Chinese Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center

I had the pleasure of attending a weekend seminar at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2012. MD Anderson Cancer Center is a prestigious research hospital in Houston, Texas. What stood out to me was how much time, money, and energy they put towards researching Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and other healing modalities. At the least, they have witnessed and documented the importance of using complementary medicines like meditation, acupuncture, and yoga alongside chemotherapy, radiation, and other allopathic therapies.

MD Anderson’s website describes their pioneering work:

“One of our greatest strengths is our ability to translate today’s most promising laboratory findings into tomorrow’s new, more effective and less traumatic treatments. We’ve pioneered countless medical advances over the years. Our patients benefit from that quest by receiving not only the best treatments to minimize or eliminate their cancer, but those treatments that will also give them the best chance at a high quality of life afterwards.

New and innovative therapies generally are available at MD Anderson several years before they become standard in the community. Our clinical trials incorporate state-of-the-art patient care, while evaluating the most recent developments in cancer medicine. They also offer treatment opportunities for difficult or aggressive tumors.

MD Anderson ranks first in the number of research grants awarded by the National Cancer Institute. By studying how cancer begins and responds to various treatments, we can help patients overcome disease and prevent recurrence.”

So much incredible research is being done on acupuncture worldwide and I cringe every time I hear people dismiss Chinese medicine as being nothing more than ancient quackery or only a placebo. Despite (or maybe because of) these viewpoints, research institutes like MD Anderson are taking acupuncture and herbs very seriously.

In this episode of The Herb Walk, I cover a couple of the research projects MD Anderson is doing with acupuncture. Chemotherapy can cause severe dry mouth (xerostomia) and painful mouth sores. In a clinical trial of those with xerostomia, the acupuncture group initially didn’t perform any better than the control group. After six weeks, it was the only group that continued to show marked improvement. Researchers are in Phase 2 of a Randomized-Controlled Trial of electroacupuncture for reducing chronic pain from breast cancer treatments.

If you’re interested, you can keep up with all their acupuncture research https://www.mdanderson.org/patients-family/search-results.html?q=acupuncture&searchType=clinical%20trials#_

I witnessed myself the efficacy of acupuncture and herbs at Zhejiang University Teaching Hospital in Hangzhou, China. Patients in Hepatitis, Dermatology and Oncology clinics would get seen by a medical doctor that was also an herbalist. If they needed labs or X-rays, they were sent to those departments and would come back with labs or X-rays in hand, their tongues looked at and pulses taken, diagnosed, and given an herbal formula- all under one roof and one afternoon. If they needed surgery, they were referred to a surgeon. If they needed acupuncture or tuina, they would be referred to the Medical Doctor that also performed those specialties. To practice acupuncture, herbalism, or tuina in a hospital, you became a medical doctor first. There is no separation of medicine, traditional and allopathic are used in conjunction with one another because the health outcomes are higher with both.

I hope this episode encourages you to not see allopathic and traditional medicine as an either/or. Our health and well-being will improve when we utilize both traditional and “modern” medicine. Allopathic medicine has a lot to offer in emergency care, vaccines, and pharmacology when used appropriately. Traditional medicines, like Chinese herbalism and acupuncture, also have a lot to offer, especially with prevention and the reduction of stress, pain, and side effects of pharmaceuticals and traumatic therapies. Be discerning, be smart, and be kind.

In Respect,

Jessica

The Herb Walk Podcast: Normalizing Grief with Willow Meili

It is with great pleasure (and a few tears) that I share this episode of The Herb Walk Podcast with you all. Like so many of you, I have been actively grieving the past couple of years. My grief began with the death of millions of people worldwide at the beginning of the pandemic.

Early on I didn’t know any person that died of COVID, but I felt deeply the loss that affected billions of people worldwide. In January of 2021, two people I have known since the late 90’s, died of drug overdoses (fuck fentanyl) and exacerbated the grief I was feeling for the world.

Then on Easter Sunday 2021, I received a call that one of my best friends, Kelly, died while in Mexico. He had been going through a very rough time and felt completely overwhelmed by his family life, business, COVID. Many of us knew he was struggling and had tried to help, but none of us could have guessed he would take his own life. He is not the first friend I have had that committed suicide, but his death has been the hardest. You can hear my interview with Kelly from 2018.

