A friend introduced me to Runa tea while I was writing Magic Mike, and I liked it so much that I took a trip to Ecuador to check out where it came from. Part of the trip included a visit to the Sápara people, an ancient civilization deep within the Amazonian jungle.
Witnessing the Sapara’s knowledge of the plants in the forest was unexpectedly eye-opening. They utilized hundreds of the plants around them to treat a wide array of illnesses, and used incredibly precise clinical methodology clearly honed over thousands of years. I couldn’t believe that such a vast, complex and beautiful medical system still existed under the radar of the modernized world.
And when I found out that there were only 500 Sapara left and their entire system would likely go extinct within my generation, I was moved to action. So I joined forces with Tyler Gage and Luke Weil on PlantMed with the hope that sharing Amazonian medicine with the world will lead to new cures for humanity’s most troubling illnesses, and exponentially increase the urgency to preserve our world’s most precious resource: the Amazon forest and its native peoples.