Category Archives: herbs

water under the bridge

Make that 7 months worth of water flowing under that particular bridge. The one everyone talks about in the past tense. Lots and lots of change, growth and water. I just wanted to say I’ve been like really, really busy. And I wanted to say I’m back.

Did get my rainforest book written and published, which is totally cool. It’s even on Amazon — ABC’s of Natural Healing: better health for you and the planet through Amazon rainforest herbs I’m pleased. I’d add stuff in the next addition, but it was good.

I’m almost done with my second book, but that’s for another post. For now I can say my herb business and the herbs themselves have proven their value to my sanity many times over.

Rainforest herbs are finally gaining in recognition, and I say Yay! Maybe, just maybe, if we find value to our own health in preserving the remaining rainforests, well perhaps we might could see our way to preserving them.

Wouldn’t that be a kick!


Happy people can skip this one

Man these are tough times, and just in time for the holidays. Talk about STRESS! Did you see the story today “What happy people don’t do?”   The findings are based on 45,000 Americans over 35 years. I guess some things don’t change.

The conclusion is that TV is a bummer. Who knew? The researchers leave open the chicken/egg issue of I TV and therefore am unhappy or I am miserable, stressed and depressed and therefore I TV. But they were able to connect more TV watching with unemployment.

Uh oh. Looks like we’re going to have millions of us glued to the tube for a while. 

Two things will definitely NOT solve our own personal, national or international money crisis. Nothing gets fixed by being sad, depressed, anxious, or worried. Although being human we’re not immune. Nor does anything get better by staring at the tube. Although screens can be a great relief for a while.

What will help: Do your best to stay MORE active than usual, rather than less. Push yourself. Push yourself out the door and go to a coffee house, a friend’s, bundle up and go for a walk, go to the gym. Just get out.

Limit your news intake. I know it’s hard to kick Obamamania. Confession: I found the happy article because it was on the same page as Obama’s Saturday morning radio address. I never cared what any president said on Saturdays! Anyway, do it. The news ain’t good. We know that. Don’t keep rubbing salt on your wounds.

Get realistic about how you and your loved ones are going to survive — and thrive — through the holidays and whatevet lies ahead. Life still goes on, even in the midst of deep crisis. You can trust me on that one. So does love. So too do all the little exciting, delicious and precious moments that make up a day. Find and savor those.

If you feel like you need help, ask for it. That is not the time to be shy. 

Nurture yourself and stay healthy. The OnePlanet Herb site is devoted to supporting you do that. Go ahead,take a peek.

Keep up your immune system!  I rely on cat’s claw for that. It’s a fabulous immune builder. It won’t change whatever’s coming at you, but it will help you cope with it.Here’s some info on it. 

My holiday gift to you for the rest of 08. Link from here to OnePlanet Type injoi in the coupon code at checkout and you get cat’s claw at a 15% discount. 

Do you have tips that have helped you? Let me know and I’ll post them.


Jangled, fixed quick, and then forgot to remember…

Today I had one of those days. Everything got on my nerves. Dogs barks sounded louder. People bumped into me in the store. Cars and trucks sounded like they were in high gear. I could hear my thoughts whirling around, and my neck hurt. What the??? This was not typical for me.

So the weather was wierd. Granted. It’s mid-November and here it was in the mid-60’s (that’s about 20 degrees warmer than expected) and winds going between 10 and 30 miles an hour. And all day it went back and forth between fog, sunshine and pouring rain!

Was I reacting to the crazy weather? Or did the weather feel so crazy because I was? Can’t say. All I know is I was so bent out of shape I felt like a pretzel. Then I remembered. Hey, I’m the 21st Century Medicine Woman. I know what to do. I make this stuff. I went and opened myMellow Monkey, slurped some and raced off to an appointment. I actually had a really productive meeting, came home and realized the kitchen was a mess and it was time to get a few things in shape. I cleaned for a while, then went out to take care of the chickens (not a joke. We have six of them). I gave the dog fresh water (one dog). The ducks were fine (three — all girls). They love the rain. That done, I sat down at the computer and as I focused on my work I realized I was feeling good. Sounds were back to normal and I wasn’t getting jangled. We’re talking now more than four hours after I took a dropper full of the Monkey, and I finally remembered I had taken it! I felt solid. If not great, definitely good. It reminded me of many times feeling better after an acupuncture treatment, yet feeling so naturally better I didn’t even relate it to the treatment.

