Alla Shapiro was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She immigrated to America when she was seven, and grew up in Minnesota. Then she spent a few years exploring the coasts of California, where she became interested in natural health while trying to manage excruciating stomach issues. She went to many different kinds of western medicine doctors to help heal her issues, but found nothing that worked or only helped for a short time. After exhausting all of those options Alla turned to herbal medicine. As she learned more about how she needed to change her diet and incorporate natural herbs into her health regimen, she also noted more health benefits. Alla soon became increasingly fascinated with the benefits of living a more natural lifestyle and began intensive study into the world of herbal medicine.
She lived with a rag tag group of artists and performers (as well as a cat with a possum for a best friend), and studied herbs, plant identification, energy healing and massage at the Self Heal School in Ocean Beach California. It was during this time that she was introduced to kombucha.
Almost a decade later, Alla met Vanessa, co-founder of NessAlla. Alla and Vanessa instantly bonded over the common interest of natural healing and herbs.
Today, when Alla is not caring for her two children and being a kickass boss lady, you can find her combing the fields and forests searching for the abundance of Wisconsin’s wild bounty of medicine. Taking these herbs, she lovingly crafts tinctures, salves, tea blends and syrups with dear friend Erin Buck. You can find a list of these items for sale on their site, Empress Roots.
Some people don’t believe that natural medicine works. That’s more than ok. Everyone has their own path. However, Alla and I have discovered that this is what works for our health and our families. We still use Western medicine when it is absolutely needed. We have also found that sometimes going the Western route still doesn’t work for certain things and that we just need to work a bit harder with diet and herbs. To each their own.
– Vanessa Tortolano
One of the main reasons we started NessAlla was to promote well being and a more natural lifestyle for health. We hope our kombucha is part of your healthy lifestyle!
Nazdarovya! (to your health!)