With all of that loss, I am so grateful to have Willow Meili in my life. Having a friend that works so intimately with grief and those that are grieving, has opened my eyes (and heart) to my own grief. As a culture, we believe we should get over it and move on as quickly as possible. As a practitioner I know that is unrealistic and unhealthy, but I was still trying to shut myself down and speed up my grief. Willow has been my biggest advocate for just letting my grief flow, with no expectations of what it should look like or how long it should take.

Despite the heavy topic of grief, this is actually a very positive episode with lots of laughter! Throughout our talk, Willow explains how a death doula supports not only the person passing, but also their community. We talk about ritual and herbs that can help support the grieving process and how Nature can be a profound ally. One of the most important thing we discuss is about planning your advanced directives so your family doesn’t have to make hard decisions after your death.

Before you listen, I encourage everyone to make a nourishing cup of tea (mimosa, rose and hawthorn would be amazing). If possible, listen to this episode with your loved ones. If you are in a safe space, let yourself feel any emotion that may come up. Contemplate your own thoughts around loss and the resources that may be available to you. Below is a list of a few places you can go for assistance.

Resources for Grief:

www.griefsupportnet.org

www.thegriefwell.ca

Be Ceremonial

988- Suicide Prevention Hotline

With love,

Jessica

The Herb Walk Podcast: Botanical Skin Care with Diane Avitable

“Slow down and drink more water.” These are the wise words of Diane Avitable, esthetician, brow architect and beauty devotee. I have known Diane for a long time and I knew I wanted to have her on the podcast, because she is the expert I consult when I have questions about skin care. Her botanical skin care line, Take Time Out For Beauty, has been in my daily regimen for the last five years. When I run out and try other “natural” products, within a couple of weeks my skin looks dull and begins to feel dry and itchy. I have made all of my own skin care products for years and none have had the positive effects that Diane’s have had.

I love Diane for several reasons, but why I consult her with my skin, is her less is more approach to products and treatments, and how incredibly passionate she is about the concept of beauty.

In Diane’s words, “I believe beauty is my superpower. I feel very strongly about giving people the space and permission to prioritize themselves. I also think as women beauty is our birth right, it does not need to be expensive, packaged up in a trendy look , pushed on us by celebrities or something that takes up a ton of our time. It’s meant to be part of our daily practice, something that grounds us into our power. CARE OF SELF is more sustainable, finding ways to tend to yourself on a regular basis so it becomes part of your skill set to move through this world.”

Feeling beautiful, or even wanting to admit I wanted to feel beautiful, has always been hard for me. Diane embodies the birth right of beauty and her attitude is contagious! We all demonstrate beauty. It is the daily practice of caring for self that exemplifies it.

Our conversation on simple ways to care for your skin (and yourself) was also great reminder about how little time it takes to have radiant skin. Spoiler…start with a washcloth, warm water and one minute.

Key takeaways for me were sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, large hat, hydration, and being gentle with myself. There’s a lot of gems in this episode, as you will hear. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as we did having it.

Make a cup of tea, grab your favorite infused oil, sit back, and listen to this episode of The Herb Walk with Jessica Baker.

If you feel inclined, please become a Patreon supporter and receive information and classes on herbalism, aromatherapy, Chinese medicine, and more!

The 420 Herb Walk Interview with Laura Lagano, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Holistic Cannabis Practitioner

Happy 420 Everyone! I hope you are in a place where you have access to affordable, high quality cannabis and can safely partake without the paranoia of law enforcement. After decades, New York is finally one of those places. When I was there a couple of weeks ago, ganja smoking and selling was Everywhere. A refreshing site after harsh drug penalties and routine shake down from police. There is hope!!

Today’s episode is a great conversation I had with Laura Lagano, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Dietitian Nutritionist, and Holistic Cannabis Practitioner. She is a long time cannabis advocate and her passion for cannabis and nutrition is evident in her outreach and education. Laura shares an intimate story of the profound changes her daughter had with nutritional and lifestyle changes and the help of cannabinoids.

A little about Laura Lagano, from her Website:

As one of a handful of dietitians worldwide to have completed the prestigious Institute of Functional Medicine training program (IFM certification- eligible), Lagano is unique in her ability to integrate nutrition, biochemistry, functional medicine, and cannabis/cannabinoid medicine. Her expertise and passion involves healing the body with alternative practices including food as medicine, orthomolecular nutrition, essential oils, and medical marijuana. Areas of foci for Lagano include Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, chronic inflammation, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and skin and women’s health.