With that I not only remembered that I had taken my own medicine, so to speak. Most importantly I remembered why I made it, why I sell it, why I believe in it.

It’s just there, patiently, mellowly, waiting to help me be better to myself.


7, 610,918 and counting

That’s the historic difference between Obama’s 64 million votes and McCain’s! Or try  365. These are numbers your children and theirs will learn about in school. The drama of President-Elect Barack Obama’s historic win has moved our country and the world. I know I’m not supposed to be talking politics here, but I did mention a while ago that I had devolved into a nail-biting news junkie glued to the election. Come to find out I was oh so not alone in that. A bunch of you were too, and wasn’t it all worth it? 

Finally, on election night for a few hours we could all forget blue and red states, we could forget blue, red or inde political party. In this fleeting, stunning moment of history we had a human party. Not only the millions of Americans who spontaneously filled the streets with years and decades of hopes and tears, but the millions around the world who, this time in a happy way, were “all American.” It seemed as though time stopped just long enough to allow the planet to become the Human Party of the United Globe of Earth. Transitory though it was, hope and hearts ruled the world for just a few hours.

I had to say that. It was too big, too beautiful to let pass. Does it relate to OnePlanet Herbs? Does it relate to the rain forests of the world? Well of course I’m going to say yes. I don’t even need a segue because I believe we now have a far better chance of saving the flora and fauna of the world. I believe we may now be able to save the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, we may be able to find alternative fuels and economies and create alternatives to the the slash-and-burn of rainforest destruction. 

That said, just like this election, the choice is always individual. Fueled by our personal mythologies and beliefs we will pick our presidents and medicines, lifestyles and policies, religions and causes. Yet some facts are not choices. They are simple truths: more than 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe comes from the Amazon Rainforest. For more than 80 percent of the world’s population herbs are the first line of medical care.  Most of our western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest plants. 

While it is my hope that supporting rainforest preservation will transcend our individual mythologies, its survival matters beyond any individual belief system.  Whether our choice is pharmaceuticals or plants whether we’re living in the rainforest or in a distant city, we — and our children — still need oxygen to breathe, we still need medicines to heal, and we still want to find cures as yet out of reach.


One pound of anxiety can ruin your whole day.

A dear friend used to say ‘it’s better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick.’ Hard to argue with. But what about the fear of being sick, the fear of being poor? How bad is that? My answer: Extraordinarily.

Right now I’m an absolute news junkie. I’m promising myself to stop after the election, but for now I’m hearing the daily drip of news and just about every word is scary. It’s almost impossible for me, or probably anyone not on Mars or under a rock, to escape the bad economic news. Happily I have Mellow Monkey to soothe my anxiety when I’m thrown off my game. And I’m glad of it. It’s all natural, has other positive effects and is non-addictive. Plus, I make the stuff, so I know how good it is.

But how else are we cope with this current crisis mentality and its attendant fear and anxiety mongering? I wrote an article on this which I’ll put up soon, but here’s the bottom line: It’s never about what your facing, it’s always about how you face it.  

Speaking of facing it: where do you think we spend most of our time? IN OUR HEAD! Obviously. Whether it’s sex or work or anything else, it’s not what’s happening around us, but in us that makes the difference. It’s that non-stop inner tape that infuses our feelings and our actions. And therefore our judgment and decisions. Yikes! Talk about scary! Unless we know how to handle our self-talk.

My advice for crisis times: listen in more than you listen out. When your repetetive words are negative, substitute them with positives. If that doesn’t do it, stop. Meditate. Listen to a tape, take a bath, go for a run — whatever recharges you. Take Mellow Monkey (or whatever non-addictive herbal remedy you choose) and tap into your inner strength. It’s there. It’s indominatable. It will carry you until your best is back.

Sure a pound of anxiety can go through you like a poison, but an ounce of inner balance is the best antidote!


The Five Most Important Things You Need to Know About Herbs

Hey — I promised you this blog a while ago. There are the five, but I still maintain it’s the 6th that’s most important. The blog I put up first when I should have put up this one.

You’ve heard about how herbs are powerful and beneficial and you want to know more.  Here are the five most important things you need to know about herbs:

1:  Parsley and basil are not herbs.  Well, parsley and basil are herbs, but they’re not the only herbs.  When we talk about herbs and herbal medicine, we’re talking about any plant or part of a plant that can be used to benefit health.  Ginger roots, aloe leaves, bark of the huge rainforest tree pau d’arco, and elder berries all can be used for therapeutic purposes and qualify as “herbs.”  More than 2,000 herbs are used medicinally today, all over the world.   

