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Blue Lotus Ethnobotanicals

Blue Lotus Ethnobotanicals makes high-quality, small-batch herbal medicines using wildcrafted, or organically cultivated ingredients. Maker, Patrick Kooyman, is passionate about using locally sourced ingredients as often as possible, and harvests local, wild herbs in a sustainable way, ensuring they continue to thrive for the future.

Who is the maker at Blue Lotus Ethnobotanicals?
Patrick Kooyman with bunches of Yarrow and St. John’s Wort flowers

Where are you located?
Nelson, BC

What do you make?
Herbal salves, tinctures and syrups.

Our salves that are available at the Kootenay Co-op include:

Arnica Salve: Made with arnica flowering tops, ethically wild crafted in the West Kootenays. Arnica Salve is an amazing remedy for bruises, strains, and sprains, and to help reduce inflammation.

Balm of Gilead: Made with balsam poplar buds, ethically wild crafted in the West Kootenays. Balm of Gilead is a warming salve which is excellent for sore aching joints and muscles, and for healing small cuts, scrapes and wounds.

Calendula Salve: Made with calendula petals, organically grown in Nelson. Calendula flowers make a beautiful orange salve, which is an excellent remedy for skin rashes, diaper rash, to sooth eczema, and aid in wound healing.

Comfrey Salve: Made with comfrey leaf, organically grown in the West Kootenays. Comfrey leaf is renowned for its healing properties, helping skin grow back faster, reducing inflammation, and facilitating healing of broken bones, fractures, or damage to joints, cartilage and connective tissues.

Green Healer Skin Salve: Made with St. John’s wort flowers, and plantain leaf, ethically wildcrafted in the West Kootenays and organic lavender and tea tree essential oils. Green Healer is a soothing salve for dry, irritated, and itchy skin. It is also a powerful wound and burn remedy and relief from bug bites.

Arnica flowers in oil. Ethically wildcrafted in the West Kootenays. How would you describe your company?
We make high quality herbal medicines, always in small batches and with the goal of creating potent, full spectrum extractions. Our herbs are all wildcrafted or organically cultivated. As much as possible, we work with herbs that are locally sourced. Local wild arnica flowers

How long have you been in business?
12 years

What motivated you to start?
Herbal medicine fascinates me, as it has been used as the main method of traditional healing throughout the world, and today represents one of our best strategies for the maintenance of good health, and as a way of reconnecting to our natural environment.

What are some of your greatest joys?
My greatest joy is spending time in nature; when a day of “work” means heading up into the mountains to harvest medicinal plants, I give thanks.

What are some of your greatest challenges?
Working with a lot of local, wild herbs brings many challenges. Most important to us is ensuring ethical harvesting practices. This includes only harvesting a small percent of the wild plant population each season, developing and implementing sustainable harvest practices, and observing the wild plant populations in areas that we have harvested, to make sure they continue to thrive for the future. Wildcrafting is also a very seasonal activity, largely dependent on being in the right place at the right time. Most plants need to be harvested at particular times of year, and for some, the harvest window may be only a few days, when they are at their optimum quality.

What is your vision for your company?
Our vision is to be able to provide handcrafted medicines, customized for the needs of the individual, and to be directly involved in all aspects of growing, harvesting and processing the herbs to ensure high quality. For herbs that we do not grow or harvest ourselves, we are passionate about networking with local cultivators. We also provide education on herbs and medicine making, to empower people to take healing into their own hands.

Why is local food and/or local purchasing important to you?
Sourcing locally grown or wildcrafted herbs allows us to be part of the medicine making process, right from growing and harvesting through to the finished product. Fresh herbs are almost always better quality than those that are grown far away, dried and then shipped.

If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
Plants have an innate intelligence, and the complex mixture of biologically active compounds found in a medicinal plant have potent synergistic effects. The healing qualities of a broad spectrum whole-plant extract are different, and often stronger, than any single compound extracted and refined from a plant. Nature put it all there together for a reason.

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