The SOL SISTER series is a collection of interviews + features highlighting the many fierce, brave, wise, inspiring, and doing-it-with-heart female entrepreneurs in the wellness industry. Each highlighted woman has been a deep source of inspiration in my personal, creative, and work-related endeavors, and I hope their words + stories will ignite the same spark within you.
There are a lot of people and brands dabbling in the herbal market, but very few who are doing it right. Alyssa and her herbal line Root & Bones caught my eye earlier this year not because of the brand's swoony earthy-chic packaging or even the assortments of herbs offered, but because she knows her stuff and it shows. Having trained as an acupuncturist and herbalist, Alyssa understands the science behind medicinal herbs, how to source them sustainably and effectively, and how to best use them for health + healing.
Years ago when I first began exploring the world of Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs, I had numerous scary and health-threatening reactions to poorly-sourced herbs. I wasn't buying these sketchy herbs for cheap on some rando website either, most of them were pricey and found at Whole Foods. At the time I thought my body had an innate aversion to this particular grouping of herbs, but having tried and used really high-quality versions of these same herbs with noticeable benefits and no reactions, it became very evident that you must be careful about who you are sourcing from. I'm now super diligent that whomever I am sourcing herbs from is extremely knowledgable within the field and creates trustworthy, wholesome, and exceptionally high-quality products. Which leads me back to Root & Bones.
Alyssa's line of adaptogenic herbs truly feel like magic - you can sense the difference in your mind, body, and energy upon consumption. Hardly a day goes by that I'm not using them in some way, and I'm very grateful for her expertise and diligence in sourcing only the best.
Inspired by the creation of her high-vibe line and the story behind it, I asked Alyssa to share a bit more about her journey and wellness practices with the SOLFUL HEALTH community.
Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Alyssa Melody. I'm an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist, and the owner of holistic herb company Root & Bones.
What was your journey that led to the creation of Root & Bones?
Acupuncture school was a very stressful time for me, and my physical and mental health definitely took the back burner as I pushed through my studies. I quickly realized that my lifestyle was working against me and felt unsustainable, and that I needed a drastic change. It was at that point that I decided to really dive into the amazing world of Chinese herbs that I was learning all about. I became fascinated and obsessed with tonic herbs, particularly with Reishi.
This incredible tonic herb transformed my health in a way nothing else ever had or has. This was almost a decade ago, and still hardly a day goes by that I don't ingest some form of it. Reishi's profound effect on my wellbeing, as well as those of the other adaptogens that I've grown to love and use, inspired me to create my own offerings of these transformative herbs.
What is the intention behind your work + creation?
I want people to truly feel their best. The potential for vibrant vitality is within all of us, though we may need assistance in accessing it. The adaptogenic herbs of the Root & Bones line are massively transformative on so many different levels, helping to rebalance our health in body, mind, and spirit. When our physical health becomes more aligned, as it does when supplementing with high-quality adaptogenic herbs, there is more space and potential for play, love and spirituality. My intention and mission is to share these herbs for the greater good and health of all.
What role does the concept of 'balance' play in your life?
I’m really careful not to overdo anything. Lack of sleep, poor diet, and stress will definitely throw me off if I’m not mindful of my lifestyle. This isn't to say I don't occasionally drink wine or eat things that aren't the best for me, but it does mean there will be extra charcoal lemon water and lots of greens afterwards. ;)
Herbs and diet have of course massively helped me find more balance in my body and life, but I also am a huge in the power of saying "no". When I do say “yes", I make sure it’s to something that will nourish me on some level.
Do you have any personal wellness rituals or daily ceremonies you swear by?
Every morning I drink warm water with lemon, which is usually followed by some sort of blended coffee or tea tonic with a bunch of superfood ingredients: any one of our powders, collagen, turmeric, ginger, and coconut cream. I love the ritual of having this nourishing warm beverage each morning - it's delicious and full of amazing herbs and spices. I also make sure to do something physical each day. One of my favorites is taking a walk either in the redwood forests or in my neighborhood. I also really enjoy the process of unwinding in the evening with tea, stretching, or reading. If my day includes all of these things, I feel great.
Are there any specific mindset practices that help you to feel more centered, aligned, and inspired?
I've taken a few Vipassanna meditation courses which have really helped to quiet my mind and reduce mental stress. Even if I don't do a traditional sitting meditation, I'm really aware of the thoughts that come into my head.
I've also really enjoyed learning about the concept of neuroplasiticy and how our thoughts really can shift our body chemistry and make new pathways in your brain.
Above all, I just try to be as kind to myself as I can.
What are five things you couldn’t (or at least, highly prefer not to) live without?
Living near nature, my boyfriend/best friend, adaptogens (duh!), avocados, and a good nights sleep.
Are there any holistic lifestyle and/or dietary practices you try to live by?
There isn't one particular lifestyle or dietary practice I live by, I just do what feels best for me. I do do my best to eat properly for my body, which includes meat, eggs, bone broth, and lots of veggies. I have been both vegetarian and vegan and my body just does not respond well to either of those practices. I feel best when I have a lot of protein. I'm lucky to live in Humboldt County, California where we have access to the freshest and most humanely-raised animal products. Living here has allowed me to really embrace eating seasonally and locally. Eating the fruits and veggies of my local region makes me feel more grounded and in alignment with nature.
What is a standout piece of advice you received that helped shape who you are as a female entrepreneur?
Know your mission! Running a business can pull you in so many different directions, and sometimes the original goal can get hazy. Reminding yourself every single day why you started and what your goal is will keep you going and keep your intention clear.