2:  Herbs have been safely used for thousands of years to improve health and heal disease.  Through observation and trial and error, cultures all over the world have gathered a vast body of knowledge regarding the power of herbs to create health.  Much of this information has been passed down to us through Western Herbalism, Ayurvedic Herbalism, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.  About 80 % of the world’s population still use herbal remedies as part or even all of their primary health care. While the properties of herbs have been studied by scientists for hundreds of years, indigenous cultures continue to pass along invaluable herbal knowledge from one generation to the next. It includes which parts of plants are beneficial and how to prepare them; whether to boil, steep, or crush, to access their medicinal properties. 

3.  Herbs are used to improve almost any area of health. This includes everything from mood swings to blood pressure, from exhaustion to lactation.  For example, aloe gel is used to heal sunburn; St. John’s Wort is used to treat minor depression; ginger can reduce pregnancy-related nausea; and chasteberry can reduce menstrual problems.  A typical herb book will list hundreds of conditions that herbs can treat.

4.  Many of our prescription drugs are based on herbal substances.  For example, ephedra is an herb that has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat respiratory problems.  Ephedrine is the active ingredient in ephedra, and ephedrine is the basis for many commercial pharmaceutical products medicating asthma and other respiratory problems.  In addition, approximately 25% of prescription drugs used today has an herbal component. Many of our cancer, heart and other wonder drugs are originally from herbs, especially rainforest herbs. 

5.  Herbs are safe.  But don’t confuse safe with harmless.   Bread, chicken, and mushrooms are also safe—if the bread is not moldy, the chicken is not spoiled, and the mushrooms are not gathered ignorantly off the forest floor.  When you take herbal supplements, be sure to know what you’re doing.  Talk to your doctor and understand that herbal remedies may interfere with prescription drugs.  This doesn’t mean herbs are dangerous—it just means they do in fact, affect your body.  Since you’re taking herbs to help you heal , it is good indeed that they impact your body.

This is just a general primer on herbs.  If you’re interested in taking herbal supplements, there are many sites available for learning about specific ailments and the herbs that help them.  Both alternative and conventional medicine sites can give you information.  Just remember: herbs can help you; do your research; and talk to your doctor.  Don’t earn herbs a bad rap!  When herbs are taken properly for the power they hold, they just may make you feel better than you’ve ever felt in your life.



Herbal remedies should be safe and work too!

A friend recently got The Lion’s Roar and raised the issue of safety. I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. Herbs are powerful agents. That’w why they’ve been used around the world for thousands of years. That’s why they are the basis for many of our western pharmaceuticals. It’s why plants in completely unconnected parts of the world with similar chemical structures are used for the same conditions. They work and they work well.

That should not be confused with their having no drug interactions, nor should it be confused with irresponsible consumerism.  So when Kev asked about potential drug interactions with medicines he was taking I was glad. He will double check with his doctor, of course. 

Anyway, what struck me about this asthma and upper respiratory remedy was the amazingly high level of safety and overall health benefits. 

Bottom line was this: the worst any of these herbs do is strengthen the heart muscle, lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels and thin the blood.  Duuh.

Potential drug interaction is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just not an area where you want any surprises! If you’re already on high blood pressure medication it might be good to have a natural remedy that has been scientifically proven to do the same thing.  To do that, you need to be working in conjunction with your doctor for sure, and perhaps other health care professionals as well. And you personally need to stay informed and act accordingly.

Natural health care, handled properly can sometimes take a village. 



The sixth most important thing about herbs that should really be first

I just wrote an article about the top five things people should know about herbs. I’ll put it up on the web site soon, but since it was kind of generic I went easy. What I really should have said was that there’s one really really important thing to know about herbs. I’ll try to get this into a brief sound byte but that may go up in smoke.

About 5 years ago I was seriously ill. I needed to take allopathic medicine that helped save my life. But in order for the (truly wonderful) medicine (for which I shall always be grateful) to not eat the lining of my stomach, weaken my immune system and make me generally weak and miserable I needed to take a bunch of other stuff. And guess what it was? OK, softball… Of course it was herbal supplements. Not only. I also drank herbal teas. And took amino acids that occur naturally in our bodies.  I went to acupuncture and got healing massages. I topped it off with hypnotherapy to heal old mental scars.  

