Since stumbling into Rachelle Robinett on social media (where else) a few years back, the impassioned herbalist has quickly become a part of our tribe.
In her responses to our Living Well With… Series below, Rachelle hits us with everything from nervines to nettles and mucuna to mushrooms — all substances we could talk about for hours.
We’re pretty sure our hard-core readers will feel the same. Enjoy this profile and get inspired to dig in to a few new planty habits as we break down the daily routines of an herbalist we love…
Living Well with Herbalist Rachelle Robinett
Name: Rachelle Robinett, RH (AHG) of Pharmakon Supernatural®
My 2023 mantra: “Both making life and making art are pouring spirit into form.”, Sheila Heti, Pure Colour
Can’t live without my… Nature exposure, Moleskines, sunlight, and green things in all forms.
Daily breakfast: Herbal coffee with MCT oil and an excellent workout. Then breakfast — almost always a smoothie. In winter, I make a warm bowl version that tastes like pie with berries, chia, yogurt, oats and psyllium.
My food philosophy in one sentence: Michael Pollan said it best. “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
Biggest misconception about herbs:
01. That they’re dangerous or easy to get wrong.
02. That they’re ineffective, which when said alongside the previous point illustrates the variety of misconceptions about herbs.
03. That adaptogens are a new thing, or better than other categories of herbs.
04. That herbalism has to be crunchy.
My go-to blend(s) lately and why: My morning stack is my most important. I always start my day with a combination of mood supports and hormone + liver supportive supplements. (Plus exercise, light, and great sleep!) When I travel, these are the ones I never leave behind. They set my whole system up for balance both on a daily basis and throughout the month(s). Much of my personal journey has been about mental health, so studying and working with mood remedies is a practice I’ve been immersed in my whole life.
Happy hour blends have always been big for me, too. I have a lot of (personal and professional) experience with addictions and am fascinated by habits, dependencies and cravings. Exploring those neuropathways, and working with herbs to help create change, can be really profound. Overall, I have more nervine herbs in my apothecary than any other category.
If I had to pick one herb for 2023 (as a theme) it would be… I think it depends where one is on the bell curve of wellness trends.
Early adopters are probably a bit tired of mushrooms by now but I think their peak has yet to come. They were the most popular ingredient we sold in our café nearly five years ago, and there’s still plenty of room for them to grow. Ashwagandha is also still peaking and behind it are a lot of classic ingredients (turmeric, milk thistle, apple cider vinegar, and all of the immunity ingredients boosted by the pandemic). Polyphenols are getting buzzy, which is great. (Can you tell I love trends?)
Otherwise, I’m going to vote for digestive herbal bitters. I’ve been saying that bitters are the next probiotics, and I’m going to keep saying it until it comes true! Ha. Nervines second. The world thinks adaptogens are it, but more times than not, a nervine is going to be just as well suited, if not better.
My daily supplements: Too many to list, my friends. And always changing! But I share this often on my platforms.
Once a week for my health I… It’s more of a monthly schedule than weekly but bodywork is a big must for me. I get regular, deep-tissue sports massages and see a chiropractor. Trigger-point acupuncture is also in the rotation. I find bodywork exquisitely relaxing, and also prioritize it because physical performance (exercise, sports, simply feeling great in my body) brings me daily joy. I’m pretty uncompromising when it comes to my health.
Best quick meal option: Giant bowl of sauteed vegetables with an herby sauce.
Fave way to move: A long run in the sun.
When I’m feeling under the weather I… Quit all manner of sugar, increase all of the spices, layer up to stay a bit too warm, rest, hydrate, and triple down on herbs.
When my mood needs rejuvenating I… Exercise. And then hang with herbs like kava, albizzia, mucuna pruriens, lavender. I’m definitely having some of our HRBLS Nerve Less gummies. Amino acids are also a favorite. I use a lot of L-theanine, tryptophan, and 5-HTP for especially dark days.
Essentials on my grocery shopping list: Hearty greens (I’m a kale-for-lifer), lots of squash, big bags of frozen wild berries for smoothies, super dark chocolate. Sparkling water (for all the mocktails) and something I’ve never had before like a curious-looking piece of produce or a trendy snack.
If I could give just one piece of health advice it would be… To understand what we want, and why, is primary I believe. With that motivation in place, I encourage choosing just one single focus and digging all the way into it — learning everything we can about our relationship to it and then chipping away until what was once an aspiration becomes a way of life. Done over and over again, transformation occurs. The longer I work in this industry, the more I see health as the relationship we are in with ourselves. Treating health like a relationship, rather than like a to-do list, can return us to ourselves, to our nature, and to the wellbeing that being in sync with nature can provide.
Ingredient in products I always avoid: Sugar. Unless it’s whole fruit.
Go-to health resources: Places like PubMed and Science Direct for studies, my teachers and mentors — the more decades of experience the better — and various herbal and functional health journals (e.g. The Institute for Functional Medicine and American Herbalists Guild). While I follow plenty of them (and am one!), I tend to take most popular health personalities’ teachings with a grain of salt.
5 things always in my medicine cabinet: Oil of oregano, triphala, lavender essential oil, Tiger Balm, kratom.
Simplest way to improve health: The best ways to improve health are the simple ones. Food, water, light, movement, sleep, and purpose. Hashtag Blue Zones!
Fave healthy getaway: A jungle on the beach.
My health passion: Understanding the human experience by exploring it, and sharing what I learn for the benefit of others.
Health trend to skip: Most trends. The pillars of health are well established.
My go-to juice, tea or smoothie: Green juice forever, but I’m actually going to say nettle tea here (also green). I grew up with nettle, but didn’t know it as medicinal at the time (only as yelp-inducingly stinging). It was one of the first plants that I learned was medicinal. And it’s considered a pharmakon — an ingredient that’s both a poison and a cure. Pharmakon is also part of the name of my main company, which grew — of course — out of all of the roots, seeds, and weeds of that nettle filled past.