Erin Lovell Verinder is a Herbalist, Nutritionist, and Energetic Healer. Plants for the People, her new book, is a beginner's guide to using plants to restore vitality and a general sense of wellbeing, with recipes for easy-to-make teas, tinctures, syrups, balms, and baths. From her lush Byron Bay home, Erin shares with us her recipe for an Elderberry Elixir.
Erin wears the Myla Knit in Sepia
Hi Erin! Tell us about yourself and what you do
My work is with the people and the plants! I am a herbalist, nutritionist and energetic healer and I bridge the gaps between these modalities working and creating as a clinician, teacher, mentor and author. I live up in the wilds of the Byron Bay hinterland in a quaint country town in a big old converted church. Life feels sweet, spacious and slow up in this part of the world.
Plants for the People is an exploration of the plant world through the eyes of a master herbalist, weaving ancient wisdom with a modern approach to plant medicine. What inspired you to write the book, and can you tell us a little about how we can use it in our everyday lives?
This was a book I was seeking yet could never find. I felt there was a gap in the literature out there on plant medicine, although there are so many wonderful books in this space however not so many with a very modern upgraded aesthetic and tone. I held this vision for the book for some time, and it came to fruition in the most kismet way with my publishing house Thames & Hudson. I wanted to share my understanding of the plants, their ancient stories and translate them for the modern-day. To reawaken the remembering within us all, that plants are the people's medicine. They always have been and always will be! I wanted to inspire people to connect with nature, to practice radical simplicity and to be well with plant medicine. My intention is to guide people into the beauty and power of the plants. The book is meant to be useful and beautiful, you could have it in your kitchen to inspire you to follow the recipes and explore medicine making, or set on your coffee table to give you a fresh breath of plant-loving beauty on the daily.
How do you like to nurture yourself; do you practice any self-care rituals?
Over the years, as my career has evolved and my schedule is ever abundant, I have refined what I truly need to feel nourished, to then radiate that nourishment out there to my clients and offerings. Self-care for me is to give myself time to switch off and rest as much as possible, slow mornings, early to rise, early to bed, screens away, time with my family, nourishing organic whole foods, great sleep, body movement, and meditation are all my medicine! I weave plant medicines into my every day, in tonics, teas, and foods. I do this intuitively and it really is ever-changing depending on how I am feeling on the day. One of my biggest self-care rituals is being in nature, whether it be a countryside walk, an ocean dip, time in my garden or swinging in the hammock under the pecan tree. I have learned that when things get very fast for me, I need to counteract it all with deep slowness to feel well and vital.
What are you reading, listening to and watching right now?
I am getting deeper into my astrological chart with Chani Nicholas’ book 'You Were Born for This’. I am listening to a very mellow playlist I created with a lot of Big Thief, Maggie Rogers, Flo Morrissey, Solange, Cat Power, and Nina Simone. I am revisiting feel good 90’s/early 2000’s cinema such as Reality Bites, Notting Hill and Clueless!
Elderberry is a hot topic right now. We'd love to learn more, can you share with us a few simple tips on how to incorporate this plant into our diets?
Elderberry is a wonderful and delicious immune ally, traditionally used to support immunity as the cooler seasons descend. It is one of the tastiest plant medicines and makes the most delightful syrup. Elderberries have anti-viral properties, casting a preventative and supportive cloud around our bodies, great for colds. The berries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, which all add to elderberries immune-enhancing properties. Below is a recipe from my book Plants For The People for an Elderberry Elixir.
Erin wears the Mara Linen Long Sleeve Tee in White
- 200 g (7 oz) fresh elderberries or
- 100 g (3ó oz) dried elderberries
- 60 g (2 oz) dried rosehips
- 40 g (1ó oz) echinacea roots/
- 30 g (1 oz) cinnamon chips
- 15 g (ó oz) licorice root
- 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) apple juice
- or 1ó litres (51 fl oz/6 cups) apple
- juice and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups)
- pomegranate juice (be sure to use
- sugar-free fruit juices)
- 300 ml (10 fl oz/1. cups) raw
- large saucepan
- fine-mesh sieve
- sterilised glass bottles and lids
Place all of the herbal ingredients in the saucepan and add the 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) of juice. Mix gently. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then simmer for 1–1ó hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain out the herbs through a fine-mesh sieve. Put the liquid back on the stove and add the raw honey. Stir over very low heat until the honey has melted through (avoid overheating the honey, so as to preserve its enzyme-rich properties). Allow the mix to cool completely, then decant into sterilised glass bottles or jars. Seal well and store in the fridge for up to a month.
This mix is delicious straight off the spoon! Take 1 tablespoon daily for wellness, and increase to 3 tablespoons daily if immunity is feeling a little depleted.