Always ahead of the curve, Lagano was among one of the first dietitians to work in communications back in the go-go ‘80s. She served as the New Jersey Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson and has written for and been quoted in numerous media outlets including The New York Times, Forbes, HuffPost, Stitcher, MerryJane, The Daily Beast, Freedom Leaf, CNN, and NJTV. She writes regularly for Holistic Primary Care and Kitchen Toke about the ancient plant.

Take this opportunity to make a cup of tea, roll one up, and listen to Laura and I share our love of cannabis. Happy 420!

With love,

Jessica Baker

The Herb Walk Podcast Interview with Tre’Von Dorsey and Mercedes Teasley of CEED, Inc.

I had the pleasure of meeting Tre’von Dorsey, COO and Mercedes Teasley, cofounder and CEO of CEED Inc., through a good friend of mine (thanks Jenny!) CEED stands for Community for Entrepreneurs Engaged in Development. CEED is a cloud-based, collaborative project & supply chain management platform that provides direct & alternative pathways to Cannabis & Hemp business ownership for Black entrepreneurs and professionals.

That is the professional way of saying Mercy and Tre’ are bridge builders, dedicated to making sure people of color are educated, encouraged and supported to own cannabis and hemp businesses. The thing that stood out the most to me in our conversation was their mission to change the mindset of their community from cannabis consumer to cannabis entrepreneur. Tre’ and Mercy spoke about how black and brown skinned people have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs and how much more work it takes for them to enter a wealthy, white dominated industry.

Much of the social equity opportunities are still going to companies primarily owned and operated by white people. People of color are given seats on boards so companies can say they are partially owned by “minorities” to gain access to licenses that costs hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

It’s disgusting to me and it’s why organizations like CEED are necessary. We need a digital platform where governments, organizations, and business owners can find and work with cannabis businesses that are actually owned and/or operated by people of color. I am inspired by what Mercy and Tre’ are creating and I am encouraged that businesses with integrity like CEED, will grow in the cannabis space.

If you are a law maker, venture capitalist, seed investor, cannabis entrepreneur, please listen to what Tre’ and Mercy are saying. We need to work together to create a better business model for cannabis, one with less barriers of success for those that have been the most affected by the war on drugs.

Let me know what you think about this week’s episode by leaving a comment or by liking or subscribing toThe Herb Walk Podcast with Jessica Baker

You can also become a Patreon Supporter and receive free classes, videos and consultations. I always appreciate your support!

With Love,

Jessica

Online 6-week Community Herbalism Course

I am excited to announce a 6-week Community Herbalism Course LIVE on Zoom!

Classes will be held Wednesdays between March 2nd-April 6th between 6-8pm CST.

The cost is $120 for the entire course (only $20/class)

Register at Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/263047771967

Use PROMO CODE Community for 20% off!

This is the best group of classes for those interested in incorporating herbal medicine into their daily lives, through food, teas, and topical application. With an emphasis on the energetics of herbalism, we will cover both Western and Chinese herbs. You will find the discussion relevant and useful for you, your family and/or clients. Herbs and essential oils will be introduced.

Week 1: Introduction to Western Herbalism

Week 2: Introduction to Chinese Herbalism

Week 3: Si Qi Wu Wei: Herbal Energetics

Week 4: Nervines & Tonics

Week 5: Exterior Herbs: Treatments for Colds & Flu

Week 6: Introduction to Herbal Formulation

To learn more about Jessica, go to https://www.bakerbotanica.com

To Register https://www.eventbrite.com/e/263047771967

I look forward to seeing you soon,

Jessica

https://www.instagram.com/jessicabaker_herbalist/

Derek Beres

The Herb Walk Podcast Interview with Derek Beres, of The Conspirituality Podcast

What do some evangelical Christians and many wellness influencers have in common?

Many people in these groups have been outsmarted by the social media algorithms. They have chosen to put individual rights over the health and welfare of the masses. A lot of people have witnessed a pandemic that has killed millions of people worldwide and have chosen to deny the truth.

