On this episode of WTT we explore a variety of topics with our second ever guest, Melanie Yukov. Melanie started her business, Root 2 Rise Wellness with the intention of creating conscious community by helping others connect back to nature and their roots through establishing healthy practices and returning back to basic wisdom of nature and natural ways of healing. In this episode Melanie walks us through natural ways of working with gut issues, regulating the nervous system and toning the vagus nerve, the three different constitutions known in the Ancient Indian Wisdom of Ayurveda and using flower essences to support the emotional body. For me personally, it was really awesome to hear Melanie talk about specific practices while also keeping the door open to follow your own intuition and what feels right to you for your own unique self. There is so much information in this episode, so grab your cup of tea and get ready to dive into the world of {whole}istic living with Melanie, Jesse Rose and I! 


Meet Melanie

Melanie is a Community Herbalist, Certified Holistic Health Coach, and Flower Essence Practitioner.


Her official plant learning began 7 years ago in a life changing experience at Israel Herb School in the holy land where David beat Goliath. Melanie lived for 5 months in a refurbished chicken coop, with strangers, no internet, and surrounded by fields and hills of beautiful plants. She continued to study herbal medicine and spirit medicine from various teachers in Colorado, Connecticut, Costa Rica, and New York.


Melanie’s travels have given her a broad base for understanding plants from different teacher perspectives, which all culminated in her founding Root 2 Rise Wellness to connect people of all ages to their roots, to nature, and healthy practices through conscious community.


Melanie draws from knowledge gained from her Health Coaching Certification at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and Flower Essence Training to get to the root of peoples health issues and offer solutions through education and 1:1 consultations through her gut revive program. She uses holistic modalities tapping into energy medicine, Ayurvedic practices, mind-body work, flower essences, plant medicine, supplement suggestions and teaches her clients how to tap into their body’s wisdom to be their own healers.


Melanie attracts clients ready to work through issues and unhealthy patterns to feel well and lead vibrant lives. She believes it is her purpose to teach the wonders of the plant world and natures’ solutions to everyday problems and chronic conditions. She is honored to be spreading plant magic to the conscious herb loving community! 


P.S. Melanie has a Master’s from Columbia as a Bilingual Speech Therapist, which she uses to practice Pediatric Speech and Feeding therapy…She helps parents of picky eaters and teaches kids about plants in her Herbalicious Kids Classes!


What are “Gut Issues”?

Melanie opens up this episode discussing how her own personal health issues with her gut led her to guiding others through natural ways of remedying gut issues such as IBS. We briefly touch on the importance of phytonutrients and pre and probiotics for a healthy gut. Often these are lacking in our modern Western Diet. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as kimchi, raw sauerkraut and kombucha. Prebiotics are found in various fruits and vegetables such as apples, bananas, dandelion greens and so many more. A diet filled with whole plant-based foods grown in natural conditions are necessary for the many phytonutrients that are needed to sustain a healthy gut and body. Melanie explains that these whole food sources along with natural medicine and regulating the nervous system help us to stay in balance and grounded and this is the environment needed for a healthy gut and in turn a healthy body and mind as well. 


How does working with the nervous system support gut health?


Working with the nervous system supports gut health in many ways (and vice versa!) The Vagus Nerve, the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest), has many functions in the body such as controlling mood and supporting digestion. In our modern society, we have a tendency to be stuck in sympathetic mode (fight or flight), which leads to the Vagus Nerve not being toned and inhibits relaxation and therefore proper digestion. To learn more about the Vagus Nerve and its connection between the gut and the brain check out this article. Because the state of the nervous system directly effects our digestion and in turn our gut health, Melanie reminds us the importance of regulating the nervous system and toning the Vagus Nerve in order to support our gut. We discuss how stress directly effects our digestion and how often times gut problems may arise along side issues connected to the nervous system such as anxiety and depression. 


Melanie shares a few forms of energy medicine that she uses with her clients to help support the gut and nervous system. She draws these practices from various different traditions such as Ayurveda (which we go into a little more detail about in a bit), TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Qi Gong. 


What is Energy Medicine? 


