What's in My Bag: with Maribeth Helen

Maribeth Helen

By now, I'm sure you've come across the work of Maribeth Helen. She is an herbalist, word witch and an all around incredible being. Maribeth's zine, Self Care in Uncertain Times, is well loved and has been widely coveted. Most likely to to its release during a time when we seem to need it most and the beautifully worded and relatable title.

Maribeth's words are akin to coming home. She has a way of sharing her knowledge and experiences that is so thoughtful and patient, which is something that is so valuable in this world. Needless to say, I was stoked when Maribeth agreed to share what she carries around in her bag and what keeps her feeling nourished and powerful. 

Maribeth also has some workshops coming up! So if you are lucky enough to live near the towns that she is teaching in, I strongly encourage you to reserve your spot asap. Check out her workshops page if you're in California or Massachusetts!

Spencre xo


Over the years I have intentionally let go of many of my possessions as I moved around quite a bit. Recently I've even enjoyed leaving my bag in the car and walking out for a short hike with only my water bottle to carry. With that said, I like to keep certain well-loved potions (and snacks!) close, especially if I'm out in the city, going to work, or taking a longer trip away from home. I've been in the habit of keeping a good book in my bag as to spend down time or breaks reading instead of looking at my phone. Lately I've been carrying this special tote made by fellow herbalist and awesome friend Bonnie Rose Weaver. 

Maribeth Helen : What's In My Bag
Maribeth Helen : What's in My Bag

The Stuff!

 1. Balsam Fir Hydrosol by Fat and the Land Apothecary: Anja has such an incredible spirit and relationship with the earth. I am constantly inspired by her connection to the plants and how she infuses the magic of the season into everything she does. I've been carrying her gently cooling and deeply grounding balsam fir hydrosol to keep my nervous system at ease and to refresh my skin after skipping around in the warm California sun. 

2. Citrus Digestive Bitters by Urban Moonshine: I try not to go anywhere without bitters. This sensitive digestive system can use all the support it can get and Urban Moonshine does such a good job at blending powerful and effective herbs in such a gentle and tasty way. I like to drop these bitters right on my tongue or in a little warm water before or after a meal to invigorate and enliven my whole digestive system while helping to strengthen it's ability to assimilate nutrients from the foods I enjoy.  

3. Pink yarrow flower essence: I love sending and receiving mail and I love when my friends send me perfect potions that always seem to line up with what I need. My dear friend Maggie Ruth tends to have a very intuitive sense when it comes to sending me plant medicine. As a sensitive and compassionate human who lives and works in a city, I am often struggling to keep healthy boundaries around what energy is mine and what energies I need to release. Maggie's pink flower essence helps to ground me in staying true to myself while being in relationship with other people. 

4. Tulsi & Ginger Tea by Traditional Medicinals: I love tea, duh. :) This particular blend by Traditional Medicinals is so warming and incredibly grounding. It's my go to on the go tea in case I need to ground out or take a moment to recollect, get cozy, and reset when I'm out for the day. It's also great if I'm eating out and need some extra support for my digestive system....yeah I'm totally that person who brings their own tea to the restaurant. I don't drink so I am in the habit of bringing tea with me to gatherings where there might be alcohol and I want to drink something other than water, and this blend helps to take the edge off my social anxiety. 

5. The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams: This. Book. I'm reading it for a second time. It is long and it is slow (like my favorite walks) and it is filled with many many incredibly potent moments of wisdom that come from this woman's unwavering love of the land here in the United States. She calls this book "A Personal Topography of America's National Parks" and I am a total nerd for it. It is personal, it is political, it is wild and soft, rooted in history and questioning, it's observant and spiritual and totally present. It is fine storytelling and full of poetry. 

6. Snacks! : I never go anywhere without snacks because well, hanger. To this day when I visit my parents, my mom still brings an extra bag of almonds for me, just in case. I'm not kidding. So, snacks. My snacks range but usually I try to include some protein and fat. I've been loving YES bars which are made here in the bay area and always sprouted nuts are a win, lately paired with a blood orange because I can't get enough of the color! 

7. Grapefruit Rose Lip Balm by Wild Carrot: I am really picky when it comes to my lip balm and with this windy Spring weather I am always reaching for my favorite by Wild Carrot Herbals out of Oregon


Find Maribeth online at maribethhelen.com and on Instagram @maribethhelen

Photo by Bonnie Rose Weaver

Photo by Bonnie Rose Weaver

Photos by Maribeth Helen with the exception of the one above these words, which is by Bonnie Rose Weaver.