During a decade practicing as a psychotherapist, Ginny Corbett noticed more and more clients were relying on medication to treat their symptoms.  In and of itself, that’s not a bad thing, she says, but she noticed they weren’t always addressing the underlying problems.

“When you have a wound, you can’t just take a pill,” she says. “You have to treat the wound so it will heal.”

She decided to study other ways to help people treat their mental health, and began taking nutrition courses. What she found was that there were many foods with healing properties that could act as a complement to therapy. In 2013, she opened Salud Juicery in Sewickley, a juice bar that serves cold-pressed juices, smoothies and other remedies designed to rebalance the body’s systems. Last year, she opened a second location in Shadyside.

Ginny Corbett. Courtesy of Salud Juicery.
Ginny Corbett. Courtesy of Salud Juicery.

Her goal with the juice bars, Corbett says, is to educate people about the healing properties of foods, and how better eating habits can affect emotional health and state of mind.

“I like to say that we don’t just sell juice, we promote health,” Corbett says. The name of the company, Salud, comes from the Spanish word for “health” or “cheers.”

Juice cleanses have come under fire in recent months, with little scientific evidence to show that they work in detoxifying the body. Corbett, who is not a physician, agrees that the body is designed to detox itself, and Salud’s website stresses that it doesn’t offer medical advice.

But she says it’s important to be aware of the natural healing properties of various fruits and vegetables, and that drinking healthy juices can give the digestive system a rest while still allowing the body to absorb nutrients. Beet juice, for example, can help lower blood pressure, she notes.

“These are products that support lifestyle changes,” Corbett says. “Think of it as an ocean liner that makes a course correction. It’s like you’re moving away from bad eating habits toward a whole new, healthy island. ”

Recognizing that her clientele in Sewickley and Shadyside is somewhat limited, Corbett says she has plans to bring her juices and other drinks to other areas in a food truck in the spring.

And Corbett says she’s on a mission to promote healthy lifestyle choices in general. She acknowledges that not everyone can afford to participate in a juicing regimen —a single juice can cost around $9— or produce their own juices at home.

“But doing things like examining how much sugar you’re taking in, or how much white flour and processed food you eat, can make a difference,” she says. “It’s just a matter of beginning to change your mindset, and trying to make healthier food choices.”

Kim Lyons is an award-winning writer and editor always on the lookout for a great story. Her experience includes writing about business, politics, and local news, and she has a huge crush on Pittsburgh.