Aviva Romm, M.D.Integrative Medicine Doctor & Herbalist
Aviva Romm is a Yale-educated Integrative Medicine doctor, midwife and is currently considered one of the foremost herbalists in the world. She authored the award winning textbook, Botanical Medicines for Women's Health (among other books), serves as medical director of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, and is an advisory member to the American Botanical Council and The American Herbal Products Association. Her online course "Herbal Medicine for Women" is the oldest and most successful women’s herbal programs in existence with students in 20 countries around the world.
Connect with Aviva Romm, M.D.
What is your wellness philosophy?
Self-care is critically important. If we don’t fill up our own cup we don’t have the overflow to give. Every study around self-care shows that we’re better at everything we do if pay attention to periodically hitting the pause button.
Avoiding extremes is really important. As someone who has been in health and wellness for 35 years, I’ve noticed extremes, especially restrictive ones, tend to be popular. Extremes can be helpful for short term therapeutic changes, but long term it’s important to focus on a lifestyle that replenishes, not depletes.
The choices we make are so essential to our well-being, even if they don’t feel direct. Everything we do impacts the planet, for example, and everything that happens to the planet happens to us in return. Making sure our choices prioritize global well-being and sustainability from from the foods we eat, to our clothing, cosmetics, and even medication, is paramount to our personal health.
And last but not least, having as much flexibility and adaptability as possible will help us grow older with more ease and grace. That means not being overly rigid in our thinking and our choices, and remembering to play, laugh, and be at ease.
What brought you into wellness?
As a vanguard 15 year old in 1981 I stared reading about food politics, environmental sustainability, organic farming, and health. I started putting the pieces together and it was a game-changer in my thinking, life, health, and professional trajectory.
Immersing myself in this material illuminated the connection between what happens ecologically and what happens in our lives, whether that be the impact of big pharma on wildlife and fish, birds, industrial practices, the impact of farming, antibiotics in the environment, and more.
Early on, I made a clear commitment to the extent that I could, to make sure everything in my life (that I had control over) contributed the least harm to the environment.
What does You. We. All. mean to you?
We can’t change heal the planet and the people on it—or even ourselves—alone. It takes connection, collective thinkings, and community to make lasting change. Further, loneliness is just bad for our health—statistically, for example, it increases risk of heart attack more than diabetes, smoking, and obesity combined. We need each other.