The smells are so delectable and delicious, you are drawn in where you will experience a multitude of herbs and natural healing products in downtown Nevada City. HAALo (Health Alternatives for All Locals), located at 311 Commercial St. is a sweet place where many healing practitioners can answer your health and wellness questions. You may find just the right herbal product or special gift for your loved ones, including yourself! A short interview with Shea Smith follows:
What was the reason you started HAALo?
HAALo, a non-profit, supports local practitioners using millennial old, traditional methods of healing with plant based medicine and natural remedies. Initially, I felt I had a spiritual debt that I needed to repay to local healers who brought me out of illness when all was failing with western medicine. They helped me rebuild my health and in doing so, I once again become a productive community member. Money alone to pay for their services did not feel near enough to show my gratitude for the generosity of their knowledge. As I was aware of this, another track of my life was revolving around herbalism and farming. My involvement with Farm to Pharmacy on the east coast helped me integrate parts of that business model into a non-profit for Nevada County, with an emphasis on supporting local herbalists, farmers and practitioners in a community herb shop setting.
How are herbs helpful in the healing process?
Herbs give us a complementary and often, alternative way of healing ourselves that does not involve synthetic or industrially made chemicals. Plant medicine is food for our bodies taken in smaller doses and the potency of the herbs lend themselves well to seasoning, teas, or tinctures. Many herbs are tonifying to the body with daily use. You wouldn't necessarily eat a meal of chamomile flowers but an evening cup of tea calms the nerves and aids in digestion. Or, a bowl of turmeric would not be particularly appetizing but daily use as a seasoning in cooking promotes a variety of healing and tonifyng benefits for the entire family.
HAALo has a variety of practitioners to help answer questions - can you explain how this works?
As a community herbal shop and educational model, it is very important to have a staff that is knowledgeable not only about herbs but also, the overall physiology of the body. Our herbalists are clinically trained and most are practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Nutrition. They are here to help with choices about your health, they can educate and answer any questions you may have and formulate specific teas for your needs. As long as time allows, they are more than happy to help in any way they can at no cost. If more time is needed, an in-depth appointment can be scheduled at their practitioner rates. haalo.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
originally published in the Nevada City Advocate