kind of like, like I love a lot of smell, but some of those can be just like woof! Like that’s a bit much you know? And I know that there are some people that are thinking of when they like, walk past one of those bath and bodyworks store and they’re like ‘ooof that’s too much!’”

Kassaundra: “Yes! I am one of those people! Strong and synthetic scents are just too much for me.’”

Britt: “It’s too much yeah! So, I love that this product doesn’t sound like it doesn’t do that, that it’s just gentle and mild, it’s really accessible to everyone.” Kassaundra: “Yeah!” Britt: “That’s fantastic, awesome. I mean, but I’m a sucker for a good massage oil too.”



Britt: “You know, as far as medicinal plants go, there tend to be folks that fall into like – one of two camps; either they think herbal products are absolute bunk and they don’t help with anything at all, or they think they’re just like a panacea, meaning they can just like do anything help with anything… you just rub lavender essential oil on whatever’s going on and you’re fine. But the truth is actually kinda somewhere in the middle isn’t it?” Kassaundra: “Yes, definitely. As with anything, moderation is key, with anything in life I think. And it depends on why you use the herbs. So some herbs have an instant effect and can help with acute things really quickly, and just knock it out. Other herbs, when taken long term, can help with chronic issues. There is no ‘one-fix-all’ though. It’s not a magic pill – it’s a lifestyle, it’s integrating it into your daily life, and slowly building up – and also on top of herbs, from a holistic perspective, you want to include sleep and water and exercise and the people that you spend your time around, just the whole holistic view of the person.” Britt: “Right, your lifestyle has a lot more to do with your overall health that just like, one aspect of it. You know like adding in tea into your daily routine isn’t gonna fix the toxic environment you’re staying in, that kinda thing, it might just make it more bearable.” Kassaundra: “Yes!”

Britt: “That being said, when we talk about teas and when folks talk about tinctures and we talk about – you know – different elixirs, and we talk about essential oil blends, and so there’s a wide variety of ways that people can kind of like incorporate these plants into their lives, and I’m just kind of wondering - and I’m sure a lot of listeners are wondering – what’s the difference? Why would you choose a tea over a tincture, or over an elixir and that kind of thing?” Kassaundra: “Yeah, that’s a great question! So each menstruum – which is the solvent that’s used – whether that’s water, or alcohol, or glycerine, vinegar, oil, honey, all pull out different constituents, which is the medicinal quality. So depending on what your going for, and what you’re wanting from the plant, will determine the solvent you use.”


Britt: “Got ya! That makes sense.”


Kassaundra: “Other things to consider are the accessibility and shelf life of a remedy. A tincture, for instance, is really great because it’s travel friendly– it works within five to ten minutes of you taking it. The shelf life is forever basically, because it’s alcohol.”


Britt: “Whereas something like a tea, it takes fifteen minutes to steep, and tea bags go stale pretty quickly - that kind of thing.” Britt: “Great, okay, so this is something where if you have a chronic condition or something like that going on you can ask - if you have an herbalist - ask your herbalist or naturopath about, and they can tell you which is the best, or recommend which concoction to add to your daily routine, right?” Kassaundra: “Yes, correct. Yeah definitely speak to your practitioner and work with them with whatever you need.” Britt: “Awesome! With the latest variants of COVID-19 and Omicron and all that stuff going on - I know that it’s all still on our minds - what are some of the things that we can do, as far as herbal remedies go, that we can incorporate into our lives to kind of help with that, or are there things that kind of help our bodies with that?”

Kassaundra: “As with any virus or bacteria or infections, it goes for our immune systems. There are a lot of herbal immune tonics out there – elderberry being an amazing one!”