As an acupuncturist, herbalist, and primary care provider, I am extremely disappointed by many people in the “wellness industry.” For example, one of the most toxic things I have heard some friends, wellness influencers and spiritually minded people say is, “The government can’t tell me what to do. I am a sovereign being.” Really? Please ask the Sovereign Nations that reside alongside us how their communities fared during the pandemic.  I recently had to walk away from a women’s gathering I have been part of for years over their self-righteous belief of their health sovereignty. I cannot be part of a group that puts their right to live and thrive over everyone else’s. 

It is the attitude of superiority, of I over Us that  is the epitome of how problematic our society is. To put yourself over the health of your community, to believe that your right to live is more important that someone of color, or disability, or poverty, or poor health, is awful. It makes me sad to think people I love believe this.

I partially blame social media. People held these beliefs beforehand of course, but social media is designed to put controversy and drama to the top of everyone’s “news” feed. The developers of the algorithms have created a virtual world of discord, misinformation and lies so users will stay on their sites longer and argue over politics, race, COVID, anything that ensures you stay engaged.

I have been grappling with this issue for some time now, and as you can tell, I am still charged by it. It has been one reason that I haven’t spent much time engaging online the last two years. 

In my latest episode of The Herb Walk, I interview Derek Beres, one of the co-hosts of The Conspirituality Podcast. Derek and I spoke about his new book, Hero’s Dose: The Case for Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy, the Conspirituality Podcast and the dangers of misinformation by social media influencers, and Chinese Medicine. While I don’t agree with everything Derek, Matthew Remski and Julian Walker say on their podcast (especially when it comes to Traditional Chinese Medicine), I appreciate the work they are doing. They are leading the conversation on how rampant and dangerous misinformation is in the wellness industry.

The Conspirituality Podcast isn’t always easy to listen to, but it is important that we hear what they have to say. We must come back to common sense. We must hold ourselves accountable for thinking, believing, and acting like our well-being is all that matters, even if it means affecting (and infecting) others. We must care for those not as healthy, able bodied, or privileged as we are.

To the wellness influencers, politicians and others that gain followers, fame or monetary gain by perpetuating these lies,

“May the algorithms spit you to the bottom of the pile so you can’t infect others with your ignorance and cruelty. May knowledge, kindness and a sense of community prevail.”

Before listening, take some deep breaths, sit back with a joint and/or a cup of tea, and enjoy (or try to!) this episode of The Herb Walk Podcast. Conversations are not always easy, but they are necessary for the sake of our society.

With love,

Jessica

PS. If you haven’t watched the Social Dilemma, please do! The insights into the creators of social media are invaluable. 

Return of The Herb Walk Podcast: Dr. Ethan Russo Interview

The Herb Walk Podcast is back with Season Five! It has been an incredibly challenging year and a half since Season Four ended with a conversation with my good friend Greg Davidson. I have attempted to write blog posts, engage on social media, record interviews, all do all of the things I love to do. Reluctance, fear, sadness, despair, confusion, irritation, rage- all of these emotions arise with the first touch of the keyboard. 

Like so many of you I have had loved ones pass away. I have grown distant from friends and family, due to proximity or idealogical beliefs. I have been pushed to a new edge and it has taken me a while to come back to this space. I am glad to be back sharing my love of nature and herbalism with you once again. 

I have Big news- The Herb Walk is now on Patreon!  All of my podcasts will still be free of charge, but if you are able to become a contributor, I greatly appreciate it. I pride myself on being ad free, but it isn’t always easy to produce a podcast that isn’t monetized in any way. As a contributor you will receive monthly educational resources, free classes, essential oil blends (first 10 subscribers or everyone in the highest tier) and a business or health consultation (highest tier only).

After a long hiatus I am thrilled to start Season Five with a phone interview I had with Dr. Ethan Russo earlier this year. Many of you know Dr. Russo is an expert in cannabis and neurology, and has been on the forefront of cannabis research since the 1970’s. What you may not know is that he is a plant guy! While understanding the need for reductionism in science, he also believes that whole plant medicine is important (Entourage effect anyone?)

I sat down with Ethan (via Zoom) and discussed how he began his career, breakthroughs in cannabis research and what is happening with his new cannabis company, CreDo Science. We also chatted about what herbs he likes for himself, aromatic plants and navigating a business during this challenging time. He is a well-house of knowledge and I am honored to bring this conversation to you.

