It all started as a kid at the lake...
Exploring the forest, long walks through plant-lined paths, playing in the water, and many games
of kick-the-can, would all be events that would foster my tenacious curiosity to know more about the
plant-filled world around me.
Each summer my family would head up to the lake and I would immediately run into the boreal forest to discover new friends. I would walk for hours, observing the plant and mushroom kingdoms, making note of the stages of their growth and where I could find them.
While I was trying to understand my place in this world, I projected my self-discovery questions onto the natural world and I remember thinking "how are all these plants surviving?", "how do they come back year after year?", "what are they here for?".
Eventually, I started reading about the plants and mushrooms around me, discovering their medicine and how they showed up in this world. My very first medicinal discovery was Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) because it kept growing in our grass and between the rocks and I didn't understand why we kept pulling out or mowing over these beautiful flowers. No matter what we did they would always return and I LOVED this!
Side note: when I told my mom about yarrow medicine and how each color could have different uses, she let them grow. They were never mowed down again. Thank you mom for giving me one of my best memories <3
In between visits to the lake, both my German and Italian Grandparents showed me how food was medicine with their massive gardens and cuisine.
As time passed, I ventured into the world to find my purpose. I traveled down many paths and would change my course many times. Through numerous, of what I considered at the time frustrating years, I ended up acquiring several business and marketing skills, sales, research, accounting, real estate and customer service experience.
But in the end, each job would slowly fizzle out and I would be back to feeling lost in my unknown purpose.
Little did I know that the Universe had a plan and was much smarter than me.
Herbalism trickled back into my life, it had always been a sporadic pastime or hobby that I expressed quietly, but this time it was met with determination and intrigue. Everything I read I devoured and soon started to experiment more and more which only grew my thirst for knowledge.
I then decided to move to Victoria, BC to take the Community Herbalist Program through Pacific Rim College which was pure bliss. Upon completion I hesitantly moved back to Saskatoon, SK but was armed with goals and the drive to achieve them. I took a year to set up Ash & Thorn while working full time to fund everything and launched my company.
I went on to earn my Master Herbalist, Foundations of Holistic Science and Family Herbalist and am currently studying Traditional Herbalism and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
I can honestly say I could have never seen this coming and how could I? I was hard on myself and critical because I thought everything had to happen all at once. I didn't understand that time could be my friend and exactly what I needed to become the person I wanted to be. I am still becoming that person. I didn't understand how divine purpose and the Universe worked and I didn't realize I needed every experience to discover it.
I'm sharing my journey because I know a lot of people feel the way that I felt and let me tell you, there is still uncertainty when you find your purpose, there is still fear but there is also happiness, excitement and a chance to really see what you're made of. Be the author of your own story, don't let your happiness or actions be defined from the external, rather, within you. And as my mom would say, be brave enough to live your life.
My name is Ninetta (Nina) Savino and I am and activist, animal lover, introvert slightly extroverted, herbalist, bully to my inner kid, trailblazer, creator, artist and founder of Ash & Thorn Herbals & Holistic Remedies.
I deeply appreciate the amazing bounty nature has to offer and believe we are the stewards of this land,
this is how we can give back to it.
I'm passionate about the earth, it's animals and people. As a long time activist I'm conscious about creating products using ethically sourced ingredients and use responsibly wild-crafted and cultivated ingredients as well as local and organic ingredients when available.
Production of is done in small quantity batches to ensure quality, integrity and intention.
These handmade herbal remedies are my heart and I offer them to you.
For your own herbal adventures, subscribe here and follow Nina on Instagram for first notification on events such as herb walks and plant medicine related events. Also visit the Learning Center for free herbal education.
"There is medicine all around us and anyone can use it"