Essential oils have gained popularity nationwide over the last couple of years. They also fit perfectly with Colorado’s natural ethos—as long as they’re concocted from pure ingredients. (Some substances marketed as essential oils involve synthetic fragrances and are often sold at lower prices as a result.)
Sustainable purity is the focus of Boulderite Laura Huth’s year-old company, Rootfoot, which offers essential oils made from plants she grows herself, gathers in Colorado’s forests, or sources from organic agricultural programs. Exotic ingredients like frankincense, vetiver, and spikenard dot her products’ labels, but pretension is not a part of her business: She hopes to make essential oils accessible to everyone, regardless of their knowledge of aromatherapy.
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“I’m incorporating them more into a lifestyle than for medical purposes,” Huth says. “Of course there’s going to be those benefits, but I just want it to be approachable.”
Huth began growing her own plants in 2009 after learning how to distill from botanical medicine expert David Crow. Now, she talks enthusiastically about the best time to collect aromatic molecules from the surfaces of plants (it’s based on the moon cycle) and the impact of the environment on botanicals (if you grow a lavender plant in Colorado versus France, for instance, it’ll have slightly different effects on the body).
“Understanding essential oils’ therapeutic properties can be an intuitive process,” Huth says. “Flowers generally help women in particular with any sort of hormonal balance, which I think is so awesome and intuitive. Trees are really wise plants that generally help with respiratory issues; again, of course.”
An important part of her philosophy is wildcrafting, the process of harvesting only what you need from each particular plant. She plucks sprigs from white sage bushes and collects tree sap from ponderosa pines in the Red Feather Lakes region outside Fort Collins, but each plant is ultimately left unharmed.
This dedication to high-quality ingredients and practices has attracted the attention of well-known companies such as Free People, which will carry Huth’s medicine pouches—to hold a vial of essential oil—in its stores starting next month. Huth has also partnered with North Carolina–based designer Rachel Weisberg to create pouches made of sustainable fibers instead of leather. (Look for them May 1.)
If you’re new to essential oils, order Huth’s starter collection of peppermint, lavender, and sweet orange ($46 online). If you’re looking for more complex blends, go for the minty, indulgent Moon Hooch ($30), which was created in honor of the eponymous Brooklyn-based band as the first in an artist-inspired series.
You can find Rootfoot products on the company’s website, but Blue Harvest Apparel and Velvet Files, both in Fort Collins, as well as Dapper & Dame at the Big Wonderful’s Night Bazaar also carry them. Plus, don’t miss Huth at the Madelife Pop Up Shop on April 23 or the Firefly Handmade Market on May 21 and 22, both in Boulder.
Follow editorial assistant Mary Clare Fischer on Twitter at @mc_fischer.