You are always in nature. It's just part of being human.

We are in nature every moment of our lives.  Our bodies are made of raw ingredients from the forest and the desert.  We inhale the breath that trees exhale.  We sip water that trickled down through the soil into our aquifers.   The wind, rain, sun and soil are always with us, within us, whether we're in the city or the forest.  Our pores absorb the herb-infused oils of in every AstraLux product.  Soak in the starlight that the plants in your face oil absorbed.  Smear nature on your skin, right here in the city.

Seasonal Medicine, Seasonal Body Care

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Eating seasonally has become common place.  We eat fruits and vegetables at the peak of their local season for optimum nutrition and freshness.  Seasonal skin care and local plant medicines fit perfectly into this framework.  By incorporating the plants that live in the same bioregion where our own bodies grow, we can connect human health to the changing seasons of the natural world.

Some plants thrive in the river flood plane: submerged in the high water of winter, drenched by torrential rain in the spring, dry under the sun when the water recedes in summer and dormant in the dusty heat of late August. Others need consistent damp shade to survive.  Understanding their lives can teach us when to bring them into ours.

 The plants that grow around us are uniquely suited to address the physical challenges we face as the natural world shifts through the year.

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AstraLux Owner Karina Brown

AstraLux is run by exactly one person: me!  I make every AstraLux product myself.

I have been immersed in Pacific Northwest forests for my whole life.  As a child, my father taught me the names of wildflowers and introduced me to the deeply peaceful feeling of walking through the woods.  At home, my mother created beautiful gardens.  From the time when I was tiny, my annual task was to plant and tend the rows of sweet peas that climbed our fences.

I have been making my own natural skin care products since I was 15, when my mom gave me a copy of “Natural Beauty for All Seasons”, by Janice Cox. That same year, I discovered Rosemary Gladstar’s “Herbal Healing for Women” and started making my own herbal teas and tinctures. My formal education in herbal medicine began with a one-year apprenticeship in 2008.  I planned to just dip my toe in.  But I was hooked.  I devoured three more years of herbal study.  I studied plants as physical medicine.  I learned about their power to heal our emotional and psychological selves.  I delved into the spiritual power of plants and dreams.  I also attended conferences and seminars with visiting teachers and read everything I could get my hands on.  Basically, I was obsessed.

After that period of intense focus, I had to let all that wisdom from others percolate until I could envision the plant-based yumminess I wanted to put out into the world. 

To me, health is synonymous with:

Comfort.  In your skin.  Nestled in.  Totally cool.

Feeling good in our bodies is the basis for all the awesome stuff we want to do.

I want you to feel like you have the power to care for your body in every season.  To feel at home in the world, deliciously comfortable in your own skin, during the harsh winds of winter and the searing rays of summer.  To have the right tools to help you through the seasonal transitions of fall and spring, when your body is working to adjust to the changing conditions. The world is ours.  We belong to it.  Let's embrace its natural forces and use plants to help us cozy into the world more comfortably.

Using herbal medicine and body care products is a way to connect your body to the natural world.  The more we rely on the forests around us, the higher our vested interest in those ecosystems becomes.  Mirroring the changing seasons outside our front doors helps us welcome those transitions.  Nature’s voice is more audible when we bring her bounty into our daily lives.

I believe that health should be fun, not a drag!  I want you to be excited about the new herbal tonic you get to use, the glorious cream you get to smooth onto your skin, the yummy food you get to eat.  I’ve spent too long with a rigid idea of health, filled with rules and forbidden foods.  I’m committed to the process of deepening my intuition about what is right for my body.  Listening ever more closely to her messages about food, medicine, exercise, solitude and social fun, relationships, work and professional life.  The more I listen to my body’s messages, the less need I have to impose strict rules.

Health is the basis of beauty.  Glowing good health provides us with a supple canvas to decorate.

My Mentors:

Missy Rohs and Gradey Proctor Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical Studies

Matthew Wood and Paul Bergner The School of Traditional Western Herbalism 

Scott Kloos The School of Forest Medicine

Dr. Deborah Frances aka Beautiful Little Dancing Crow

Howie Brownstein Columbines School of Botanical Studies