Written by Ashoka Kanungo
Don’t call Lindsay LeBlanc, an expert. She doesn’t think she’s any better at taking care of herself then you do. She’s not looking to preach about wellness from atop her high horse. “One of my strengths is I’m relatable. I’m able to empathize with what people are going through.” A departure from most wellness brands or diets, Lindsay wants to target ordinary people, living their lives. “I want my brand to appeal to real people; who eat crap and feel like shit because they have anxiety. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.” In other words, you can eat cake and have candida too.
Launched this past February, Symptomolgie aims to get to the route of our symptoms. What is causing them? Their approach is 3 fold. Visit symptomolgie.com and you’ll find a comprehensive questionnaire to help target what your symptoms are saying about you. After reviewing your answers, they present you with key remedies to treat these symptoms. If desired, they will put together a healing program based on your, “budget, lifestyle and bio individuality.” Specifically, they want to target “hurdles.” What gets in the way of your wellbeing? For instance, someone might have candida overgrowth but doesn’t want to give up sugar forever. How can you realistically treat these ailments?
Education is key in the process, which is why Symptomologie offers counsel over the web and also in the form of workshops. If you happen to live in the greater Toronto area, you can sign up for a variety of interactive workshops including, ‘Everyday Herbalism,’ aimed to enhance your knowledge of herbs. You can also host a gathering in your house or backyard, a perfect event for Mother’s Day and beyond.
Also on the website, you can purchase playfully named remedies or teas, to help with conditions from anxiety to insomnia. For example, the appropriately named, Not Flash, combines black cohosh, sage, black haw, licorice and star anise to prevent hot flashes. Buy it in travel size for easy accessibility or they stock larger sizes or ‘stock ups’ for certain products.
Tea’s take a therapeutic approach, putting the focus on treating specific symptoms instead of flavor. You’ll be reaping the benefits with blends such as Get your Grow On, which boasts thick hair and strong nails using a blend of rosemary, nettle and horsetail.
One thing that Lindsay isn’t short of is knowledge. A self taught herbalist, Lindsay has acquired a wide breadth of education through several jobs and work environments. She first knew she wanted to treat ailments through herbs, after a train ride from Shanghai to Beijing left her with a vicious case of food poisoning. For months she felt the effects, frequenting clinics to determine what the lingering symptoms were about. When they were finally able to diagnose her with e.coli, she had to take 8 antibotics a day. Her body was so depleted, Lindsay sought solace from an energy healer who advised her: “your health is in your hands.” This hit home for Lindsay and from there her passion for natural medicine formed. She got a job at a health food store where she learned the benefits of vitamins and through interacting with customers, got a sense of what worked and what didn’t. Though it felt like a paid education, Lindsay wanted to find a community, so she moved to Victoria. After some shitty jobs, she found a home at ‘Ingredients Café and Community Market.’ She managed their social media and merged her other strength of video development to program films on natural healing. Here she was given freedom to elevate her skills. She planned talks, full day healing symposiums and used her imagination to plan interactive parties and events.
When she made her way back to Toronto, she didn’t find a comparable community. She took a job making videos for a health magazine but the corporate lifestyle left her disconnected from like-minded individuals. She moved on to apprentice at an herbal clinic that housed over 200 herbs. She became proficient in the Latin names of herbs and began mixing herbs. She was able to connect to the neighborhood and learn from customer’s life experiences. A place where clientele can blend herbs on the spot, Lindsay found people felt more connected to the product if they were helping create it and very open about the pros and cons.
Lindsay still works with them and the knowledge she’s acquired has come through in her brand. ‘If you don’t (blend herbs) properly, it might not be effective and there’s a danger to that.’ Her focus is on common, symptomatic problems. “If you have gallstones, go to the doctor.’ She also encourages anyone interested in herbs, to play. ‘Have 5 herbs in the cupboard and play around with them. Learn what they do and don’t take it too seriously. There are wrong combinations but you have to figure it out for yourself.”