Published September 7, 2018 When I look back at the last 5+ years of creating and growing “Organic Olivia,” I can’t believe how far we’ve come. This all started with me ferociously banging away at my keyboard, writing blogs about everything I had learned on my long and often difficult health journey, in hopes that it could somehow help others who were looking for answers. Baby Me Blogging After College Classes As I continued to experiment, heal, and learn what really works, I realized I could be of service to others not only with my writing, but also by creating and providing the formulas and products that helped me the most. My first ever product was made in tiny batches in the kitchen using nothing but an herb grinder, a 24-slot capsule press, and lots of patience & love. People were responding so well that we started selling out — first within 2 days, then 2 hours, then 2 minutes. Each launch was more hectic than the last, until I decided to reach out to my incredible community of readers and collect pre-orders in order to invest everything raised into taking this operation to the next level. I knew this was what I was meant to do… what’s more fulfilling than giving people tangible solutions that make them feel and live better? We soon upgraded to using a professional production facility, put together an incredible team including a chemist who helped me create a few additional formulas, and I decided to go back to school — this time to study herbalism and perfect my craft!I took some time away and made my presence more conservative on the blog and social media as I went through my studies in order to really focus and develop my relationship with the plants (from both an informational and intuitive standpoint). Every day after school, I found myself tinkering with new formulas, testing them out on friends and family, and understanding the subtle energetic patterns that make certain herbs more appropriate for certain kinds of people and conditions.I was amazed at what happened when I became so immersed in the plant world that I started taking herbs daily purely for their nutritive and preventative properties rather than to “fix” an existing problem. I realized that a lot of the supplement industry is focused on “magic bullets” and quick fixes, and I get it because plant medicine can absolutely correct an issue when something is wrong. However, I feel that where herbal medicine truly shines is in its ability to deepen your existing health and make your good days even BETTER than you ever thought possible. Herbs are here to support our lives and prevent disease just as much as they’re here to nurse us when we’re ill. Me this year after harvesting mugwort with my class Bringing herbs into my daily routine enhanced my life and showed me that we all have the power to take our mood, clarity, digestion, sleep, and energy to the next level when we know how to use the right tools. I saw how the custom blends I was making my loved ones for the simplest complaints could have a huge impact on quality of life for many others. I wanted to perfect these formulas and bring them to the readers that have supported me since day one. They represent the evolution and growth of my brand, my knowledge, and me as a person down to the way I view true health these days: it’s all about the tiny, consistent steps you take each and every day to stick to the habits that make you feel your best.For that reason, I am so excited to announce a new chapter of Organic Olivia and introduce my line of herbal tinctures that I like to call “herbs for real life.” When I started working on this new generation of formulas, I knew they had to be special. Special because they were the result of my all my trial, error, and light bulb moments at herbalism school. Special because I was going through a sudden health obstacle of my own during the time of their creation, and needed effective plant medicine to soothe and support me through this bump in the road.But most of all, they’re special because you don’t have to BE “special” to use them. Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran in the herbal world, whether you use Tylenol or peppermint oil for your headaches, whether you eat 100% organic or take baby steps where you can – these formulas are for you and everything that comes with living in today’s world.My goal with this collection was to give you an “herbal first aid kit” that you can turn to as your complete set of herbal tools for everyday life. I want to show people that herbal medicine can be a part of our daily routines – not just something we turn to when we’re at the end of our rope and need a solution. I want people to view working with herbs as preventative, normal, life-enhancing, and nutritive; as natural as eating food and drinking water. I want you to know that you don’t have to be a health junkie that takes plant walks and does yoga to incorporate them into your life, nor do you have to be sick or symptomatic. I hope to make herbal medicine something we invite into our regimens simply because they make our lives better.Rather than attempting to add another ‘miracle pill’ or ‘magic bullet’ to the supplement industry, I set out to create blends that make being human just a bit smoother. Whether we’re moody AF, gassy in public, anxious on the train, too wired to sleep, or too frazzled to focus… the plants are there for us.I found myself in all these situations this year, because that’s REAL LIFE — which is why I made these formulas for yours. Whatever bumps the road brings, I hope my JUICE blends help you enjoy the ride. The word “juice” is in each of the names because rather than being your classic alcohol-based tinctures, these are alcohol-free, easy to take, and taste delicious. WHAT’S IN THE JUICE FORMULAS? They contain nothing but herbs, vegetable glycerin, and water. They are what the herbal world calls “glycerites,” meaning the herbs are steeped