• The Wild Origins of the Nettle & Mint Soap

    The Wild Origins of the Nettle & Mint Soap

    Every product in the Gathered and Grown line is inspired by Alaska’s wild and magnificent landscape. Often, inspiration comes from a specific experience or a particular place.  

    This is the inspiration behind our all-in-one hand, body, and hair cleansing bar - the Nettle & Mint Soap 

    Just beyond the northern tip of our home town on Wrangell Island the mighty Stikine (or Shtaxʼhéen in Tlingit) River meets the Pacific Ocean.  The headwaters of this massive river come together at the Spatsizi Plateau in north central British Columbia, building momentum and volume over 335 miles of rugged wilderness, as they pass through traditional Tahltan lands, cross the US border, and finally create a vast sandy delta where fast-moving fresh water meets the sea.  

    Stikine River, Alaska

     

    Exploring the Stikine River is like entering another world. Farther inland, away from the Pacific coast, the river valley’s towering mountains hang with icy blue glaciers. The drier climate and abundant flowing fresh water offers habitat for massive sweet-smelling cottonwood trees and verdant green meadows where you’ll find willows, nettles, berries, and musky grasses. It’s wild and beautiful and powerful, and it's all right in our backyard. 

    Tucked in a slough off the main river channel, a natural mineral hot spring bubbles up from the ground. At this place, Chief Shakes Hot Springs, the Forest Service maintains two constructed wood plank tubs that capture the perfectly warmed water and offer up the most pristine wilderness soaking experience. The tubs sit in the midst of a green meadow where you’ll find patches of fresh, sweet, wild mint growing throughout the summer, and a breathtaking view that looks out toward snow-capped mountains.  

     

    Soaking in Chief Shakes Hot Springs. Stikine River Alaska

     

     

    This place is the inspiration for the Nettle & Mint Soap. Spending time here is like food for the soul. It's tranquil and peaceful, and at the same time powerfully all-encompassing to be engulfed in such a vast wild place. There are cool, clear, tributaries to swim, where you can spot massive sockeye salmon cruising their way up to spawning grounds. There are sandy beaches marked with tracks from moose, bear, and the occasional wolf paw. And so much lush, vibrant green plant life sweeping from the meadows all the way up mountainsides. 

    Made with the same wild plants that abundantly grow throughout the Stikine River watershed, the Nettle & Mint Soap’s rich green color (which comes naturally from nettle!) echoes this lush palette, while its' cool fresh scent invigorates like the icy glacial waters of the river. 

     

    Wild mint on the Stikine River

     

    The plants themselves are cleansing and nourishing to the whole body. Nettle is rich in vitamins and minerals that support our skin and help to soften and strengthen our hair. Also included is horsetail herb, which grows abundantly near freshwater sources, and offers a high silica content that helps to soften skin and hair while you cleanse.

    The next time you lather up with a bar of Nettle & Mint Soap, breathe deep, close your eyes, and find yourself soaking in the blissed-out solitude of your own magical meadow on the wild Stikine River.

     

    Nettle and Mint Soap

     

     

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