Kassaundra: “Digestion is closely connected to the immune system. So again, the drinking vinegars are digestive tonics. I would also, again, take safety precautions outside of herbalism - wearing a mask, washing hands, social distancing, getting vaccinated. And then the central nervous system – really working on fortifying and nourishing that, because stress also immediately affects our immune system.” Britt: “Yes, absolutely it does. There are actually a lot of good herbs to use for that you know - lavender chamomile tea is that classic thing everyone does. You know, I think a lot of folks just don’t realize just how effective those little things can be on your day, whether it’s tea or like aromatherapy, they really just kind of help you shift your mood – and sometimes that’s all you need to really make it through the day. So do you have any immune boosting teas that you make yourself that people can take advantage of?” Kassaundra: “I don’t have immune boosting teas, but I do have a digestive tea – it’s called ‘Restorative’ – it focuses on supporting a healthy microbiome and soothing the gut lining and it’s delicious. Again, calendula and plantain are heavy hitters in that one. All of the seasonal drinking vinegars are great for digestion and immune tonics and fortifying.”


Kassaundra: “We also have a tincture, um that focuses on lung health, which is really great for colds and flus.” Britt: “Oh yeah and allergy season?” Kassaundra: “Yes and the allergy season, and because COVID is roaming around, lungs are a great organ to focus on supporting and fortifying." Britt: “Yeah taking care of your lungs, I mean I feel like especially for this valley, because Eugene get so much pollen, and that’s coming up quick-” Kassaundra: “Yes!" Britt: “I feel like getting that boost in and getting your lungs cleared out now is probably the good way to go. So I hope y’all are listening!” Kassaundra: “Definitely.” Britt: “Okay so, when you say like ‘ boosts your immune system’ and things like that, how is it that the herbs are doing this? You know, what are some things – you mentioned like taking care of our digestive health, is that just like helping to bring balance, or what are the herbs doing in general?” Kassaundra: “some of them are increasing white blood cell count, like boneset. Elderberry is really neat because it co-opts the place where the flu virus would usually go-” Britt: “Fantastic. It sounds like you’ve been doing this for a while, and that you’ve been interested in medicinal herbs and plants for a while, do you have any that are like your favorite? I know that’s a hard question.” Kassaundra: “It is a hard question!. I love all herbs, but some of them are very dear to me, so yarrow is usually my go-to with everything. The only thing it doesn’t do is moisten, which means - being a dry person myself - I have to use moderation.” Britt: “Gotta keep the balance there.”

Kassaundra: “Yes. Rose and lemon balm are also favorites. Violets are another favorite of mine, which are also moistening. So it’s a nice balance. And you can find them all in the local forests around the Pacific Northwest.” Britt: “We are really spoiled here in Oregon, we have so much here as far as just like - medicinal herbs you can forage and find throughout the seasons. I mean, you can just walk out into your backyard and find practically anything you’d want.” Kassaundra: “Yeah! I actually had no idea that lemon balm grew wild in the forest until a couple years ago, I just came across the patch, it was amazing.”

Britt: “I love it!” Kassaundra: “Yeah we are just, so lucky.” Britt: “Yeah we’re so lucky, we’re so spoiled here, it’s great. Now, we touched on this a bit earlier, but what are some of the steps someone with a chronic condition might take if they wanted to start adding herbs into their life? You know we talked about talking with your practitioner and maybe researching products. Should they maybe bring products they want to take to their practitioner and ask them, or should they just talk to them in general, what would you do if you were gonna go along that route?” Kassaundra: “Bringing it to your practitioner is a great way to start. If you haven’t purchased it yet, you can just show them or send them a link or show them the photo, if they’re a good practitioner they will look it up and figure out if it’s good for you, hopefully they will do that-” Britt: “Right, hopefully!” Kassaundra: “Yeah, but that is the first step; talk to your practitioner. Also, you know, you have agency over your health and there is so much information out there so do your own research as well, but there’s also a lot of misinformation so do your research as well, umm and then just start with really gentle, safe herbs." Britt: “Right.” Kassaundra: “-start with lemon balm and dandelion and chamomile, things that are really safe for everybody.”

