Deep in the Amazon Rainforest, John Easterling’s life took an unexpected turn when he stumbled into a Shipibo village sick with a fever. The fever stemmed from a bout with hepatitis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever from which he had never fully recovered. Native healers served him wild herbal teas, and brought his health to a new level of life experience.
Ten years and dozens of trips to the Amazon later, John commits daily to living a vision larger than himself. Sharing the healing miracles of the rainforest, Amazon John champions a growing effort to preserve the Amazon Rainforest, empower indigenous people and bring optimal health to all. Founder and CEO of the Amazon Herb Company, John travels internationally speaking on how wild rainforest herbs can offer us a new level of life experience. His story and example of unparalleled health serves as inspiration and the herbal treasures he shares change lives.
In this month’s interview, we’re going to find out how John came to uncover the true gems of the Amazon Rainforest and how his work may help save the forest from future destruction.
Sylva Dvorak: Many of our values and outlooks are formed in childhood. What role did your parents, friends, teachers and mentors play in your outlook on health, wealth and spirituality?
John Easterling: I was very fortunate that I had good influences when I was very young. I had great parents, a great sister and brother. Every Sunday morning we would all gather up and go down to church. I was exposed to really good people in the church and the schools I went to.
I always enjoyed the outdoors so I got involved in scouting and camping. Camping was a big thing with me. Early on it taught me a lot about respect for nature and also about responsibility.
Fiscal responsibility was also taught in our family early on. We weren’t wealthy, but we had books for school, shoes on our feet. We were comfortable. I bought my first mutual fund with ten dollars when I was 12 years old. I also began to recognize how a free market places value on time and resources.
Sylva Dvorak: Who has been the most influential person in your life – the person who has most affected the person you are today?
John Easterling: I’d say that would be my dad. He was a highly decorated fighter pilot in his younger days and was shot down in Germany in WWII. I grew up hearing stories about flying in combat. I learned from him about survival and determination, perseverance and honor. Those were things that always endeared my dad to me. I’d say he still remains the biggest figure in my life.
Sylva Dvorak: Your dad was a pilot and I know you fly. What is it about flying that you love so much?
John Easterling: Flying is great therapy. It takes 100 percent concentration to keep up with the radio work and the weather and navigation systems and flying the airplane. I find that level of concentration pushes everything else out of my mind, so when I land I’m really clear.
Flying airplanes has also taught me a lot about myself-about my own discipline and about my own emotional control. When things aren’t going right-if there’s an electrical malfunction or a problem with the navigation system-it’s a personal challenge to see my way through the problem. It takes a lot of discipline.
I also love the feeling of being weightless and moving fast. It’s a different experience when I’m up high and looking down and seeing the world from that perspective.
Sylva Dvorak: I can only imagine. Let’s talk a little about books. What are the most important books you’ve read?
John Easterling: Well the most important book would be the Bible. Napoleon Hills’ classic book, Think and Grow Rich also had immediate and lasting value for me. Then of course there is Lost Trails, Lost Cities by Colonel Fawcett. Colonel Fawcett wrote this book in the early 1900s. He was an English explorer who was looking for the lost city of Atlantis and advanced civilizations in the jungles of Central and South America. He made seven major expeditions into different jungle regions and explored Peru, Ecuador and Brazil.
Sylva Dvorak: Is that part of what inspired you to travel to the Amazon?
John Easterling: Definitely. I’ve always enjoyed traveling and I’ve always had some connection with South America. When I was very young, I dreamed of discovering lost cities of gold in South America. I was fascinated by the mysteries and legends of the ancient civilizations of the Incas of Peru. After I graduated from college, I sold my car, bought a ticket and headed to Ecuador.
Sylva Dvorak: What did you do during your early adventures in South America?
John Easterling: I didn’t find the lost cities or the gold, but I enjoyed the journey! On my first trip, I spent my last bit of money on some locally produced sweaters and scarves, which I brought back to the states and sold. With the money I made, I bought a ticket and returned to South America. I was able to subsidize my search for treasures for several years by bringing back handicrafts to sell in the states.
A few years later, I got involved in some archaeological digs of the Chimu and Moche periods of very ancient civilizations. We began bringing back some pre-Columbian textiles and artifacts for museums and private collectors in the States. At about the same time, I started my first company, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Later I went up over the Andes and back into Brazil and Uruguay to purchase gemstones-tourmaline, quartz crystal, rose quartz and a lot of amethyst. I also started moving into the Amazon basin and worked with local Indians gathering tribal artifacts and ceramics to bring back to the States.
Sylva Dvorak: How did it happen that you went from collecting ancient treasures to working with the indigenous people to harvest their wild botanicals?
John Easterling: During one of my journeys in the Amazon Basin, I had a recurring fever, sweats and extreme weakness. This was especially hard on me because I already had severely compromised health from a near-death experience with hepatitis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever years before.
