With a new shop opening in Venice, Adriana Ayales is the herbalist to the stars. We spoke to her about the state of wellness in the West.

Herbs and Aromatherapy Wellness
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Adriana Ayales is a rainforest herbalist, medicine maker, educator, and lady-behind-the-curtain at Anima Mundi. Her business is dedicated to facilitating ancient healing remedies to the modern world, and she recently opened up a location of her tonic bar and healing garden on Rose Avenue in Venice. Born and raised in Costa Rica, Adriana has studied global ancestral healing traditions alongside master herbalists and shamans for nearly 15 years. She uses that experience to inform the work at her aesthetic farm-to-pharmacy space, which aims to preserve forms of indigenous botany.

Adriana Ayales

Anima Mundi

You tap into ancestral Indigenous knowledge and make it applicable for our modern needs. What would you say is the one most applicable lesson you’ve learned from your time growing up in Costa Rica and working with Indigenous peoples?

We all have a special ability to listen and connect to nature. Indigenous peoples don’t view nature as separate from us. She is viewed as a living being, and we as extensions of her. Nature is observed as a super intelligence that pulsates source energy and knowledge to everything and everyone. To not harness this innate and deeply intuitive connection that we humans all have births disorder and destruction on a collective level. This natural intuitive knowing and connection to nature is a vital component to healing traditions.

Spring is a time of rebirth and rejuvenation. How can we apply those ideas of harnessing nature and working it into our wellness routines using plant medicine in a sustainable way? Are there any herbs that you like using in particular during this seasonal shift?

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Absolutely! Spring herbs are some of the most mineralizing medicines out there. The fresh leaves sprouting after frost or winter are imbued with resilience and nutrition. Some that I love are nettle, dandelion root, chickweed, horsetail, wild mustard, and more. In the fall, in preparation for winter, key medicines for immunity and resilience are rosehips, burdock, nettle, and elderberry.

Anima Mundi Happiness Tonic

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Anima Mundi Happiness Tonic, $25

I think spiritual well-being will continue to be one of the most sought-after necessities. With the rise of microdosing and herbal stacking, I can see people looking deeper to find the true meaning of wellness. Mental health is huge, and a foundational pillar to our longevity and general well-being. 

What’s the one wellness tip you’d have for folks this year? 

I absolutely love adaptogens, as they greatly help us with adaptability and oxidative stress. Considering the global circumstances, chemically, atmospherically, and mentally, adaptogens and adaptogenic-like plants greatly help us stay regulated and protected. I’m also a huge believer in nervous system nutrition. Plants and foods that can greatly help regulate the nervous system, and support growth and repair as much as possible.