Mavonessa is the plant-centric practice of clinical herbalist and wellness coach Alessandra Jones (she/they). As the child of a Southern Italian immigrant who was raised in the uniquely urban fabric of Oakland, California, Alessandra's calling to herbalism has been shaped by her European folk heritage as well as the opportunities and challenges of contemporary Western society. She chose the moniker "Mavonessa," which means "the big (femme) witch" in her mother's Italian dialect, in a nod to the longstanding role of women as healers and mavens of physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation. The mission of Mavonessa is to provide the same earth-based support that has been integral to communities for generations in the context of modern knowledge and realities.
Alessandra is fascinated by the intersection of an evidence-based scientific approach and specific esoteric lenses; in addition to clinical herbalism, she offers the integration of various personal growth and spiritual tools such as mindfulness techniques, astrology, the Enneagram, and the Tarot into her practice for those who are interested. She also makes small-batch herbal products available for purchase online and occasionally at pop-up markets.
Besides her passion for plants, Alessandra identifies as a pole artist, lover of dance, and functional exercise enthusiast, as she believes in the importance of physical movement practices in supporting well-rounded vitality. She continues to live in her hometown of Oakland with her sweet rescue dog Belly, seeking to build community around an intentional relationship with the natural world in an urban environment.
APPROACH, INTERESTS, AND EDUCATION
Alessandra seeks to act as a facilitator between her clients and the plants; she believes that each person deserves agency in their wellness journey and views the client-herbalist relationship as a collaborative team. Her experience working as a practicing architect and coming back from burnout using a holistic approach led to an interest in working with clients to achieve balance in their everyday lives. She works with imbalance presenting as anxiety, depression, digestive issues, infertility, various sexuality issues, insomnia, recurring infections, and many other symptoms. She is particularly passionate about working with those experiencing irregular or painful menstrual cycles, as well as supporting clients in cultivating a healthy relationship with their sexuality across all genders, identities, preferences, and relationship structures.
In addition to receiving formal training as a clinical herbalist, Alessandra considers herself a lifelong student of the 30+ plants she tends in her garden, as well as wild native plants that she identifies and observes through the seasons in the Oakland and Berkeley hills. As an herbal educator, she teaches at the Berkeley Herbal Center including the 4-week Intro to Herbalism course, several classes in the certification curriculum, seasonal speciality classes, and leads regular herb walks in the Bay Area.
Berkeley Herbal Center, Berkeley, CA
Second Year Clinical Herbalism Internship (2022-in progress)
400-hour First Year Clinical Herbalism Internship (2021-2022)
600-hour Western Clinical Herbalist Apprenticeship Certification (2021)
School of Evolutionary Herbalism
Vitalist Practitioner Program (in progress)
Herbal Workshops & Courses for Other Modalities
"Rewilding the Tarot" with Lindsay Mack (2023)
"Body Electric Ambassador Program" through The Body Electric School (in progress)
"Celebrating the Body Erotic" through The Body Electric School (2022)
"MycoCreation Course" through Symbiiotica with mycologists Taylor Bright & Ryath Beauchene (2022)
"Reading the Body" with Margi Flint, RH (2022)
Various Chani Nicholas astrology workshops and weekly independent study (2020-in progress)
Rice University, Houston, TX
Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Classical Studies, and Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations (2009-2013)
Bachelor of Architecture (2013-2015)