Written & Photographed by A Wild Dove
High in the mountains of Malibu, overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a home so elevated that some planes can’t even reach it, Nitsa Citrine is living the life for which she was born. And, of course, that happened in California (inside of a cabin in Big Sur, no less) in a “very intimate home birth” designed by two very health-conscious parents who guided their daughter down a path to plant-based wellness and earthly kindness.
Now a Co-Creator and Creative Director of Sun Potion’s superfood tonics and wellness essentials, Nitsa still consults her father (an acupuncturist and doctor of Oriental medicine) with questions about herbs— but for personal culinary guidance, her grandmother is the family go-to. “She taught me how to cook and it is something we continue to bond and share a passion for,” says Nitsa. Sitting on her deck taking in nature at 4,000 feet in the air, where two golden eagles have recently started to visit, there’s “a tranquility and clarity of vision here that deeply resonates” in her thoughtful daily escape.
We caught Nitsa between her world travels to break down her favorite adaptogenic blends, the simple trick to getting her out of a grumpy mood, and the “herbal love note” she created for all of the women seeking the balance they deserve:
You spent your last birthday in Joshua Tree (happy birthday!), what was your trip like and how did it feel to ring in another year in nature?
Thank you! Yes. My girlfriend brought me to Joshua Tree (one of my favorite places) as a surprise birthday getaway—it was so magical. Joshua tree has always been a place of great inspiration and I feel super grateful for this recent trip and every experience I have had there.
The energetic and visual palate of the desert resonates with me deeply. I love to disappear on my birthday the whole experience was quite sublime…it also happened to be DESERT X where they set up all these incredible art installations and so it was the perfect blend of desert solitude, light, art installations, yummy food, meditation and gentle celebrations.
As a Pisces water baby, do you find yourself relying on bathing culture to chill you out and reset your energy?
YES. I am happiest when immersed in a body of water.
I always tell my friends that If I am in a grumpy mood all they have to do is throw me in the bath or shower. Total rebirth.
Were you this health-focused even as a kid, or did you experience your own vices?
My father is an Acupuncturist and doctor of Oriental Medicine, and my mother is a huge advocate of healing through plant-based foods. So, in a sense, this nutritional approach to wellness is in my blood, but naturally I have had my rebellious moments. I used to sneak Diet Coke and Reese’s Pieces into my room as a kid…(eek!)
When I was a teen, my father started a medicinal-grade pressed juicery as an intensive cleanse protocol for some of his terminally ill patients. He would wake up at 4am every morning to make juice and would bring me tiny vials of green juice to drink before school. I would hide them under my bed and my sweet father would find them (full of rotting green juice) while he was vacuuming—I was terrible! Of course, the irony is I now make it a point to head down to Erewhon to get my green juice almost every day.
What steps in your life led you to Sun Potion?
Divine alignments and following a path of love and service.
Scott Linde, the Founder of Sun Potion and I met in 2011 right when he began the project. We became friends, bonded over our love of the herbs, and fell in love. I was a yoga teacher, massage therapist, and aspiring filmmaker at the time and we lived together.
At a certain point he needed help with a redesign of the labels, websites, brand, etc. so I stepped in, we realized we worked well together and have been working together ever since. Our relationship has evolved and while we are no longer romantic partners, we are still close friends and allies for life—both deeply committed to making these plants available to the world.
At this point, you’re probably used to having to break down exactly what an adaptogen is since the term is finally buzzing through even mainstream beauty spaces—what’s the easiest way to explain it?
A plant that when consumed helps the body to respond to stressors with more resilience, intelligence, and— for lack of a better word—adaptability.
What sets Sun Potion apart from other brands in the vast sea of supplements?
I feel the relationships we have developed over the years with our sources are unique and a testament to our mutual commitment to quality. We also make it a point to offer these adaptogens in their most bioavailable form as well so that our bodies can fully absorb and utilize their healing properties.
We source our tonic herbs mushroom and superfoods from all over the world. Always organic or wild harvested, we set our priority to work with farms and labs practicing regenerative agriculture and integrity throughout all steps of the process.
Ashwagandha is our desert island pick, are you able to share a few of the benefits that one can expect (as well as how to use it) to newbies who haven’t yet tried it?
Ashwagandha is amazing for immunity, stress relief, to help reduce inflammation and balance hormones. I introduced it into my diet to help me with some nervous system and hormone imbalances. I have a tendency towards anxiety and depression, and when I was younger, an irregular cycle. I feel taking ashwagandha has helped me to stabilize my mood, moon, and lower cortisol levels.
It can be taken in warm water, tea, tonics, broth, shakes—even desserts. The trick is to find the format that can be taken consistently- just a half teaspoon every day can make all the difference. If you want alchemical inspiration, we publish beautiful recipes every week on our IG and journal. I am so amazed by his creative people can be with the herbs!
What are your favorite adaptogens for women at different stages of life—young and free, pregnant and thriving, post-baby new life, etc?
My first recommendation for women is our Yin Power. It’s a blend of adaptogenic herbs that I formulated to support women of all ages and circumstances. It has a full spectrum of tonic herbs to support energy, immunity, glowing skin and balancing hormones.
I like to say it is like my “herbal love note” to all the amazing women in my life.
When do you think adaptogens and wellness tonics can be overkill, or how much is too much?
Haha…. hmmm…overkill can occur when people start taking things in excess, without a clear intention, and stop listening to their bodies.
Love that you describe yourself as a hermit and are proudly extending the #hermit life tag into the digital universe—indoor or outdoor, what does a typical day look like for you?
When I am home, a typical day begins with a moment of gratitude and a few rounds of tea. If the weather permits, I will set up my tea zone on my deck, which overlooks the Santa Monica Mountains and Pacific Ocean.
I will pour a few bowls to sip and reflect in silence…it is my daily meditation. This is my favorite way to begin the day. Tea is typically followed by a more structured seated meditation. Then I will check my phone, emails, touch base with my team and begin my work day.
At some point I will find myself in the kitchen and will make an adaptogenic potion for breakfast. I will then proceed into the “work power mode” part of the day—I try to work from home as much as possible, unless, of course, I am traveling. I love to travel for work and in general, and I love to be home—perhaps that is how I find balance. I do have a tendency to hermit in my hotel room still.
As far as your beauty routine, is it exclusively skin care, some party makeup when you’re in the mood, all organic? Would love to hear your ride or die products.
Most days, I am pretty low key and make-up free. I use a combination of Shiva Rose, Osea, Living Libations, and loads of our wildcrafted Shea Butter (from Sun Potion).
If I am feeling extra, I may use a little Poppy and Someday Coriander Herbal Lip Stain on my cheeks and RMS Un Cover-Up Concealer for some nontoxic coverage on under-eye circles. I also love to treat myself to microcurrent facials with my friend Sadie as much as I can—they are truly multi-dimensional and I swear make me look (and more importantly, feel) years younger!
This is a tough one, so we saved it for the finale. If you had to transfer your spirit into another animal, person, or fictional character for a day, who/what would it be and why?
OOOHHHHH……. this is an interesting question, because if I was transferring my spirit, then it would still be me, yes? Just in a different form…hmmm…
I would say some fantasy character with super powers for sure…. Dumbledore from Harry Potter or Gandalf or Lady Galadriel from Lord of the Rings, haha. I am clearly a major NERD.
I would want to be Mother Earth. That would be incredible.
Final answer: Mother Earth.