“Botany: We can live without every other science, but we cannot live without plants. They are our food, our lungs, our strengths, our relaxation, our pleasure, our future and our hope. Our moment of wisdom is when we are able to recognize this fact.” — Andi Mellis
Technically, botanicals are substances obtained from plants, derivatives with medicinal, aromatic or other benefits. But, when you dig deeper, you find that they are so much more.
Botanicals are our tools for self-healing. They turn us into our own caretakers, setting us on journeys to personal transformation.
This discovery occurred for me when I was in my late twenties. I started learning about herbs, a plant-based diet and, perhaps the biggest shift for me, the importance of what I slathered on my body. I began to see that what I used on my exterior, my skin, was as impactful as what I consumed. This knowledge changed my entire lifestyle.
For September, as we head toward fall and a season of harvest, it makes so much sense to focus on the theme of botanicals. It’s admittedly a bit of a buzzy word right now, but, all trends aside, the principles around plant medicine and therapeutics have been culturally significant since the time of Cleopatra, who apparently used to consume cumin seed oil as a beauty treatment.
The power of plants has been harnessed to encourage a stronger immune system, fight stress, lessen inflammation, protect against free radicals, help heal stomach issues and menstrual cramps and, of course, beautify skin. The list goes on and on.
In my book, botanicals are a key component to physical and emotional health, which are two of our Live The Process pillars. Just as one feeds off the other, a plant may be comprised of a flower, seeds, bark, roots and twigs, which are then transformed into infusions, tinctures, pills, extracts, powders, oils, drinks and, of course, medicinal herbs.
Referred to as “the eldest daughter of medicine” by 19th century German doctor Johann Hermann Baas, the world of botanicals is fascinating. I have tried to incorporate them as much as possible into all elements of my life.
This month, we’ll be featuring standout products and people that incorporate botanicals into their very foundation, sparking creativity, innovation and pleasure. From aloe to chamomile and calendula to evening primrose, the earth offers us such a generous sampling with which to heal our bodies through nature’s goodness.