Energy medicine utilizes the concept and ancient wisdom that we are composed of energy and have meridians running through us. This concept is used in practices such as acupuncture and reflexology. Melanie explains to us that we can use our own hands in order to support our nervous system and gut health through different practices such as using acupressure points, massaging and tapping to activate the different meridians within our bodies. She also shares a bit about Emotional Freedom Tapping (EFT) which uses tapping on various acupressure points and saying an affirmation while doing so, related to an issue you may have. While doing this you allow whatever negative emotions you may feeling to flow to the surface and then tap out the positive. Personally, I have practiced a more intuitive form of body tapping, where I tap on an area of my body that may be feeling heavy or stagnant and it helps to release some of this stagnant energy. I have also practiced this while chanting and it always makes me feel so much better, light and more grounded afterwards. This is one of the areas where Melanie mentions the importance of following your intuition and what feels right for you! 


Two of Melanie’s favorite teachers that help share the wisdom of these practices are Dr. Melanie Smith and Donna Eden. 


Melanie shared the following practice for toning the Vagus Nerve that can be done anywhere at anytime… 


Start by placing the middle fingers in the notch behind your ear. This gives you a direct access point to the Vagus Nerve which has points located all around the neck as well. With a very slight pressure here, begin to create a sound– here is an opportunity to use your intuition, but Melanie shares a few sounds that can be used– ah, ohm or humming. You can also drape your hands around your neck reaching other points of the Vagus Nerve. Doing this for a few moments can help to enter parasympathetic mode. 


Other ways to tone the Vagus Nerve are through sounds such as singing, sighing, moaning, humming, chanting, laughter, sleeping on the right side, cold and really anything that helps you to get into a state of relaxation. 


Some of mine and Jesse Rose’s favorite ways to get into parasympathetic mode and tone the Vagus Nerve are earthing, getting out nature, yoga, Qi Gong and reading.


What is Ayurveda?


Ayurveda is an Ancient Indian Wisdom dating back to 5,000 years ago. It is a complex study with many different areas of specialization. The main concept of this, as Melanie explains, is the idea that when we live in balance with our unique beings– our true self, toxins (which lead to the development of illness and disease) will not build up. It focuses on the importance of routine, balance and bio-individuality and offers ways of living based on our physicality and the way we think and handle emotions. It is split up into three different constitutions called doshas. Each of us are born with a certain balance of the three of these doshas with the one that we have the most of being “our” dosha. As we move through life, various factors such as lifestyle, diet and environmental toxins, can bring our specific make up of the doshas out of balance. The aim of Ayurveda is to use various practices and diet to bring our bodies back into balance with the makeup of the doshas that we were born with. 


“It’s really helpful to know about the Doshas…in understanding people and understanding ourselves.” – Melanie


Melanie breaks down each of the three doshas a bit. For more information and to discover what your dosha is you can take her free dosha quiz here.


The Doshas and Their Characteristics


dry and cold


In your head a lot 

Loves to learn, gets really excited about passions 

Air— busy bee, busy hummingbird 

Grounding, pacifying, relaxing exercises help— yin yoga, going for a walk 

Gas, bloating, digestion issues when out of balance



Little water, a lot of fire

Going for a run, sweating out toxins— sauna 

Cooling/watery foods— cilantro, celery 



Earthy— teeth, bones

Slow to get going but once going good 

Out of balance— stubborn 


What’s in our Tea?


Jesse Roses’s Cup

This week Jesse Rose’s tea blend was aimed to support excess Vata and balancing earth, watery energy and calming down., 

  • licorice root— moistening, not too cooling, digestion
  • Marshmallow root—moistening, good for Vata constitution, digestion
  • Rose hips
  • ginger— warming
  • Maca— adaptogenic, calm and grounded energy (not jittery)
  • Cordyceps— calm and grounding energy 
  • Reishi— affinity for heart
  • Cinnamon— warming, good for Vata 
  • Eluethuero root — 
  • Violet flower essence— calming, “comfort and contentment with oneself and the sweetness of being,” good for someone who is shy


Melanie’s Cup

As Melanie moves through a difficult time, she intentional planned her cup of tea to help with relaxation and aid in digestion.

  • chamomile— mild sedative, relaxing, powerful, anti-inflammatory, relaxing, bitter stimulant, digestion, antispasmodic and relaxing effects on the gut and emotions 
  • Meadowsweet— affinity for the guy, sylacidic acid, spasmodic gut issues or unknown gut pain, antacid, settles the gut, muscle pain, headaches, anti-inflammatory 
  • lavender— relaxing,calming the stomach, colitis, spasmodic stomach issues, SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth)
  • Blue vervain glycerite— good for Pitta/firey energy, when stressed out for a particular reason, anger problems, pain, muscle tension


Wood Betony: the Underused Herb

Melanie brings up wishing she had Wood Betony to add to her tea which is a powerful yet underused herb. She talks about using it for overthinking and spasmodic gut problems. Wood Betony is an herb that I personally use regularly. I add it to my tea almost every day, especially when I am in need of grounding energy. For this reason too, it is the star of the Rooted Tincture. It is indicated for excess Vata energy because it helps to bring upward and outward moving energy (think someone who is always stuck in their head), back down. 

