For decades, supplements have been an integral element of Julie Elliott's wellness routine. A master blender and student of anthroposophy who's spent decades working with expert naturopaths and herbalists, she's well-versed in ingestible plant medicine. So really, it was only a matter of time until she launched her own. Here, she chats the why she created these tinctures, how she uses them, and her favorite things about them.
I wanted an energetic element. I really don't know of anyone who has blended herbal remedies with flower essences in one formula. That is very unique.
Why tinctures, and why now?
I always intended to get into supplements as a bridge between skin and body care, and this last year felt like the perfect time to make that move. I wanted to address beauty at its core—where I think it matters most—and shift our focus to health from the inside by supporting our body's physiology. As we emerge from Covid-19, I predict the lines between beauty, wellness, health, and the psychological and spiritual will blur as we strive to foster a sense of resiliency to help us meet future challenges.
I feel that beauty is no longer about attaining this unrealistic ideal. Instead, it's about a holistic approach that helps us achieve emotional and physical harmony.
How did you decide where to start?
These are the products I want to live with. That's really how I always approach the formulary—what do I personally want to live with?
Last year, I got into adaptogens—I think many people did. We were maxed out with all the uncertainty in the world. Adaptogens work. I started on them through my naturopath and I was like, "Where have these been all my life?" They had an incredible effect on my mood and mitigating stress levels, and they also improved my sleep. So, I knew I wanted an adaptogen and something unique to add to this space.
Of course, we wouldn't be In Fiore if we didn't have a lymph formula. I wanted a product that could offer support to someone's bathing regimen—and could be rotated through seasonally to improve your lymphatics and give your immune system a nice boost.
I also wanted an immune formula to help create balance, something dynamic that would help with emotional and physical fatigue and restore our juiciness. I also really wanted to address issues of fear. When I set out to formulate, I noticed a state of fear in most people. I mean, it makes sense considering what was going on. And it's still so prevalent. The problem with fear is that it creates a cascade of issues when it takes over our lives. We abandon logic, and we abandon our critical thinking, invite stress to take hold, and start losing sleep. It goes on and on.
As a part of living holistically, I've been taught not to invite the fear in, to not be in your fear body when making decisions because the stronger frequency always takes over the weaker one. Interestingly, at the start of the pandemic, my naturopath said Covid-19 is a spiritual war. I didn't fully grasp what that meant at first. But I've been spending time in Mexico and dipping my toe into Mayan medicine. For the Mayans, fear is a spiritual disease. So, I started making these connections and seeing this thread. I wanted to create formulas that would help mitigate fear and stress in both the body and the mind.
These tinctures are a collaboration between Dr. Kevin Spelman and yourself. How did that work?
It was important to me to go into this new category with complete integrity. I hired a chemist, Dr. Kevin Spelman, molecular biologist, phytochemist, and clinician with decades of experience in medicinal plants, to formulate. He's someone I trust—and he is revered. Each formula has easily 80 science-backed references with proven ingredients to support a healthy lymph function, protect our body from stress, and foster a robust immune system. And each supplement is underscored by the energetic effects of flower essences for that total body, mind, and spirit integration.
I feel that beauty is no longer about attaining this unrealistic ideal. Instead it’s about a holistic approach that helps us achieve emotional and physical harmony.
There's the twist.
I wanted an energetic element. I really don't know of anyone who has blended herbal remedies with flower essences in one formula. That is unique. Highlighting the psychospiritual is nothing new for In Fiore, but these supplements were an opportunity to turn this into a tangible reality. Our client base has already embraced our psychospiritual approach and they're hungry for more. Despite the last year's challenges on the business's spa and retail side, we had a banner year—most driven by our botanical solutions, which emphasize mind and spirit integration. The supplements are such a perfect bridge for this.
For those unfamiliar with flower essences, how do you define them?
They're the energetic imprint of a plant's life force. They're pure energy. They work through our body's energetic pathways and catalyze emotional change.
How do they work?
When flower essences are ingested, they follow a path through our physical and energy bodies. When assimilated, they settle between our circulatory and nervous systems, and this polarity creates an electromagnetic current. After passing through these systems, the life force enters the body's cellular level and imbalanced areas. It's a lot like the body's extracellular matrix, which sends messages throughout the body. When ingested, flower essences follow specific pathways and have an affinity for certain areas.
How did you decide which flower essences to use?
For these tinctures, I selected fresh flowers for their specific mental and emotional properties to address imbalances. I thought about how dis-ease starts in the mind, looked at the goal of Kevin's formulas, and bridged them with the proper flower essence blend.
Can you give an example?
I love yarrow and used white, yellow, purple and pink flowers. Yarrow flowers are umbrella-shaped, and I think of them as literally throwing shade at negative influences, whether it's environmental or psychic attack. (When someone projects negative thoughts toward you? That's a psychic attack.) They do this by disrupting radiation waves that travel at the same peculiar angles as the petals, so they're dispersed when they meet in a similar field. So for the most part, yarrow as an energetic signature helps disperse, disrupt, and dispel negative influences. The white and yellow flowers lean more towards environmental aggressors, and the pink and purple flowers learn more towards emotional aggressors.
What else sets these formulas apart?
There's a supporting essential oil component to every formula, they're the envoy or harmonizer in the blend, and they're all in the citrus family. Citrus is used in many cultures for detoxification. Actually, in Mayan culture, citrus is used to dispel fear. I didn't know that until recently and why I love studying so many cultures and modalities—you start to connect the dots. We're working with bergamot, tangerine and yuzu, which have an effect on the nervous system. They are traditionally used as restoratives, meaning that they help alleviate anxiety, stress and mental fatigue. They also have a brightening effect on our emotions.
Then, physically, these essential oils act as penetration enhancers. They help all the constituents in the blend absorb into the tissues of the body. I love this dual role.
And, of course, they smell good!
Yes, and the first thing anyone does with an In Fiore product is smell it, right? So the scent piece is a big one. It's our brand DNA. Each tincture is imbued with a distinct fragrance. Scents carried by essential oils express a plant's healing power—the healing power of fragrance. When we inhale essential oils, they pass through the olfactory pathway and activate our body's capacity to heal by optimizing function of the vagus nerve.
I've been researching the brain and its response to scent, and what's fascinating is that the vagus nerve is a communication link between our brain and our body. It is the thread that connects our brain to most organs and systems tissues in the body. It kind of acts as an on/off switch that mitigates the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
The sympathetic nervous system downregulates functions in the body that aren't essential to survival. It's fight or flight—panic mode. The parasympathetic nervous system is then associated with relaxation, regeneration, and repair—the chill factor and oxytocin, the cuddle hormone. This is what allows us to recover. It's a dynamic balance, and the vagus nerve is like a lever that turns them off and on because they can't function simultaneously.
Last and hardest question: what's your favorite blend?
Oh my God. I love all my children. Adapt'Âscend is pretty incredible. There's instant gratification. You take it to mitigate the stress response. There's also an energizing effect, but when you increase the dose, it enhances sleep. I'll take it at night as a spritzer instead of a Negroni. At the end of a long day, I would drop into that Adapt'Âscend, then get in the bath. It has become my evening meditation.
Each formula has easily 80 science-backed references. These are doctor formulated, with proven ingredients to support a healthy lymph function, protect our body from stress, and foster a robust immune system.