With that, make yourself  a cup of warm cup of tea, then sit back, and enjoy my conversation with  Dr. Ethan Russo! If you feel inspired, leave me a comment and share the episode with a friend. 

P.S. Sneak peak ahead on Season Five- Interviews with Derek Beres of Conspirituality, Willow Meili of The Grief Well, and Chip Baker of The Real Dirt Podcast. There will be other guests and solo episodes like Herbs for Winter, readings from my book, Plant Songs: Reflections on Herbal Medicine, and the latest research on Chinese herbs and acupuncture.

The Herb Walk Podcast is now on Patreon!

Season Five of The Herb Walk Podcast is coming next week! Jessica Baker, acupuncturist, herbalist and cannabis expert is back with another season about the intricate relationship between people and plants. Subscribe to hear interviews with experts like Ethan Russo, Mindy Green, Dr. Lakisha Jenkins, Derek Beres, and more.  This is the premier podcast on […]

The Herb Walk: 420 Episode with Greg Davidson

This is not the 420 any of us expected to have in 2020. At my dispensary (which I temporarily closed down during the stay at home order in OKC), it was supposed to be 420 all month long! Daily specials with people in and out. April hasn’t been the party us cannabis enthusiasts wanted it to be, but there is still much to celebrate. Like our health!

Instead of gathering together and puffing tuff, many of us are alone or only with those we live with. Technology has become more of our friend, as it brings us closer to friends and family with Zoom, FaceTime, and of course, Podcasts.

I had the pleasure of speaking with my long time friend, Greg Davidson. Greg is a cannabis connoisseur, grower, and advocate. He has used medical cannabis since 1984 when he became paralyzed from a car accident. Greg also beat cancer in 2018 using a well rounded approach of allopathic and herbal medicine, cannabis, appropriate foods and a heroic strength of character. We discuss his experiences as a cannabis user and medical patient over the last few decades as stigmas against cannabis has shifted.

My interview with Greg happened before COVID19 shut down the US. Our conversation about gathering at cannabis events and being at trim scenes brings a smile to my face. I am reminded of how wonderful it is to be with family, friends and those we love. I look forward to 4-20-2021 where we will gather again.

Until then, roll it up, sit back and enjoy this episode of The Herb Walk with Jessica Baker! If you feel inspired, Subscribe, leave a review and share with your friends.

With a legal smile,

Jessica Baker

Staying Calm in Times of Uncertainty

We all feel it. The collective unease that ebbs and flows with news reports and new cases. The unknown that lies ahead as we see what our country and others do in order to prepare for sweeping changes that are necessary right now. There are some things you can do right now to make yourself feel more calm.

Seven Steps to Staying Centered

1. Take a Deep Breath

Seriously. It’s the first thing you need to do to start releasing tension in your mind and body. Breathe. 

2. Acknowledge Your Emotions

Whatever they are, know that these feelings are at least partially fueling your thoughts and actions. These emotions are going to be your strength and your weakness as you adapt to the necessary changes that are coming in the days and months ahead. 

3. Breathe Again

Breathe again. Breathe deeply and slowly this time. Drop your shoulders and take a deep belly breath. 

4. Be Prepared To Stay At Home More 

We have to accept that we need to limit exposure to those over 60 and those without strong immune systems. Top researchers are predicting 1.5 million Americans could die from COVID-19 in the next year. How we live and move in the world is going to change, probably for longer than we are comfortable with. 

 Stock up on water and non-perishable items, but do not hoard. Have on hand enough food for several weeks, if not longer. You will be surprised what a little extra food in the pantry can do for your psyche. Think canned- fruits, vegetables, soup and tuna. I am in rural Oklahoma currently and I was surprised how many inexpensive organic options I found at the local Walmart. Much less expensive than Whole Foods or Sprouts, and no one was buying the organic things anyway.

5. Be Creative With Your Time 

Have books and crafts as fun and distractions instead of always using the Internet as your only outlet. Social media does bring a sense of community, but there is also a lot of misinformation and fear spreading, which is counterproductive to staying calm. Grab that dusty guitar out of the closet and start playing again. Play cards and board games. Do arts and crafts. Stretch, do Qi Gong, Dance. Remember what it is like to be entertained and feel connected without a screen. 