So lest you think I only believe in herbs, you see I’m willing to reach across the aisle and use other modalities. As long as they’re natural. And that’s my point. A plant is a living being. It’s in balance with itself and nature. When used properly it offers its wonderful qualities to us — in balance. Not in bit and pieces, not one saponin or alkoloid at a time. 

There it is. And here’s the sound byte, the sixth most important thing about herbs that should really be first: Plants are good for you. They heal, they work, they bring back balance. 

P.S. to the sound byte: There is a place for western medicine. It’s just that the place is not everywhere and all the time.


The Beginning of OnePlanet Herbs

It just occurs to me, so many months into my business — OnePlanet Herbs ( — that I never mentioned how it started. It came to me as a dream in the middle of the night. I had been struggling to put all the pieces of my interests, knowledge and  experience together into something I’d want to do forever. In waking time all I was getting was frustrated.

Then this idea hit. It brought together my love of plants, of herbs, of the rainforest, my years of trial and error and of study, my work in sustainability, and my business and writing experience.  I went to sleep wondering, jeeezzz, what next; woke up one complete person with a plan, a company-to-be, and ready to roll! I woke with images of baby boomers and younger  It brought together my love of plants, of herbs, of the rainforest, my years of trial and error and of study, and my business and writing experience. There I was, one complete person ready to roll.

When I woke I had images of baby boomers and other discovering brand new and powerful herbs. Of helping people cope with pain from sore joints and arthritis in a natural way. What became Leaping Lizard was a way to help my sister who I had watched swallow pills and suffer with arthritic pain for years. That was a very personal search for me.

And so many of my friends telling me they were tired and needed more energy — that became Sloth-No-More. Or totally stressed out and couldn’t sleep … yay for Mellow Monkey.

And so it went. After months of uncertainty, it just rolled itself out in front of me.  After months of uncertainty, it just rolled itself out in front of me. I felt so lucky. Then I remembered how much went into that moment and my buddy Joe’s favorite quote floated up: “The harder you work, the luckier you get!”


Rainforest Herbs Promote Stress-free Relaxation

It’s often said that misery loves company. But if you have ever experienced anxiety, stress, sleep problems or insomnia, you’ve probably noticed only the misery and felt no company at all. In which case it might surprise you to learn that millions of people suffer from anxiety, sleep problems and insomnia.  Anti-anxiety medications and sleeping agents are among the leading prescriptions in industrialized nations around the world.  These prescriptions don’t come alone. They come with serious warnings about possible side effects and the potential for addiction.  


Although many people rely on them to relieve stress, anxiety, sleep problems and insomnia, others are seeking alternative solutions.  No prescription or herbal remedy substitutes for good diet, exercise and stress-free living. That said, we all need help sometimes! That’s why more and more people like you are turning to natural ways to relieve stress-related problems.


Dynamic well-balanced formula to support stress-free relaxation


Mellow Monkey has been specially formulated to target the physiology of stress and combat it in a healthy, balanced way. Mellow Monkey helps with stress, anxiety, sleep problems and insomnia. It promotes relaxation, rest, deep sleep and well-being.


Some of the plants included in Mellow Monkey have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities. This additional benefit is intentional. We are sometimes nervous or unable to take proper relaxation or sleep because of generalized discomfort or pain, yet don’t recognize it for what it is. When our bodies are relaxed and comfortable our minds have the opportunity to let go of the stresses and tensions of daily life.


Mellow Monkey combines well-documented rainforest herbs with both a long history of indigenous use and much research from western science.


Mellow Monkey supports relaxation, combats nervousness and anxiety and promotes a natural peaceful sleep: all the benefits without harmful side effects or risk of dependency.  With OnePlanet Herb’s special blend of rainforest herbs, stress and anxiety can bre smoothed away helping you feel focused and good again. 


The Importance of Reducing Anxiety, Stress, Sleep Problems and Insomnia


It is not uncommon for these conditions to travel together and become a package deal of unpleasantness.  Over time this can wreak havoc on our physical, emotional and mental states. 


Many people find that even small life-style changes can lead to big changes. Sometimes just a little more fresh air and a little less of stressful situations can add up to big changes. Mellow Monkey is a  support in making change big and small. We all deserve the opportunity to fully enjoy life. Mellow Monkey is a great way to turn things around – get the company without the misery.