I managed to stumble into a Shipibo Indian village. The villagers who knew me were shocked to see me in this condition. They took care of me and fed me some healing herbal teas. By drinking the rainforest tea for the next ten days I regained my health. My health improved to the point that I became stronger than I had been in years. My energy and mental sharpness came back. I also felt more grounded. That’s when I realized I had been completely surrounded by the real treasure all these years-the life-giving botanicals of the forest itself.
Sylva Dvorak: Is that when you decided to create the Amazon Herb Company?
John Easterling: No, not right away. It was after I met Nicole Maxwell, an ethnobotanist and explorer who spent 40 years researching the medicinal plants of the Amazon. Nicole and I traveled to the rainforest together when she was 83 years old and she inspired me with her vision to share these herbal treasures with millions of people.
Soon after I founded the Amazon Herb Company. Over the last 14 years we’ve become the largest importer of Amazonian herbs. Right now more than 50 plants are being used successfully to help benefit tens of thousands of people every month.
Sylva Dvorak: Do you think the herbs will continue to become a more vital commodity here in America?
John Easterling: I believe the exploration of the Amazon Rainforest and the discoveries it yields will be recorded by history as the most dramatic story of our century. I am confident of this because of two simple facts: 1) degenerative disease is the leading cause of death in the modern world; and 2) the Amazon Rainforest is the richest source of nutrients and life energy on our planet.
Our quality of life in the United States is being affected by degenerative disease, chronic pain, obesity, weakened immune function and an absence of vitality. These conditions are due in large part to two main problems. Weakened immune systems are due to environmental toxicity which is at an all time high and the nutritional content of our food supply is at an all-time low. Our diet has become so deficient that our organs are essentially starving to death.
In contrast to our toxic environment and nutrient-poor food supply, the wild rainforest plants grow in virgin soil composting for millennia, free from mechanical disruption, chemicals and pesticides. They provide unique phyto-nutrition not present in our domestically grown foods. Our bodies require this wild nutrition to restore our health.
Sylva Dvorak: How is your company helping to preserve the Amazon Rainforest?
John Easterling: We’re making it financially advantageous to preserve the rainforest. Consider that an acre of Rainforest used for cattle grazing is valued at $60. That same acre used for logging is worth $400. But when it is used to sustain wild-craft herbs, its value increases to $2,400!
Our model of ecological commerce and Rainforest preservation is now a proven model for a healthy future. Partnering with indigenous rainforest communities with a common vision and goal that provides incentives to support a healthy rainforest is a winning strategy that works.
We’ve proven that the rainforest is worth more alive than dead. So far, our company has stabilized and preserved 1000’s of acres of rainforest. This model can continue to work generations into the future. We are committed to duplicating our success in other communities.
Sylva Dvorak: John, what is your vision and hope for the people in the Amazon? What is your big dream?
John Easterling: Imagine hundreds of thousands of acres of living rainforest that are officially deeded to its original inhabitants. Imagine thousands of indigenous peoples having the security of knowing their land is protected. Imagine how they feel knowing they have new choices they can make regarding their future.
As they become more and more empowered, over the next 10 or 15 years, these communities could rise to the level of having such power and influence that they could be calling the shots. This is the next generation of empowerment that’s just beginning to start. I know it’s going to play out in a very powerful and positive way.
Sylva Dvorak: How does keeping a balance between health, wealth and spirituality play a role in your personal and professional life.
John Easterling: Health, wealth and spirituality all really tie together. Life is an ongoing journey-a spiritual journey-and the things you focus on are the things you manifest. The health aspect is obviously very important, and I learned quite a bit about that from my near-death experience. When you don’t have health, you begin to realize the value of wellness. Being able to do things with the right consciousness and allowing time for spiritual devotion is very important. To me, balance means having the peace of mind that comes when each of these areas are being lived and experienced fully.
Sylva Dvorak: Do you feel you are at that place right now?
John Easterling: I feel that finding balance in life is a journey. Depending on life circumstances, health, wealth and spirituality are always expanding and contracting on a smaller scale, and always expansive in the direction of the major trend. The important constant is that each of these areas is always present. Balance is not a static activity, it is dynamic by definition and therefore attention and adjustments always necessary. I’ve disciplined myself to allow the time and space to appreciate the value of each of these principles.
Sylva Dvorak: Has fear ever held you back from achieving your goals?
John Easterling: Yes, fear is a great paralyzer, a great robber of dreams. People fear that their actions will have a bad outcome. I’m very fortunate to have had a near death experience because it really helped me overcome fear-it took away my fear of dying. That in turn took away my fear of living. Most people fear their own death. You see the reality of it is that dying is just a myth. No one really dies, we just transition. A big lesson here is that when it’s all said and done, what really matters is forgiveness and love. So in the big picture getting in touch with your personal greatness and pursuing your dreams is risk free.
Sylva Dvorak: Can you share with us one of your recent accomplishments?