6. Call Your Friends and Family

Don’t text them. Call them. Tell them you miss and love them. FaceTime or Skype them if you need a visual check-in. Laugh and Cry with them. Breathe together. 

7. Help Others and Ask For Help

There are many people that can’t afford to stock up on extra food or buy first-aid supplies. Many cities have programs to support those in need. Find out where drop-off centers are in your area and encourage your friends, family, and church members to each donate something. Big or small it will make a difference in someone’s life.

If you are one of those people in need. Ask for help. Whether it’s for extra groceries or just a quick call to tell you it’s going to be ok. Reach out. There is no shame or guilt in asking for help. It takes courage and wisdom to know when you can’t do it alone. Reach out.

There are resources like The Grief Support Network, which is offering free grief circles every day for the next few weeks. They also have a free Peer Support Program if you need mentor support. If you have the experience and feel called, become a mentor for someone grieving.

No act of kindness is too small in stressful times. We are all in this together, even if we are encouraged to stand 3 feet apart!

For now, drink your herbal tea, breathe, and smile at people. We all need it.

With love,

Jessica

The Herb Walk Podcast: Jessica Talks Cannabis (& Busts Some Myths Too)

This may be one of my best episodes. Or maybe it isn’t. You tell me.

I share my journey with Cannabis, from young college activist to mid 40’s entrepreneur. I also bust three big myths about cannabis that I read on the internet and hear from patients everyday. Hint…CBD is one of them.

I have been educating people about cannabis a long time and lately I am amazed by the nonsense I read on the internet! Misinformation spreads like wildfire and the perceived reputable cannabis sources regurgitate falsehoods as facts. It’s really disheartening to know that marketing and advertising companies are where people are getting their cannabis knowledge.

Operating Bakers Medical Dispensary and The Clone Room, a clone nursery in Oklahoma City has been a huge learning experience for me. It is exhilarating and exhausting. It feels good to be working so hard for a plant I love so much. It is an absolute pleasure and privilege to do what I do everyday. I look forward to seeing where Cannabis takes me!

Enough of that. It’s time to listen. If you partake, sit back, light up, and enjoy this episode of The Herb Walk with Jessica Baker!

With Love,

Jessica

The Herb Walk Podcast Interview with Ellie McDaniel of Smokey Okie’s

This last year in Oklahoma has been really eye-opening. My experience with cannabis business people has been either seasoned growers and heads that love weed and the outlaw lifestyle or pink shirt executives that got a whiff of the green greed and want in. Oklahoma has been vastly different.

Many of the cannabis business owners here are normal folks. Maybe they smoke weed, maybe they don’t. Oil money is present for sure, but the majority of people I have encountered got a license because the level of entry was low (cannabis licenses are only $2500), there were very few hoops to jump through, and they saw a unique opportunity and ran with it. There is also some of that outlaw, don’t tell me what to do attitude, that has made Oklahoma a great place to be in the cannabis industry.

I first met Ellie McDaniel of Smokey Okie’s when I visited her grow facility to see if I wanted to give an invitation for an interview. Right away I liked her. She impressed me with her enthusiasm to jump head first into a business she had never engaged in before. Growing good ganja isn’t as easy as people think and with only a year’s knowledge of growing cannabis, she has positioned herself as one of the leading cannabis wholesalers in Oklahoma.

If you have been interested in what is happening in Oklahoma and cannabis then sit back, smoke out and enjoy this episode of The Herb Walk with Jessica Baker.

To find out more about what I’m doing with cannabis, check out https://www.bakersmedical.com

With love,

Jessica

A Holistic Approach to Cannabis: The Herb Walk Podcast Interview with Doctor LeTa Jussila

Cannabis has been recorded as a medicinal herb in Chinese Medicine for two thousand years. We know that Cannabis has been cultivated by humans in Southeast Asia for over 10,000 years. Needless to say, we have a very long history of utilizing Cannabis for its medicinal, edible, and psychoactive properties. Here we are in 2020 still mystified by the cannabinoids and terpenoids (and unknown constituents) that help create the myriad uses of the Cannabis plant!

I am thrilled that other health professionals are as interested in the medicinal uses of Cannabis as I am. One of my colleagues and fellow Five Branches alumni, Dr. LeTa Jussila works with her clients using the principles of Chinese medicine, nutrition, and Western medicine to create a personalized health plan for her clients.

