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Holistic Living with Jaskrit Bhalla of Inner Garden

We first met Jaskrit at a women's wellness day as she led us in a beautiful yoga practice. During the meal, we had a chance to try her homemade herbal Ghee and fell in love. Jaskrit is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration in herbalism and holistic living.

Q. Share with us a bit about yourself and Inner Garden?

A. My name is Jaskrit and I founded Inner Garden in March of 2022 out of my love for food, nature, and herbalism. I believe profound healing happens when we bridge the gap between us and nature, and when we use food as medicine as well as nourishment. I started with a line of grass-fed ghee infused with herbs and spices, and am picking the production back up for my ghee this summer! In addition to products, I facilitate community and private events that center around connecting to nature, food, and herbal medicine. My mission is to inspire people to tend their inner gardens through Earth, body, and spirit care as we navigate this strange time as human beings living on this planet.

Q. What led you to specialize in herbal products and remedies for beauty and wellness?

A. I have always loved plants and nature, both of which have been very catalytic in my healing and returning back to my truest self. Growing up in an Indian household, herbs and spices were our first line of defense for common ailments and overall preventative health. Herbalism is medicine for the people, and has been around for thousands of years. I took a few online herbalism courses in 2020, but didn’t feel like I was receiving the full scope of the education and mentorship I needed, so I began attending a hybrid program in 2022 which I am over halfway through now. This program has informed much of my desire to delve more deeply into the world of herbal medicine, and share the wisdom of plants with my community.

Q. What are some best practices for incorporating herbs into one's daily routine for optimal health and wellness?

A. The options are endless! It truly all depends on what your needs are, what climate you live in, and what you know you will be consistent with. I personally love a good herbal infusion, which is a more potent version of an herbal tea: a few spoonfuls of nutritive herbs (think nettles, dandelion, raspberry leaf, wild oats, alfalfa) infused into 32oz of water for a few hours or overnight. I also love tinctures because I travel a lot and they are the most convenient way of transporting my medicines, plus making them makes me feel like a scientist. My favorite way to use herbs is in the kitchen. I try to incorporate them into much of my cooking, whether it’s culinary herbs used in a curry, medicinal broths, adaptogen-infused baked goods, herbal ghee, or just powdered herbs mixed into my oatmeal. The key is consistency and accessibility. You don’t need to be buying hundreds of dollars worth of herbal supplements and capsules every month. In fact, the organoleptic (sensory) experience of making herbal concoctions and taking herbs is half the medicine!

Q. What ancient wisdom do you connect with most and why?

A. I connect most deeply with Ayurveda, because it is of my ancestral lineage. We incorporated Ayurvedic wisdom into much of our daily lives growing up thanks to my mom, without even realizing it.

Q. Can you discuss any ethical sourcing practices you follow when obtaining herbs and botanical ingredients for your remedies?

A. I try my best to source all my herbs from organic herb farms mostly in the United States. Occasionally I will source Ayurvedic herbs from India or TCM herbs from China, but make sure to do lots of research on the farm or company to ensure it follows sustainable practices, has pure and non-adulterated products, and pays its employees fair wages. This goes for US-grown herbs, too. Mountain Rose Herbs is great and reliable because they do third party testing. When wildcrafting, I have an extensive wildcrafting checklist my teacher provided us with that I go through before even thinking of harvesting anything. I never harvest more than what I need, make sure the plant stand is healthy and abundant, make sure I am in the right state of mind, and always try to sit with the plant and give it something in return. I only wildcraft or forage plants that I have built a relationship with over time.

Q. Can you share any success stories or experiences from clients who have benefited from herbal remedies for their beauty and wellness goals?

A. I have had many women who are either trying to conceive, pregnant, or recently postpartum who have shared that my herbal ghees have been a staple in their diets to maintain appropriate dietary fat (specifically omega-3 fatty acids) intake, as well as fat soluble vitamins and minerals, which brings me great joy! Ghee is truly a superfood.

Q. What safety precautions or considerations should individuals keep in mind when using herbal remedies for beauty and wellness purposes?

A. Herbs, like anything you are ingesting or even applying topically, are very specific to the individual and work differently from person to person! In addition to this, many herbs have contraindications in regards to certain health conditions, medications, and more. There are herbs that are not advised to take during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and herbs that you shouldn’t take around the time of a surgery. Always do your research and speak to an herbal practitioner before starting any new regimen or adding any new herbs to your daily routine.

Q. How do you educate and empower others to incorporate herbal remedies into their daily routines and maintain long-term beauty and wellness goals?

A. I try to lead by example! I will never tell anyone to do anything, but have found that people more often than not will approach me with questions about herbalism after seeing me share about them in my daily life or through my platform. Education is my favorite, and I love teaching workshops and classes about various topics that I feel people will benefit from.

Q. Do you have any rituals that you practice consistently?

A. I try to go on a walk or hike outdoors every day, or at least 5 times per week. It’s truly vital to my sanity and my spiritual health. I also tongue scrape, oil pull, and take my supplements (magnesium is one supplement that I take all year around, non-negotiably) every morning. I like preparing an herbal infusion in the morning, letting it sit for a few hours, and then drinking it throughout the second half of my day. Reading is very important to me and I try to read almost daily. My rituals change depending on the season of my life that I’m in!

Q. How do you commune with nature throughout your days?

A. Communing with nature and removing the separation between myself and it is of utmost importance to me. Honestly, outdoors time is the foundation of my wellness “routine”. I am very blessed that the work that I do sort of forces me to spend lots of time in natural landscapes, but even on my own time, I probably spend half my life out on trails meandering and stopping to observe every little flower and leaf. I love leading guided plant walks because they are a great way to get outside, connect with local ecosystems, learn about plants growing around you, meet new people, and really forces you to remain present and notice small details you wouldn’t normally pay attention to. I also love sourcing my produce locally (I get a bi-weekly regenerative farm box from Farmfluence) which allows me to feel a deeper connection to the food I am eating.

Q. What do you feel is your greatest piece of wisdom to share with our community?

A. Go outside. Connect with the land and connect with the things you put in your body and on it. Don’t overcomplicate things. Don’t feel like you have to spend a bunch of money to be healthy and well. Just get back to the basics. And remember, there is no separation between us and nature, or even us and each other. Much love!

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