Consider this a haven to gently explore your bodymind. Expect to be nurtured and validated as you reconnect with parts of yourself you may have lost touch with, after traumatic experiences, stress or just the ebbs and flows of living.
I came from an alternative household, taking lots of vitamins, doing cleanses and visiting wellness practitioners weekly. Thanks, mum! You could find me outside for much of my childhood, scrapes everywhere, muddied and maybe eating a flower. I would get sick often and end up at my Serbian Baba's house, to be spoonfed soups and given folk medicine. I found out later that herbs were the reason my parents got pregnant with me, so it makes sense they're at the heart of my work/life now!
As an athletic but clumsy teen, I ended up with two concussions and developed depression from the brain injuries. I remained in that mental state for years. It embarrassed me to ask for help, so I began practicing classical Hatha yoga and meditation to manage my symptoms and elevate my spirit. Together with supplements and dietary changes, I carried on -- until I became chronically sick in 2016.
It took three tick bites to destroy my health and leave me disabled for long periods. After being tossed from specialist to specialist, I reclaimed my disabled body by learning to advocate for myself and studying holistic health. Thanks to my mentors, Tamara Segal, Rosemary Gladstar and Dr. Edward Bach, I started working with herbal medicine and flower essences. I nurtured this kernel and it grew into Hale & Hart in 2020. I am now working through Wild Rose College's Master Herbalist Program as I complete a master's degree in public health at Brown University.
I am a second-generation Canadian immigrant. My Serbian-Dutch heritage is made up of healers, educators, refugees, farmers, scientists, midwives, activists and even a judge. Practicing as a community herbalist and gardener is like slipping my hand into the perfectly sized glove, because it's in my blood. That's why H&H is like a homecoming.
"Aleksa has an evident calm, warm and attentive presence that makes her a real joy to be around."
Hale & Hart bridges the dichotomy between biomedicine and complementary healthcare. Both have their strengths and limitations, especially in mental health. I want you to feel validated and comfortable accessing the care you need without judgment. One day, I hope every household is empowered with herbal wisdom like in the past and every community has an herbalist to consult with. To me, plant allies are key to building enduring communities and regenerating life on our planet in our effort to transition away from destructive and exploitative ways of life.
Everyone's experience of health is unique. Here, it's not about conforming to wellness standards or comparing your body to someone else's. Exploring our bodyminds should be playful and validating. In fact, I believe safety is the foundation of health, which is reflected in H&H's origins. I support the mental health of folks who are fostering more just and affirming spaces around them, personally or professionally, to transform systems of oppression.
Position & clinical focus
Get to know my background more before deciding to work together.
chronically ill and autistic
a second-generation Canadian immigrant of Serbian-Dutch descent
from a high socioeconomic status
a survivor of medical and sexual trauma
I support clients through these experiences:
depression, anxiety, insecurities and grief
physical, psychological, and sexual trauma
chronic illness and pain management
emotions surrounding ecological crises
stress and burnout
Studies & Training
Master of Public Health (2022-2024) at Brown University
Master Herbalism Diploma (2022-) with Wild Rose College of Natural Healing
Professional Training in Healing Sexual Trauma with The Breathe Network
Bach Foundation Level III Training with The Bach Centre
12-Month Herbalists' Circle with Healer's Harvest
Master Gardener Certification with University of Guelph and Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc. (2020-2021)
Practical Herbalism Diploma with Wild Rose College of Natural Healing
Experiential Herbalism: Practitioner Program with Registered Herbalist Tamara Segal
Bach Level II Practitioner Training with BFRP Sarah Brune
Herbs, Health, the Elements & the Moon Series with Registered Herbalist Tamara Segal
The Science and Art of Herbalism with Registered Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar
Bach Level I Practitioner Training with BFRP Sarah Brune
Corporate Yoga & Meditation Facilitator Training with Isha Foundation
Green Roof Professional Training with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
Biodynamic Farming & Horticultural Apprenticeship with Tom Petherick (2015-2016)
Horticultural Therapy Assistant with Thrive UK (2015-2016)
BBA (Hons) in Social Entrepreneurship at Hult International Business School (2011-2014)
The inspo behind H&H
Do you recognize the saying, "to be hale and hearty"? Hale comes from "whole" or "safe" in Old English, while hearty means to be in a state of vibrant health! Hart is a portmanteau of "hearty" and my maiden name, "Hartog".
The alchemical symbol for salt inspired our logo. Salt represents the essence of matter and is renowned for its purifying qualities. The expression "salt of the Earth" refers to honest, simple and hardworking people. This reflects my character, even though I cannot push my body as much as I once did. It also reflects the folks I enjoy working with: the ones who live with integrity, and who contribute to a more loving, just and fair world. Hale & Hart is here to sustain you!
Where are you from?
What are your favourite plantmates?
Burdock at the moment, along with blue vervain to build my nervous system.
How do you spend free time?
I do yoga, qigong, meditate and contemplate my existence for a few hrs each day...You'll also find me in the garden or in the woods foraging. I read. I crochet and longboard. I also think up lots of ideas, some which see the sun and most which burn out.
What are your big three?
I am a Capricorn Sun, Virgo Moon and Libra Rising.
What is your Bach remedy constitutional type?
My personality types are part Oak and Water Violet, which means I'm strong and introverted!
And your human design?
Sacral generator 3:5!
Who would you want to be stuck in an elevator with?
Probably Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th century German mystic, poetess, musician and physician.
Any fur babies?
Harold, my Norfolk terrier; Rafa, the Havanese; and Luna the tabby cat. You'll see them on the gram when they are too cute or silly.
Tell us a secret.
I read the dictionary while housebound because I only had the bandwidth for bite-sized information (and I'm a nerd).
What's the weather forecast?
Don't even go there!
H&H is for humans of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and spiritual/religious paths.
Located on Mississauga, Haudenosaunee and Wendake-Nionwentsïo unceded, occupied lands.