Published October 20, 2020 Hello there! My name is Olivia. I’m an herbalist, a writer, an entrepreneur, and a podcast host on a lifelong quest to learn as much as I possibly can about what supports the human condition and vibrant health. I love science (meaning what is repeatable and measurable), just as much as I respect tradition (and what cannot be seen or explained by our modern methods). My mission in life is to speak to both worlds, bridging the gap between the gifts of Western medicine and the wisdom of traditional herbalism. I believe the two can coexist, and in fact, work better together. My journey began as a young child who always felt that something was ‘off,’ but could never quite put my finger on it. Growing up, I was at the doctor’s office more often than most, dealing with everything from unbearable stomach pain and IBS, to chronic microbiome imbalances and infections, to cystic acne and skin rashes. My physical ailments came alongside mental and emotional challenges as well, and before the age of 18 I was on a long list of medications. I knew deep down that there had to be other options, but was told over and over again that what I was eating and how I was living had nothing to do with my conditions. I’m someone who respects and deeply appreciates the access we have to life-saving pharmaceuticals, but who also didn’t want to be on so many at such a young age if there were alternatives and lifestyle changes that would support my body’s ability to thrive. When I got into the college of my dreams, I decided to go the pre-med route for the little girl inside of me who still had hope that I had at least some power over how I felt each day. I wanted to understand my body and all of its complex mechanisms so that I could (hopefully) feel better and then pass that on to others. Unfortunately, after a stressful freshman year, my health took yet another nosedive. When left with no real answers once again, I realized that it was time to seek an alternative approach. Something told me that my seemingly separate issues were somehow interconnected at their root, as my anxiety and skin would flare up at the same time my gastrointestinal pain did. As a society, “gut health” began to slowly creep into our collective consciousness, and I realized that when my stomach was calm and my bowels were moving, everything else in my body (and mind) seemed to function much more smoothly. During an especially intense IBS flare, exacerbated by the stress of exams and too little sleep, I grew desperate and decided to visit a nearby Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner and herbalist. From that day on, my life changed forever. With one look at my tongue, this third-generation acupuncturist told me everything I was feeling and experiencing without me having to say a word. As a skeptical, science-minded student, I was hesitant to consume the concoctions he recommended, but at this point I had hit a wall and decided to take a chance. To my surprise and delight, within just a few weeks of utilizing the herbal formulas and diet changes he advised, I was not only experiencing less and less painful stomach spasms; I also saw my skin begin to clear up, as the hot and painful cysts on my forehead and back started to slowly flatten and feel less tender to the touch. My sleep was more restful, the lymph nodes under my armpits were no longer quite as painful, and there was this sense of balance within my digestion and body that I hadn’t experienced before. After changing my major and eventually graduating college, I never lost sight of my newfound love for herbs. I spent every moment in between classes reading whatever books I could get my hands on, and my path eventually led me to complete a three-year clinical herbal program at Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism in New York. I work towards continuing my education each day not only through real world experience, but by learning from other practitioners and colleagues who have been on this road long before me. I’m still trying to explain why herbal allies supported my body so deeply when nothing else was making a difference, and I now understand that no study in the world will ever quite do that justice. It’s a lifelong process, and something I work towards each day through the education I share thanks to what is now “Organic Olivia.” Organic Olivia was born because I believe it is my life’s work to share the information I needed when I was struggling, and to offer plant remedies to the collective in a way that resonates with people from all walks of life. My goal is to bring balance to the conversation without judgement, as someone who understands that both herbs and modern interventions have their place. What started as a blog cataloguing my health journey, sharing what diet changes helped me, and what herbs made a difference… turned into a community and now a company where I get to share my toolbox with others. I am grateful every single day that I get to do this work, and hope to pass on the lessons that helped me reach a state of wellbeing I never thought I could achieve. Thank you for being here with me.