About three decades ago, I set forth on a journey of discovery. It began deep in a South American rainforest in the heart of Paraguay. I was searching for the legendary Wise Old Man of the Guarani natives of whom I had heard so many stories. People told me about his knowledge of the healing qualities of local rainforest herbs that he shared with the people. I was determined to find him, this living myth, and uncover his wisdom. Along my journey, I learned of, and experienced, various herbs used by the locals as teas, to hasten healing or simply to maintain vibrant health and energy. The elusive Wise Old Man always seemed to be far ahead of me, teaching and counseling the Guarani. But I gained wisdom from the people he had already taught.
I found these remarkable herbal teas to be so restorative and energizing that I brought specimens back to the United States and made them a part of my own daily ritual. After a few excursions into South America, I realized that I had to make these incredible herbs available to all Americans. To honor the Wise Old Man and the teachers who preceded him, these healing herbs are called the Wisdom of the Ancients®. Some give wonderful energy and mental alertness. Some are ideal during
seasons full of colds and flu, speeding healing. Some strengthen and fortify the body’s immune system.* Over the years, I added other healing teas found around the globe that were use and honored by the locals.
Among the herbs I introduced to America are stevia and Yerba Maté. Back in 1982, no one had ever heard of these two herbs of ancient legend. So I shared the knowledge I had gained from the Guarani and my own personal experiences in using stevia, Yerba Maté, Pau d’Arco and Symfrē® (O’ Ho’ Mguara) among family and friends and during educational lectures, radio talk shows, and in published articles.
Over the years, I have received numerous letters, personal visits and thousands of phone calls from grateful people who wanted to say "thank you" and tell me their personal story of healing. Some of the callers were even physicians, who wanted to tell me about the healing experiences of their own patients. The wisdom of these ancient healers was being received by the people of another nation, some of whom were modern healers.
Despite all of my journeys into the land of Paraguay, I never found the Wise Old Man for whom I searched. However, I did learn that the knowledge of the healing qualities of these plants and trees went back many centuries in time, according to the ancient legend that was related to me.