The Power of a Well-Balanced Formula

by JuJu Bearwoman

Simply Being Botanicals is a fine line of tinctures that HAALo offers to the community in our showcase of locally-made herbal remedies. They consist of both single herb (aka “simples”) and formulated extractions. Raya Cole, an herbalist and mother here in Nevada City, is the owner and formulator of Simply Being. She and her husband Freedom are very involved in the community as lovers of the land, healers and spiritual guides. Raya has a long history gardening and wildcrafting. She is also well-respected in the community as the Permaculture Design School director of Living Ecology, which offers international aid internships in India, where she travels frequently.


While Raya is in-and-out of the country, I have the lucky pleasure of helping her prepare and bottle her tinctures so everything stays stocked.  She procures many of the herbs in her remedies from her garden, local farms and the surrounding wild areas to create her products. She is a wise and resourceful woman who takes her time with the delicate process of making medicine and selecting the best high quality ingredients.


Raya likes to make her tinctures well balanced and formulates based on her intuition as well as what has been proven through herbal traditions around the world. She is a true believer in alchemy and synergy in her herbal blends. She likes to combine all the herbs of a formula together before setting in alcohol so that the herbs have the opportunity to use their intelligence to synergize for the purpose of that particular healing remedy.

She appreciates the value in single herb extracts too, of which there are several on the shelf, like Lobelia and Crampbark, but she really feels the power of a well-balanced formula. I can appreciate this too, being trained in Chinese Medicine, where the magic is often most palpable in the well-balanced formula. She exclusively uses organic grain alcohol and often adds a touch of vegetable glycerine to make the tincture a little sweet, which also lessens the punch of the alcohol.


Two of my favorite tinctures from Simply Being (we currently have a variety of 20 extracts available) are Brain Power and Cough Remedy. The Brain Power tincture is an outstanding combination of Ayurvedic herbs traditionally used for enhancing cerebral function (Gingko, Gotu Kola and Brahmi) as well as a few Western herbs that give it an added boost to get those brain cells working right (Rosemary and Sage). Two delicious herbs, Peppermint and Ginger, round out the formula to make it deliciously invigorating and breath refreshening.

Juju UrcisAt HAALo, JuJu is actively seeking to connect farmers with the demand for herbs in the shoppe and for medicine makers in the community. She is committed to weaving together all parts of the herbal network, from seed to formula, and in creating sustainable futures for both farmers and herbalists.

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