If you are interested in using Wood Betony try out the Rooted Tincture! Use code GROUNDED11 for 11% off.

Here is a bit more info about Wood Betony…

It is neutral to cooling/drying, nourishes and supports nervous system, slightly relaxing, eases tension/feelings of nervousness, mild affects, works best over long periods of time, aids in digestion (especially with issues are related to autonomic nervous system i.e. loss of appetite from nervousness), promotes wound healing (including in the digestive system), calms overdriven Pitta and helps with dampness, helps Vata by promoting downward movement to ground and anchor vital force and reconnect with the body, supports digestion with Kapha


MK’s Cup

I made the blend I used in this episode for a friend a few weeks back and cannot remember exactly what was in it, but it was aimed at being used for heart medicine as I continue to move through a year long transitional journey. 

  • Hawthorne leaf and flower— heart medicine 
  • Rose— one of my favorite herbs to work with!! 

“Rose is really powerful for me… It’s this really beautiful flower that shares its beauty with us… This summer in Portland when it was 115 degrees and everything else was fried from the sun, Rose was still shining through… That strength it gives you to share your beauty with the world, but also setting those boundaries so you can share your beauty without losing parts of yourself. I really like Rose when I am going through something but not really in my heart… and when I need to work with boundaries at the same time. Its a good balance of share this but protect this.” – MK

  • Linden— heart medicine, relax
  • ginger—warming, cozy hug type of feeling 
  • Licorice root— moistening


Flower Essences


Lastly we dive into a discussion of the power of Flower Essences! Melanie first introduced me to flower essences two years ago when I did a one-on-one consultation with her and the essences she shared with me really helped me to move through some things I was struggling with emotionally. I now use them in most of my tinctures to help support deeper healing, beyond the physical. 


Jesse Rose talks about her love for flower essences and how she feels very called to flowers and feels a very deep connection with them. She wants to work with this connection even more and is excited to start to make some of her own flower essences. She brings up the importance of being open to receiving the benefits of flower essences in order to feel their full power. She has begun working with plants in the form of essences that typically wouldn’t be considered safe to work with such as poison ivy, which she explains, has been very opening and can help to release our hardest lessons. 


Flower essences were first coined by Edward Bach. He created them by collecting the dew off of flowers in the morning. They are a very powerful way to work with flowers. Melanie explains how they are similar to homeopathy in some ways. It allows us to work with the energy of the flower. The flowers sit out in the sun in spring water and the energy from the flowers infuses into the water and then is added with alcohol to preserve it. They can be used to work with the emotional body. Flower essences have no contraindications and can be used by anyone. This makes them a great way to begin to work with plant medicine if you have been weary of using tinctures, capsules, etc. However, if you have a sensitivity to alcohol, most essences are created with brandy. You will want to look for essences made with glycerin or apple cider vinegar. They can also be used in lotions, the bath, etc. rather than taking them internally.


Flower essences are great to use alongside practices that help to address and work with negative emotions. Melanie mentions the importance of giving these emotions a voice rather than ignoring them or trying to push them away. Flower essences are also very powerful when paired with affirmations. 


Melanie mentions two flower essences that would pair well with her cup of tea for relaxation and calming the mind…

  • Dandelion flower essence— great for people who work too hard (pairs well with blue vervain mentioned in Melanie’s cup)
  • White Chestnut flower essence— racing mind, overactive mind 


Melanie offers flower essence consultations and has more resources on her website about what flower essences are and how to make one yourself. Find them here.

Show Notes

Connect with Melanie

Email: info@root2risewellness.org

Instagram: root.2.rise.wellness

facebook: root2risewellnessllc

Youtube: Melanie Yukov

Website: www.root2risewellness.org


Melanie’s Dosha Quiz & Flower Essence Info 




11% off Rooted Tincture with code GROUNDED11





Flower Essences:

One Willow Apothecary



Mugwort & Moon (Flower & Gem Essences)



Primrose Apothecary



Bach Flower Essences