into 100% plant-based vegetable glycerin rather than alcohol. Glycerites are much sweeter and better tasting than alcohol-based tinctures, even though they are zero-calorie and low glycemic. Vegetable glycerin from plants is naturally sweet but has no impact on blood sugar so it is safe for diabetics and those watching their weight!Why did we decide to go alcohol-free and use vegetable glycerin? The sweet flavor of glycerin is extremely soothing to the GI tract — in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the ‘sweet’ flavor nourishes the stomach and digestion. On the flip side, alcohol can be irritating to the digestive tract, especially when consumed on an empty stomach. I am personally very sensitive to alcohol, and I wanted to be able to take my own formulas in between meals for the best chance of absorption without irritating my stomach. I know many of my readers are just as sensitive and I wanted to provide them with a product that is nourishing in every way. Glycerin is also a humectant (meaning it holds a lot of soothing moisture) so it’s always my go-to recommendation for people with leaky gut who want to consume liquid herbal medicine.Alcohol releases histamine (and can also block DAO — the enzyme that breaks down histamine). While the small amount of alcohol in liquid tinctures should not cause any issues for healthy individuals, I know that many of my readers deal with chronic illness and therefore have various intolerances with histamine intolerance being a major player. In my opinion, it’s best to play it safe, so alcohol-free is my ideal choice for those with chronic illness. I wanted this line to be inclusive of all people with all different health conditions.Many people straight up hate the taste of alcohol or alcohol-based tinctures. It can make bitter herbs taste even more bitter. What’s the point of me making a product that you’ll use a few times then stop taking because it’s too strong or too bitter? I don’t want to waste your time or money, and I want you to get full use and enjoyment out of taking these products. People will stick to something that tastes pleasant, and my entire goal is to give you a positive tool you can stick to so that you feel better every day!Some people avoid alcohol for religious reasons.Some people avoid alcohol because they have a history of substance abuse. Again, I want this line to be as inclusive as possible so glycerin was the clear winner.On top of this, I want to explain why we made these formulas liquid in the first place instead of our classic capsules. First of all, I’m pretty sure you already have enough pills to take in one day. Second, many don’t like taking pills or can’t swallow them whatsoever.But most of all, it’s because liquid formulas engage the senses. They’re fun to take because you get to really interact with and meet the herbs. The body wants to touch and savor what it’s consuming as an act of pre-digestion. In fact, one of our formulas works entirely based on the fact that your taste buds send a signal to your vagus nerves as they taste certain bitter compounds within the herbs!Liquid formulas also get absorbed faster and better than capsules. They are assimilated first by the mucus membranes in the mouth before they even touch your small intestine and stomach. BENEFITS OF EACH FORMULA Below you’ll find a short description of each blend, along with a clickable link where you can read a full-length blog post to learn more. What’s cool about the individual blog posts is that you’ll learn more about the story behind each product, including who I originally made it for and why. 1. BRAIN JUICE A liquid herbal tincture designed to invigorate the mind and support memory, focus, and concentration. Formulated with herbs that bring fresh blood circulation and nutrients to the brain as they awaken mental and physical energy. For days when you need a boost of clarity and productivity!Alzheimer’s disease is something that runs in my family — my mom watched my grandfather go through it, and now I’m watching her. Because of this, I take brain support very seriously. I created brain juice to make life easier for both myself and my mother… as well anyone else out there who is either experiencing cognitive issues or wants to get a head start on brain protection with plant medicine. My three goals with this formula were to: increase levels Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), enhance peripheral circulation in order to bring more oxygen and nutrients to the brain, and improve cognition and memory. This is accomplished with herbs such as Ginseng (the star player for upping BDNF), fresh Ginkgo leaf (the master of bring circulation to the brain), and Gotu Kola (a rejuvenative herb that means god-mind in Ayurveda!) 2. SLEEP JUICE A liquid herbal tincture to help you get to sleep AND stay asleep. Whether you want to reset your circadian rhythm, need help calming the mental chatter that keeps you awake, or simply want to achieve the deepest snooze you can dream of – this is for you! Restful sleep means better repair and restoration, so you can wake up feeling brand new.While studying herbalism, I quickly learned that sleep is one of the top complaints people visit herbalists to address. And in fact, it’s where we start with each and every client as the body can’t heal itself unless you’re getting that deep, restorative, don’t-care-that-im-drooling-on-the-pillow snooze. I created this formula for anyone who has trouble in the sleep department, especially those who can never wake up feeling rested or are suffering from adrenal fatigue. I want to give you the best sleep of your life so that you can heal. My approach was to calm and nourish the nervous system as a whole – not just focusing on sleep herbs alone, but neurotrophorestoratives as well. These are herbs that act as nerve tonics and tissue rejuvenators; they actually rebuild and nurture the nerves! The stars of this blend are Skullcap (restores the nerves; incredible for anxiety and looping thoughts), Lemon Balm (great for that “wired but tired” feeling), and Passionflower (to help you reset your circadian rhythm). 