During our conversation, I learned what inspired Dr. LeTa to pursue a career in Chinese Medicine and how she came to use Cannabis in her medicine chest. Dr. LeTa and I discussed the importance of a holistic approach to working with Cannabis and the other activities, foods, and herbs that affect the Endocannabinoid System.

It was also inspiring to geek out with another practitioner of Chinese Medicine! Make sure to check out Dr. LeTa and all of her offerings. You will be glad you did.

As always, please Subscribe and Listen to The Herb Walk Podcast with Jessica Baker. If you feel inclined, leave a review on iTunes.

With Love,

Jessica

The Herb Walk Podcast Interview with Arcillia Miller, program director of OK Women Cann

Moving to Oklahoma has been a huge change for me. I am still processing all of the setbacks, challenges and infinite rewards that are part of being in business for yourself.Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. It is hard work and requires patience, vigilance, and sacrifices.

It took a few months longer than anticipated to get Bakers Medical cannabis dispensary and clone nursery up and running in Oklahoma City. I was extremely stressed about what the delays were costing us and am now elated (and exhausted) that we got it open before the end of the year!

A week after the dispensary opened, I am happy to release the first episode of Season 3 of The Herb Walk with Jessica Baker! The season begins with Arcillia Miller, the program coordinator of OK Women Cann. The mission of OK Women Cann is to serve and empower women, providing women with opportunities to network and connect, educate, and promote a strong female representation within our industry.

OK Women Cann provides vital community outreach with their Little Buds and Sweet Sweet Sisters. The Little Buds Project is specifically created to provide financial assistance to eligible families so their children can start or continue to receive the medical benefits derived through medical cannabis, cod/hemp products. The Little Buds Project offers payments for medical recommendation office visits, as well as, further education on the benefits and administration of cannabis as medicine. The Sweet Sisters program, along with community support, hopes to reach Oklahoma women who may not have the ability or opportunity to become Cannamed educated and/or licensed due to disability or financial constraints.

A huge thank you to Arcillia Miller and OK Women Cann for taking the time to share their work with us.

Whether you are traveling to see friends and family or having a quiet holiday at home, may you be filled with the warmth of the season.

Wherever you are, please Subscribe to The Herb Walk and Leave a Review!

With love,

Jessica

Talking Indica and Sativa on The Real Dirt Podcast

I never get tired of talking about weed. Hearing other people talk about cannabis these days is kind of tedious though (especially when they’re uninformed). Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE what is happening with ganja and hemp right now, but I am growing weary from all of the misinformation that is Still being perpetuated (thanks weedmaps and leafly).

Chip Baker, the host of The Real Dirt Podcast, is one of my best resources for all things cannabis. I’m also lucky enough to be his wife, so we talk endlessly about our favorite weed strains, what’s happening with the hemp market (ouch!), what we’re going to grow next time..

This canna-conversation was all about taxonomy (indica, sativa, rhuderalis, et al) and how the collective idea about sativa and indica is just plain Wrong. I try not to get too upset about the ignorance, since decades of prohibition have warped our understanding of cannabis as a plant. This topic has already annoyed a great many. Changing our understanding of something is hard. Yet it is our duty to overcome the lies and myths that come along with prohibition. Whatever your opinion is on the subject, there is Always more to learn.

Listen to this episode with an open mind and a fat joint. Then please subscribe to The Real Dirt (and The Herb Walk) and leave a review letting Chip and I know what you think!

With love,

Jessica

PS: Today is Cinco de Drinko: On this date in 1993, the 21st amendment was ratified to end the prohibition of alcohol!

Slow Down You Must

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by how quickly the year has gone by. I am not where I imagined myself to be by the end of 2019. Since my timeline projections for opening the Bakers Medical dispensary have not been achieved, I find myself anxious with the nearing of December.  I also thought I would feel more settled in Oklahoma and be farther along with the formulation of my Baker Botanica herbal products. My attitude towards these displeasures has intensified with each passing day. 

There is a cliché about time going by faster as you age. I would have agreed with you last week when I was rushing around from one task to the next. Then on Friday I broke my toe. I was moving too fast, not paying attention, lifting a heavy object, and WHAM! Broke my right big toe. 