Britt: “Yeah. I love that - that’s really wise advice I think, you know? And for those out there doing their own research, if you want a bit more, you know, security in the information you’re getting, and you live here in Oregon and are on the West coast, we do have the National University of Natural Medicine, we also have Bastyr University up in Washington-” Kassaundra: “Yes!” Britt: “-so we have those two places, two lovely resources that you can tap into. They do have student

clinics on-site as well, where you can go visit and kind of have them talk to you, go over with them and their students what you’re experiencing, and they can also make recommendations for you. If you’re looking to give back to the community in that way, but also just get some really good solid answers for you and your health as well, and I love that we have that resource so close by.” Kassaundra: “Both of those are wonderful resources.” Britt: “They really are yeah, they’re fantastic institutions and we’re so spoiled to have them here on the West coast. I mean they are fantastic!” Britt: “As far as precautions - speaking of -what are some precautions , aside from wanting to talk to your practitioner, you know what are some precautions folks might want to take if they’re going to start adding things into their diet, should they take it slow? For instance with topicals, should they do a little spot test that type of thing?” Kassaundra: “Yeah, spot test topically. If you’re taking things internally, do a little bit at a time to see how you feel. If you know you have an allergy to a certain family of plant, say like - some people have allergies to the aster family; which includes chamomile and yarrow, and sunflowers- just stray away from that family. Because most likely, if you’re allergic to one, you might be allergic to all of them.”


Britt: “Right.” Kassaundra: “Other precautions, other allergies, if you have an allergy to Aspirin – stay away from trees that have-” Britt: “-it’s salicylic acid right?”

Kassaundra: “Yes! So willow and cottonwood. But yeah, take it easy. Go slow. I would also just really start with herbs that cross the food-medicine bridge, such as dandelion root, burdock root, nettle-” Britt: “Mints are another really good one” Kassaundra: “Mints, yeah. All the culinary herbs, again if you’re not allergic to them already.” Britt: “Yes, right, absolutely. And there are also, speaking of allergens, if you’re not sure if you’re allergic to anything most practitioners or natural doctors will offer some kind of allergen test that you can take so you can figure out what you are allergic to if you’re really worried, or if you’re really concerned, or if you’ve just not had a lot of experience with adding these kinds of supplements into your life. So again, just talk to your practitioners, make sure that you’re reaching out and asking all of the necessary questions before you just jump into anything full force. It’s very, very important.”

Kassaundra: “Mmm hmm, yeah!” Britt: “Speaking of talking to practitioners - do you offer herbal consultations for folks, as far as with your products goes?” Kassaundra: “I do! I want to make sure that everyone who purchases products feels comfortable and knowledgeable on what they are purchasing, so if anyone has any questions beforehand always feel free to reach out and ask away.” Britt: “Okay, so, how can folks do that, how can they reach ya, how can they contact you if they have questions?” Kassaundra: “We are on social media @rootedremedies.co, our website is also rootedremedies.co, and then all of my contact information is on the website.” Britt: “Sweet! So going to the website or contacting you through social media is going to be the best way to get a hold of you if anyone has any questions or wants to get ahold of your products, is that correct?” Kassaundra: “Yes” Britt: “Super! Before we close out is there anything important that you want to let our listeners know or is there some advice you want to leave them with before we say goodbye today?” Kassaundra: “Yeah! You know if you are interested in integrating herbalism into your life, or just taking more of a holistic approach to your lifestyle, I would start just by going outside and connecting with the plants around you. Even something as small as going outside and noticing the changes that are happening throughout the year will make a huge difference in what you’re noticing within yourself. Because we’re very much connected to all of that!”

Britt: “Indeed we are. We change as much as the seasons do, that’s for sure, and with them. Fantastic, well thank-you so much for joining me today Kassaundra, it was fantastic to see you and I can’t wait to see all of the new things Rooted Remedies comes out with! And you’re usually at the Saturday Market every weekend here in Eugene aren’t you?” Kassaundra: “Yes, we just started at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.”

Britt: “Yes, oh I love it! Now is that the Lane County Farmers Market?” Kassaundra: “It is!” Britt: “Yes! Okay great, I love that market, it’s so great. I love when I can get out there.” Kassaundra: “It is, and right now we’re on 5th Street, and in June we’ll go back to the park blocks.” Britt: “Oh sweet! I hope that the sun gets out soon, I’m so excited for that.” Kassaundra: “It’s been really great.” Britt: “Well thanks again for coming, it’s been wonderful to see you, and thanks so much for being on this podcast and for all of your wonderful information. Thank-you so much for listening everyone, we hope you have a great day, be well!”





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