The majority of us are craving nature more than ever, after 12 months of on and off lockdowns and being housebound. Body+Soul spoke to herbalist and nutritionist Erin Lovell Verinder on how to incorporate plants into your daily routine.
While we were all locked up in our homes for the good part of 2020, it’s understandable many of us were craving some connection with nature. Indeed, 61 percent of us believed this was more important than ever, according to the 2021 Plant Trend Report by Plant Life Balance.
While we may not be conscious of why that is, Erin Lovell Verinder, herbalist and author of Plants for the People, says our ties to plants are ancient; particularly when it comes to those with medicinal properties and it’s little surprise it’s making a resurgence today.
“Herbalism is a deep ethos and has long been present throughout the ages and throughout the world for survival, upholding the health of the community. Really this is ancient medicine renewed for the modern-day,” she says.
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“Utilising plant medicine in our everyday life is a way to more deeply connect to the power of nature and self-sufficiency.”
Lovell Verinder has long been enamoured with the power of nature, having enjoyed the literal and emotional fruits of getting her hands in the soil and gardening with her uncle.
“There was always a personal call to the plant path for me in one way or another, and as my dedication to working as an herbalist has solidified and expanded over the years, I have learnt that working with plants is truly a way of life,” she says.
In her book, Plants for the People, Lovell Verinder offers a modern, beginner’s guide to plant medicine; including how someone might start a garden, the near-limitless benefits to growing your own, plus easy recipes for teas, balms, and soaks.
“If you have the space and means to start a garden, you will never regret it,” she enthuses.
“It will offer a continual supply of fresh herbs to cook with, make herbal teas and herbal medicines with… Many plant medicines are incredibly nourishing, mineral and vitamin-rich, and offer a medley of beneficial health impacts.”
If you don’t have space, that’s OK too, she says, and encourages collecting dried herbs to create an at-home apothecary.
As to what concoctions Lovell Verinder is enjoying personally, she’s finding the simple, oft-overlooked basics are her go-tos.
“Right now, I am loving Tulsi (holy basil) tea, fresh from the garden. It is so fragrant, relaxing and uplifting in all one,” she says.
“Many plants are medicinal from nasturtium, garlic to turmeric. We often overlook these everyday ‘common’ plants but truly these are my very favourite.”
While there are skeptics of herbal medicine, Lovell Verinder hopes that people will widen their perspective, but also it can be embraced in simple, everyday rituals.
“Wellness has become notoriously complex and commodified, yet really it can be incredibly simple,” she says.
“Bringing the power of plants into our daily ritual can be achieved through simple feel-good acts like a comforting cup of herbal tea.”
Erin Lovell Verinder is an herbalist, nutritionist, and author of Plants For The People.