Time doesn’t move nearly as fast when I’m laid up on the couch, only able to accomplish tasks that can be done by computer or phone. No pacing the office, walking back and forth from the office to the dispensary, making tea when my heart desires. My mind, once unsettled with thoughts of “too much to do” has become disturbed in a different way. The reality that I have to stay seated to ensure my toe will heal quickly is an affront to my mental state. 

 Which makes me remember that I haven’t been exercising enough. Now that I can’t put any weight on my foot, I have the overwhelming urge to run, jump rope, do plank, anything but sit around. What I really need to do is chill, breathe, meditate, and drink my herbal tea.

Once my Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) arrives I will make a poultice and put it on my foot to speed the healing of the broken bone. If you’re interested on how to make a poultice, check out my Youtube video

The word symphytum is derived from sympho, “I grow together.” Comfrey is commonly called knitbone and I look forward to experiencing her medicine first hand. Over the years I have used Comfrey many times in salves and I like to add it to digestive teas. In recent years, the internal use of Comfrey has declined to containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids, but I will still add it to a tea blend if the anti-inflammatory benefits of knitbone are required.

For now, I’m going to accept my limitations of movement and be grateful for the opportunity to slow down.

While you’re slowing down, enjoy this interview with Mindy Green, aromatherapist and herbalist, from Season One of The Herb Walk.

With love,

Jessica 

The Herb Walk Podcast: Re-release of Interview with Monticue Connally

Season One Replay continues with an interview with one of my favorite Denver herbalists, Monticue Connally. His approach to herbalism (and life) is inspiring to anyone that appreciates the spiritual side of the work.

Samhain, or Halloween is the perfect time to sit back with a steaming cup of tea to listen to this episode about working with herbs and spirits. Monticue gifts us with him rapping too!

All you ghouls have fun out there tonight!

Witchy love,

Jessica

The Herb Walk Podcast Season One Re-Release: Jane Bothwell Interview

I am re-releasing Season One of The Herb Walk Podcast because for some reason it is not showing up on iTunes or Stitcher any longer. I don’t want you to miss out on some amazing interviews with people like Jane Bothwell, Mindy Green, Julie Caldwell, Monticue Connelly and so many others.

Jane Bothwell was my very first herb teacher! Way back in 1998 I took her Beginning with Herbs class through the Dandelion Herbal Center and my entire life changed. You will know why Jane is revered as an herb teacher and a mentor after listening to this episode!

Season Two will be re-released soon since they are also no longer available through iTunes or Stitcher. Season Three recordings have begun and I should have a new episode to you soon. I’m excited to be back in the studio (even if I’m super distracted by everything else I’m doing!)

With love,

Jessica

The Return of Autumn

I’m back after a long summer hiatus! I didn’t expect it to be so long, but it has seriously felt like summer until just a couple of days ago. Oklahoma summers are no joke! After months of extreme heat and high winds, the mornings and evenings are now cool and our long work days in the garden are winding down. I just froze the last of the okra harvest (no-not mine, but some gems from a sweet old man I met at his Davenport roadside stand).

We have begun the harvest of our Legal cannabis garden. I’ve been growing medical cannabis for two decades and I am as excited today as when I first began. Most of the outdoor plants have been trimmed and are ready to be sold at our dispensary, Bakers Medical. The hoop houses are still a few weeks from being ready. I suspect they will turn out even better than the outdoor plants. I am ecstatic about our first harvest season here in Oklahoma!

Our dispensary should be open anytime now. Just waiting on a couple more inspections and we should be good to go. I will breathe a deep sigh of relief once we Finally up and running! Once we’re open- send your Oklahoma City friends (with a medical card) to Bakers Medical!

So now you know what I’ve been busy doing all summer. Trying to run multiple cannabis businesses, while continuing to teach, write and relax by our ponds. New episodes of The Herb Walk Podcast are in the works and will be released in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for interviews and musings on herbalism, Chinese medicine, and cannabis.

For those that want to hear an interview with me on MindBody Radio, tune in live Tuesday October 15th at 4:15 CDT!

To learn more about Autumn (and the Metal Element) according to Chinese medicine, check out my Metal Element episode of The Herb Walk with Jessica Baker.

Much love,

The Return of Autumn

Jessica