We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Gardner and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The mind-body connection has always driven a lot of what I do. I am currently a clinical mental health student, so I tend to tie that into a lot of my herbal recipes. One that comes to mind is my “De-Stress” blend. The herbs in this blend work with the nervous system (nervine herbs) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (adaptogenic herbs). In other words, when the body recognizes stress (via hypothalamus) it signals the pituitary gland and then the adrenal glands to release stress hormones. When we are chronically stressed, our HPA axis is constantly engaged and the body is flooded with an unhealthy amount of stress hormones. This is when we begin to feel the physical symptoms of stress: adrenal fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, chest tightness, GI upset, etc. The great thing about adaptogens is that they help balance stress hormones and keep them at a healthy level, thus creating a healthier stress response. Some adaptogenic herbs even mimic the energizing/stimulating effects of coffee, but without the caffeine. Nervine herbs, on the other hand, work to restore and replenish the nervous system. When we feel burnt-out, depleted, drained, we do not need to extend ourselves even further by use of adaptogens. If you listen to your body, it is really asking to be nurtured and nourished because it has been so deeply depleted of resources. This is where nutrient-dense nervines come into play! These herbs are specifically useful for adrenal burnout, emotional instability, trauma, nervous exhaustion, anxiety, and stress.
Long story short, when I started my business, I wanted to incorporate my knowledge of herbal medicine with my psychology/mental health background. My goal is to not only help people cope with physical symptoms but mental and spiritual symptoms as well, because I believe they all go hand in hand. As you can see from my adaptogen/nervine example, stress affects the body physiologically first. Over time, these physiological symptoms can cause mental and emotional symptoms, and vice versa. Thus, the mind-body connection, the driving factor behind my business! I am very passionate about learning about the body, mind, and spirit, which are ultimately the driving factors behind what I do.Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As I mentioned before, I am currently a clinical mental health counseling student, working towards licensure in mental health counseling. I am very passionate about helping, understanding, & empowering people. I have also always been very passionate about health and wellness, which is where my herbalist schooling comes into play. I love looking at things through a holistic lens and I feel like my schooling has really taught me how to dig and find the source of certain symptoms, rather than taking the bandaid approach that our western society has become accustomed to. It has been a hard battle, juggling two schools at the same time, along with working a full-time job & starting a business. But it is also SO liberating to be feeding my passion! My business/brand is still new and adapting, but my goal is to one day combine my counseling practice with nutrition consulting and herbal medicine! Slowly but surely!Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I were to show someone all of the amazing things in my hometown I would start by getting back in nature. There are a lot of amazing hikes in my area. A few of my favorite places to hike that are less than an hour away are Idyllwild, Santa Rosa Plateau, and northern San Diego. I would also recommend attending a few of the farmer’s markets. Thistle & Sage Marketplace is one of my favorites because they always have live music, mouth watering vegan food, baked goods, and sustainable products. This market is usually found in Temecula and Oceanside, so you can easily make a day trip out of it by pairing it with the beach or winery trip!Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shout-out to my sister-in-law, Bree (the face behind BellaBreeze Crystals). Before starting my business, I started out making tinctures, oils, and salves for myself and my family. In 2020, she urged me to turn my passion into a business & she was very diligent about it! She kept reassuring me and inspiring me along the way. If it weren’t for Bree, I would still be hoarding all of my tinctures to myself! lol I would also like to give a shout-out to my dear friend Nicholle, owner of Herb & Dew, who has pushed me to expand and try new things. She has also shown me another side of herbs that I have never seen before which are their energetics! Thank you Nicholle for sparking a new interest for me!

Website: www.uprootedherbs.com

Instagram: @uprooted_herbs

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