3. MOOD JUICE A liquid herbal tincture designed to boost mood and simultaneously reduce anxiety. Helps you achieve and maintain a stable and positive mindset, thanks to herbs that support neurotransmitter health and lower inflammation. A natural addition to your holistic toolbox for combatting the blues.I know firsthand how the power of plant medicine can help real people in real life situations by lowering brain inflammation, providing nervous system support, relaxing the mind, and enhancing your sense of stability. I want you to have something you can always turn to when you’re feeling blue in your ‘herbal first aid kit.’ Again, rather than being a “magic bullet,” this formula is designed to calm, strengthen, and restore the entire nervous system, relieving anxiety and gently boosting mood over time. My goal was to soothe your nerves, help you think clearly and positively, and help you feel happier naturally. Your herbal allies in this blend include healers such as St. John’s Wort (an adaptogen and trophorestorative that helps with depression), Holy Basil (a nootropic used in Ayurveda for low spirits, brain fog and anxiety), and Motherwort (an herb that’s “like a big hug from mom”). 4. PEACE JUICE A liquid herbal spray used directly on the tongue for quick relief of anxiety & tension. Fits in your pocket and can be taken whenever nervousness arises, whether at work, on the train, or at home after a long day. Formulated with grounding herbs, both emotionally and energetically.When I asked all of my friends for a list of the things they could use some help with on a daily basis, the topic of anxiety came up over and over again. Anxiety is becoming extremely prevalent in our modern world, which is why I wanted to create a fun, effective solution that my loved ones could take with them wherever they go and use discreetly even in a public setting. Even if your anxiety is not chronic or does not generally affect your day to day life, we all have those moments where we simply feel overwhelmed… where work or relationships or bills are stressing us out and we could use a chill button. This, to me, is where herbs shine the most. Certain plants have this uncanny ability to instantly shift us energetically into a place where we’re more grounded, calm, and present in our bodies. PEACE JUICE has a spray top and is designed to do just that — as soon as certain plant compounds touch your tongue, your vagus nerve gets the signal to relax and you feel an instant sense of peace. I call it “grounding in a bottle.” 5. DIGESTIVE JUICE A liquid herbal spray used directly on the tongue 15 minutes before meals to improve digestion, increase nutrient absorption and prevent discomfort. Includes a blend of medicinal herbs known as “digestive bitters,” traditionally consumed before meals to encourage the body’s own production of stomach acid and enzymes. When this bitter flavor is detected by the taste buds, the brain is signaled to produce digestive juices so that we can extract maximum nutrition from the meal ahead.Indigestion is probably the #1 complaint I get from blog readers. It’s not that anything is wrong with you if you have stomach trouble after eating a big meal, it’s that you simply need some help moving things along. And you’re not alone — back in the day, it was customary across many different cultures to consume a natural digestive aid directly before meals in the form of traditional “bitters.” Somewhere along the way, we lost this practice, right along with our taste for the bitter flavor. Digestive Juice is my very own blend of “bitters,” and comes with a spray top just like peace juice so that you can feel the effects immediately. All you have to do is spray it on your tongue 10 to 15 minutes before mealtime, and your body will naturally release digestive juices and enzymes to make post-meal absorption a lot smoother and easier. I made this formula so that you can have the best digestion of your life and not feel uncomfortable or gassy all the time! 6. LIVER JUICE A liquid herbal tincture designed to optimize liver function and support detoxification pathways. Made for those who experience sluggish liver symptoms such as hormone imbalance, skin issues, trouble digesting fats, constipation or irritability. Can be used as a cleanse or daily detox support.As an herbalist, I feel that a liver formula is an essential part of any “herbal first aid kit.” That’s why I created Liver Juice — to help with liver detoxification in those who are feeling sluggish, overburdened, and/or experiencing hormonal imbalance. Some of the most common signs that appear in someone who needs liver support would be: constant bloating, heavy stomach with slow digestion (or even nausea after meals), sluggishness and fatigue, trouble losing weight, hormonal imbalance, mood swings, poor appetite, and acid reflux or heartburn. You also may feel a bit itchy after eating fatty foods, and may even wake up in the middle of the night around 1-3am (“liver time” in Traditional Chinese Medicine).Herbs are powerful allies to have. Not only can they restore and nourish the liver, they can also greatly assist when we fall short in the realm of detoxification. My liver formula includes both hepatic herbs that increase liver function/detox and decrease symptoms of a sluggish liver, as well as hepato-protective herbs that actually protect liver cells from further harm. THANK YOU FOR READING. I hope you absolutely love these formulas, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting this herbalist/blogger who is trying to make her mark on the world! You can find these products and more on the shop section of my website. As always, let me know if you have any questions below.