An interview with Dr. Carla Gervasio-Nugent, acupuncturist, herbalist, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
There are few people that come into our world in perfect serendipity. Dr. Carla Gervasio-Nugent is one of those people. She is credentialed and accomplished as a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and a member of the esteemed International TCM Dermatology Association. Her expertise in these fields is the bedrock support of her innate emotional depth, completive intellect, and savvy business acumen. She is kind and wicked smart.
With all this distinction, our favorite thing about her, is her gentle loving spirit and her tireless dedication to children's health. We are excited to share a little piece of her for you to fall in love with, just as we have.
M: How did you first find yourself called to natural medicine and the healing nature of plants?
Carla: I guess I was surrounded by it from a very young age! I am first generation Italian and grew up seeing my mother and grandmother cooking and drying herbs that were healthy for us to eat or drink in tea or tincture form. We prepared elixirs of mint and fennel for digestion or teas for calm and sleep. So many of our modern prescription drugs are concentrated and derived from plants! I just realized from an early age that a healthy food and lifestyle was critical to optimal health.
M: Is there a particular plant or flower you feel deeply connected with?
Carla: Wow, that is a great question and super tough to answer! There are so many flowers and plants I love, but there is one that comes to mind for being so enigmatic and unassuming. Chicory or Dandelion is a powerful plant and flower but yet so misunderstood and neglected. In fact, some would consider this plant an ‘unattractive weed’ in their lawns! But it is so versatile, powerful and fun! In TCM terms it’s called Pu gong ying or scientifically termed - Taraxacum officinale and its prettier blue flowered sister Cichorium intybus is deliciously bitter to eat and listed on many fine dining menus. Growing up in New England, this was not a commonly accepted meal, but I grew up on them! Now, mainstream one can easily find these wonderful greens at your local Whole Foods Market which is an amazing shift in the wellness movement. Dandelion is bitter taste and is helpful in liver detoxification, high in antioxidants and iron. The yellow flower then turns into the pappus ‘dandelion clock’ which children (and adults) love to blow on and see the beautiful fruit thistle disperse into the air.
M: Are there certain aromas that bring back memories for you? Will you share one with us?
Carla: I love jasmine, neroli, orange and lemon blossoms. Each season nature blooms so many different essences and I love each season’s offerings. Santa Barbara, Ojai offers so many unique essences all year round, eucalyptus and rosemary daily is also divine.
M: During the pandemic what did you utilize to keep your immune system strong?
Carla: Wearing a Mask is step # 1 and following the guidelines with appropriate social distancing of course. Regarding supplements, I personal take Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, B Complex, Zinc, Melatonin and prescription Ivermectin recommended by my MD if needed. This information can be found on the following website also and it’s important for people to ask their own physicians if this protocol is suitable for them. I follow the I-MASK + Prophylactic Protocol outlined by FLCCC https://covid19criticalcare.com/i-mask-prophylaxis-treatment-protocol/
M: What is your favorite Ojai Wild product?
Carla: I love all, but my favorite is Pink Peppercorn Body Oil and Candle. The body oil is luxurious and has a beautiful floral scent with a pinch of spice which I love. White Sage is also another favorite but totally different with a pure clean feel – great for clearing the mind.
M: We started a series called, “The Language of Flowers”, talking about some of the florals we use and the mythology behind them. Do you have a flower that you feel a connection with and if so, what do you think its meaning is?
Carla: On the floral side, I love Peonies for their exotic variations between rosy and spicy scents and the way they bloom so beautifully. When I think of a favorite plant, wheat comes to mind since I have always loved the sound the wind makes blowing through an oceanic field of wheat and how sways with the wind. It’s one of the most beautiful sights and sounds for me. I am not sure how mythology plays into it as much as astrology for me since I am a Virgo so, by nature and am completely enraptured with this plant on early and spiritually for what it represents – earth and health.
M: What does Ojai Wild mean to you and how is it woven into your own story?
Carla: Well Ojai Wild means so much, most of all Janna the founder - she is Ojai Wild. Our friendship is a gift, like her florals and essences are to the world. Everything about Ojai Wild is touched by Janna and meticulously crafted from planting, growing the botanicals; to cultivating and distilling in her lab. There is an art and science behind the ethos of Ojai Wild and Janna orchestrates it all. We met through another dear friend and I consider them both sisters, so they are a big part of my life and what we plan to do in the future with new products!