How They Did It: Homestead Apothecary

Nic Weinstein of Homestead Apothecary might be the man you want to call when, well, anything goes wrong. He basically helps to transform your body into the best shape it can possibly be in, naturally. Cuts, scrapes, skin problems, adrenal fatigue, headaches, digestion, thinning hair? Yep, they can all be fixed up with a little ounce of herbalism. So, we wanted to go one step back to see just how Nic got to where he is.

When and how did you get into herbalism?
I started getting interested in herbs in 2003 when I moved to the Bay area. I fell in love with Scarlett Sage! It was always something that was on the back burner I guess. Then in 2010 I got really sick, I had adrenal fatigue. I think a lot of folks love with it. I had a pretty severe case and was bedridden. I tried going to a every specialist under the sun and realized that the Western doctors could not fix this so I turned to herbs. I started feeling better quickly but still a long ways off from healthy and rested so I went to herb school and taught myself as much as possible and made my Stress Less tincture and that is what got me out of the adrenal fatigue. I pretty much never looked back.

If you could choose one herb to stick by your side, what would it be?
HOLY BASIL!!! That’s my plant! I am really interested in adaptogens and the fact that that plant can actually lower your cortisol. Amazing. Plus its just really delicious.

From where do you source your herbs?
I work with a collective of farmers called the Sonoma County Herb Exchange and I work with a farm in San Francisco called Little City Gardens. I also source a lot of my plants from Kristyn at Namu farm in Sunol.

Describe your studio.
My studio – It’s a really intense place to work because I am surrounded by thousands of ounces of medicine. It’s a beautiful to be and see all of the potential for wellness that I have been lucky enough to create. I am sure that this is common for most craftspeople and artists but I have a lot more organizing to do in there but who has the time?!?

What is the most satisfying part of the process?
Definitely having someone come back and thanking me. I know my medicine is really good and strong, I take it myself but I am always in awe when folks come back and say “nothing has ever really worked for me except for this”.  It’s an awesome feeling to be in service like that.

What are you influences?
Dori Midnight has had a profound effect on my work. My teacher Brittany Wood Nickerson of course and I continue to be inspired by Liz Migliorelli of Sister Spinster Apothecary.  Outside of the herb world, I am so influenced by folks who are bringing back their craft. I think West Coast Craft exemplified that for me. It was so incredibly well curated. I felt in alignment with the integrity of everyone there and inspired by what everyone was doing. And then finally the plants. This is the most important relationship in my life and I always end up neglecting it. I need to remember to get outside and not just work! Being in nature really recharges my batteries, so to speak.

What other types of making do you do?
I was a fine art photographer in the past, I play several instruments and I love making elaborate meals but I don’t really make time for any of those practices these days. All of my artistic side is going into my new line of Spirit Scents, my nursery where I grow plants in the Spring and the zines. Actually I decide to use one of my photos for the new Magik zine coming out this month! Trying to bridge my worlds!

Nerve Ease Tea by Nic Weinstein
To calm, to heal, to give inner peace

Combine all the ingredients below and store. To make a single cup of tea: Place 1 tablespoon per cup of water of the mixture in a French press or infuser. Add hot water and let steep a few minutes.

3 ounces lemon balm
1 ounce skullcap
1 ounce milky oat tops
1 ounce nettle
1 ounce chamomile
1/2 ounce rose
1/4 ounce lavender