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There's Magic to be Found with the Witches in Cle Elum

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Witches: women with knowledge of philosophy and herbal medicine that were burned for ‘knowing too much’

Carly of River & Roots is an amazing Herbalist that believes in the power of plants and their healing abilities. Had she of been born 331 years ago, she would have been persecuted for her life's passion! So thank God we're past the burning at the stake phase and into celebrating knowledge in all it's forms!

I've always been interested in health and recently I've been seeking out natural and holistic ways to maintain and improve it, both spiritually and physically. Carly is a great source of knowledge on the topic so we had an interview and it went a little something like this! Hope you enjoy!

1. Can you tell us the origin of River + Roots?

River + Roots has evolved from a desire to create gifts for loved ones. I enjoyed creating apothecary products for my home and myself but at the holidays I’d always make rollers, perfumes and bath salts for my friends. It was exciting to experiment with different bottles, packaging and cards. Soon people were asking to buy products to give to their own friends and families. I realized that I could use my own functional apothecary to create not only for myself but also for my community. The entrepreneurial spirit in me came alive and I set out to generate income from my craft. River + Roots launched with the mission to reintroduce people to the luxury and beauty of nature. The logo and name both play off the concept of Yin + Yang. Being rooted in wellness is the very thing that allows us to flow through life with grace and ease.

2. How did you start your journey into herbalism and what tips would you give to a beginner just starting out?

My journey of Herbalism started when I was about 18 years old. My friend’s mom introduced me to the concept of using essential oils to treat common issues. I got a hold of an essential oil encyclopedia and I was hooked. It made so much sense to me that if we were meant to live on earth, the earth would also provide us with everything we need to thrive.

From then on, I felt deeply drawn to Holistic Health + Wellness. Studying the benefits of essential oils made me so curious about the plants and trees they were derived from. After researching how to use dried herbs and grow them myself, I got curious again but this time about rocks. If matter vibrates, according to science, and plants offer so many benefits, how far to speculate that stones could hold their own medicine as well? I began researching crystals and was fascinated by the moon and its phases. I began studying astrology and its connection to plants and crystals.

Looking at the profound beauty and power of nature has transformed me in many ways. My tip for beginners is to follow your curiosity and let your practice grow from a seed deep within. Connecting with herbalism through your intuition and instinct will build a path that feels very much your own, as it should be. Intellect is powerful but it can also invite comparison, competition and perfectionism. Remember why you love it and craft with that love for others.

3. Can you explain why certain ingredients in the oils you use for your rollers align to certain moods?

Aromatherapy works at the level of the primal mind. The effects of your sense of smell can even bypass your conscious and subconscious mind. This allows you to feel the benefits somatically and you may not even be consciously aware of the shift. One example of this would be Orange Essential Oil. Orange is amazing for uplifting mood and is a natural support for those experiencing depression. If you were to roll on an essential oil roller containing orange, you may notice that minutes later your mood has improved. I recommend using a notebook to record your mood before and after using aromatherapy. You may be very surprised at how simple and effective essential oils are when addressing emotional wellbeing.

4. Is there a difference between the white and black lava beads you use and can you explain how the lava-bracelets work and their health benefits for us?

Lava Beads are essentially dried lava. They’re called “Diffuser Stones” and used in Diffuser Jewelry because they are porous and absorb the oils. Your skin loves essential oils and will soak them up relatively quickly. Using lava stone allows you to wear natural fragrances all day long without them dissipating. White lava beads are just bleached lava stone. They can be styled with lighter tones and have a clean look to them. If using dark or heavy resin based essential oils, I recommend black lava stones so that they don’t change the color. I recommend white lava stones to those using clear and light oils. To apply your aromatherapy, you can tap your roller ball onto the beads, drop neat essential oils directly onto them, or apply directly to your skin and simply roll the beads through the oils. They also work great for diffusing perfume sprays!

The Lava stone is well known for its amazing benefits and metaphysical properties. It is a stone of strength, allows stability through changes, grounds and increases courage. It’s connected to the Root + Crown Chakras, Cancer + Taurus Zodiacs, Earth + Fire Elements.

5. In your experience, what is your absolute go-to product and why?

My go-to product would be our Peace Aromatherapy Roller. It’s been a very powerful agent of comfort and healing for many people. I originally designed the blend to address anxiety and stress. I’ve given them to those who are grieving, going through divorce, and suffering from overwhelming times. In terms of gift-giving, it’s been my most popular and best-selling blend for birthdays and holidays. Oftentimes when people are going through difficult times, there are no concrete solutions to offer them. That’s when compassion and empathy come in. Instead of fixing the problem, you’re coming alongside someone and saying, “I’m here with you.” Aromatherapy can deliver that message to others in a gentle and tangible way.

6. What is the thing you most enjoy about what you do?

I enjoy formulating new products and watching customers interact with them at events. It’s really satisfying to see your handcraft business meet the public and receive their positive response in real time. It has built my confidence tremendously and helped me feel deeply connected to my community who I’m serving.

7. When did you first come to the Cle Elum area and what is your favorite thing about this city?

Some of my greatest childhood memories take place in my family’s unfinished a-frame cabin in Ronald near Lake Cle Elum. My parents bought it when I was 6 years old and we would trek up the hill with our snowmobiles to get there in the winter. I’ll never forget the grit and perseverance it took to participate in mountain living but I’d never felt such peace in my life. Looking out the window, one day, I thought, “This must be what Heaven is like.” My heart felt it was home before I even knew I was looking. My favorite part of this area is the connection I feel to nature, music and the moon.

8. Where can we find you and your amazing products?



Roslyn Farmers’ Market (Sundays Mid June - Mid September)

Ellensburg Farmers’ Market (Saturdays May - October)

Suncadia Winterfest (Thanksgiving Weekend)


Ellensburg - Ellensburg Floral, Clymer Museum Gift Shop,

Snoqualmie - Salish Spa + Lodge, Snoqualmie Visitor Center

Leavenworth - Plant Ally

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