Heather Jones – Medicine Woman & Medical Intuitive from Enchantment Creek – elaborates on her potent, medicinal concoctions that are grown and produced, for the most part, at her home in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming.
How and when were you first drawn to medicinal plants and when was Enchantment Creek Apothecary launched?
I was in a used book store in my early twenties, and there was this book screaming at me from one side of the room. It was a book by Michael Moore – Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West. I had always been obsessed with nature, and when I found that book everything unfolded from there. I knew that this was to be my life journey.
Enchantment Creek was launched over three years ago and it is a business that is growing steadily. I work closely with the collective ancestors and my spirit team to make the best decisions for growing the herbs and making the medicine. It feels very correct for my soul and what the collective needs.
What percentage of your herb ingredients do you grow yourself?
I grow 85% of the herbs that go into the blends. I have three greenhouses and a quarter acre of outside rows. We are also planting five acres this coming spring to grow medicinal plants, some being for Enchantment Creek, and others for bigger companies that have asked me to grow plants for them.
I wild harvest 14% of the herbs in the surrounding areas. During my first decade of working with medicine plants, I was obsessed about being out in the woods and with the wild herbs. Years later, I decided to grow them and put plants back into the ground to nourish the earth. I ended up doing both. Some herbs simply do better in the mountains with the freeze, high mountain elevation and snow pack. So those, I continue to wild harvest in the most ethically and sustainable ways possible.
Golden milk, an ayurvedic blend of turmeric and other herbs, is the one blend that I do buy (the spices and herbs), because I believe in this miracle product completely.
How do you manufacture your potent extract blends, and decide/know which herbs to use?
I mainly work with fresh plant material, although my two meditation blends are dried because we want certain constituents to leave. For the most part I work with fresh plant material and my blends are made in one to five gallon batches in ceramic or glass crocks. The fresh plant material goes in and the menstruum goes on top. Every week, they are stirred and shaken, and this agitates the plant material and allows the menstruum to penetrate deeper into the plant for a potent extract. I use high grade alcohol, vinegar, oil and sometimes honey.
My husband fabricated a metal press for me, and this, I use for about three days, to get all the menstruum out of the plant material. Sometimes I will take the roots – the extract – and boil them for seven days. I am making true elixirs.
This is what I truly enjoy doing – getting as much of the plant material out of the plant into the blend and obtaining really high potency. My alcohol percentage is only between 22-35% alcohol when the extract is bottled, so we are getting a maximum out of the plants and displacing the alcohol. Some of my blends are made by fermentation as well.
To be honest, a lot of the savvy comes through me as channeled messages, through my intuition. The ancestors and the plant spirits guide me as to what to do. I can’t really take any credit.
What are the advantages of single extracts over blends?
One of my favorite plants is Osha root. It is insanely effective as an expectorant and as a lung clarifying herb and there are scientific studies showing a 40% increase in lung capacity, highly antiviral and antimicrobial. It is such a powerhouse.
Because this herb is so warming, and enhances our circulatory system to such a degree, it can have the reverse effect and become drying. Therefore by using osha in a blend, as opposed to a single extract, we can soften its effect and prevent the reverse effect from happening. In other words, its potency is diluted and its effects are balanced.
Sometimes, a single extract would be beneficial, and in other cases, it is best to achieve a balance with the use of blends. It really depends on what herbs we are using and what concerns are being targeted.
What can you tell us about plant spirituality – a concept which may be lost on many?
What it all boils down to for me is recognizing just as much that we humans are conscious and filled with love beings, the plants too have a consciousness, an energy, and a place on this earth…Everything is a vibrating, live being.
As humans, it is our responsibility to take this love and put it back into the land. This is my definition of plant spirituality – all beings are different manifestations but we all come from the Divine.
“Herbalism is the People’s Medicine” – How does this resonate with you?
It is our birthright to be nourished by the land. It is a spiritual and physical connection. Our very ancient ancestors were working with the plant, animal and fungi kingdoms. We wouldn’t be here without this.
I appreciate science and technology, but it is because of nature that we are still here as a human society. Being able to work with plant medicine and being able to THRIVE comes from eating well, nourishing our bodies with plants and healthy animals – feeding ourselves with high vitality produce of the earth.
How do you work with your clients?
Most of my clients are based locally, although I do ship my products everywhere. People sometimes know what they want from me, but when a client actually comes to me with their ailments, I am able to offer them either a blend, a tea or whatever I feel could help them.
It really depends on who comes knocking, virtually or physically, and for what reason.
Do you believe herbalism should be part of everyone’s daily life and not introduced only as a cure for ailments?
I do believe it is a lifestyle, and a shifting of daily habits. Hopefully, this happens at an earlier age than later. If we can work on the outside to then cycle to the inside and the root of the problem, people will start to shift.
They will experience a huge change in vitality. Herbalism definitely operates best as a lifestyle – it is our birthright to nourish our bodies well, to eat well and live well. I believe from here, we can shift away from chronic illness and bounce back from any minor issues we may encounter due to increased levels of vitality and wellbeing.
How do you see the future (evolution) of medicinal remedies in the modern world?
We are on a tipping point. Who knows which way it will turn but I do think we will either need more nature or we will need more chemicals. I do see more people coming to slow foods and slow medicine, but then I also see modern science as a beautiful thing.
Perhaps we can blend the two together to give us vitality through plants that are tweaked or made tangible to the modern world. Given that everything is a chemical reaction and everything has chemical constituents, even in nature, a little validation from public bodies on the medicinal use of plants may go a long way!