John Easterling: Actually, we’re celebrating our greatest landmark victory to date. After three years of work, 13,000 acres of land have been deeded to the idyllic rainforest community of Porvenir, which has a population of 149 people. This changes the whole future of that community because now they are financially secure in the rainforest. That’s a life-changing experience for them, for me, for the Amazon Herb Company and for all our associates.
It has been a roller coaster ride full of high adventures and personal drama. Even as we celebrate our recent accomplishments, we know that this is just a benchmark on a long, wonderful journey into the future.
Sylva Dvorak: That is a tremendous accomplishment. How do you overcome the challenges you face along the way?
John Easterling: I think I overcome my fears and challenges by knowing I have an internal strength that will see me through. I believe everyone has this strength. I guess it also helps to know that as long I’m doing something, I can’t lose.
Sylva Dvorak: We know that intentions are very powerful. Have you used intentions to manifest outcomes?
John Easterling: Absolutely. Once I set an intention and demonstrate the courage and commitment to take action, then things start shifting and new opportunities open up that never would have before. Circumstances change in my favor as long as my intent and commitment are clear and I demonstrate that by taking action.
Sylva Dvorak: What is your current most important project and what intention would you like the readers to hold with you?
John Easterling: Right now, my intent is to expose these Amazonian herbs to millions of people to assist with their health. My message is that there is new hope for many of the degenerative diseases that people are dealing with. First, people can enjoy a level of health they never thought they could before. Second, I like to see what happens when people get in touch with their own personal greatness. As an entrepreneur myself, I love to see the entrepreneurial spirit awaken in others. For them to stand up with faith, vision, courage and commitment. To step into their personal power-that’s a very strong part of this whole vision.
The final benefit of spreading the word about the power of these treasures is that the more people we touch with these herbs, the more we are able to do in the rainforest. Now that we are providing the indigenous people with resources for the sustainable and ecological harvesting of medicinal plants, they have an ongoing stream of revenue. This restores their sense of dignity and provides them with an opportunity to make new choices about their future. These are possibilities they haven’t had a chance to explore in many years.
Sylva Dvorak: Can you share three things you know now that you wish you had known earlier in life?
1) That life’s most abundant and best rewards are available to each of us, 2) That it’s vital to turn dreams into plans, plans into goals, and goals into actions; and 3) Not to waste time with negative people.
Sylva Dvorak: Very important advice. Do you have a favorite quote?
John Easterling: My favorite quote is, Sailboats are safest when they are moored in the harbor, but that’s not what sailboats were made for.
Sylva Dvorak: That’s a great quote. Can you share the vision you have of yourself and of your company in the future?
John Easterling: I’m really excited to know that the herbs coming out of the Amazon are really going to impact people’s lives in a big, big way. Not only in the United States, but also around the world. And I’m excited about taking this message to other parts of the world.
I also envision hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs involved in this effort. They are going to create an abundance in their lives, and the wealth they are going to create as they go forward with their own personal dreams will activate good works for others.
Sylva Dvorak: Is there something specific, personally, that you would like to accomplish?
John Easterling: I’d like to finish writing my book.
Sylva Dvorak: I’m sure it’ll be of great interest to a lot of people. If you could give our readers one piece of advice on how to move toward a balanced abundance in their lives, what would it be?
John Easterling: To begin with gratitude. In other words, be grateful for all the things we have today. I’m not hungry; millions of people are hungry. I’m not in jail, many are. I have a place to live; many people don’t have a place to live. Just start with the basics, the many freedoms that you have.
I’m grateful for the gift I have and because I’ve been given a gift, I want to share a gift. I want to share my skills, my talents and my resources with other people. When you receive a gift I think it’s natural to want to give back to others.
Sylva Dvorak: Are there any parting thoughts you want to share with our readers?
John Easterling: Today we have such a broad scope of options and opportunities like never before in the history of mankind. So whatever people think, they can achieve. Whatever intention they set, they can achieve. Everyone can have a significant impact on the world. It’s just a matter of demonstrating the courage and commitment and taking action.
Sylva Dvorak: Thank you John. Thank you for all you are doing to make a difference. I personally feel very inspired by the work you’re doing helping the indigenous people in the Amazon Rainforest and with the message and healing botanicals you are spreading throughout the world.
Because of your work, people have an opportunity to better understand the largest, richest, most biologically diverse ecosystem on Earth-and the value of keeping it alive. People can begin to realize the benefits of a more secure source of oxygen, clean air, botanicals and phyto-nutrients that have the potential to reverse the frightening trend of disease. I think it’s important that the readers know that we are realizing these benefits now, today.
Your adventures and hard work with the indigenous peoples has helped to build the infrastructure to affect positive, lasting change. Your story is an inspiring one and the herbal treasures you share are truly changing lives.
John Easterling: Thank you.
For a FREE info pack with samples call: 1.866.800.2836. or log onto: www.amazonabundance.com
Why Choose Amazon Herb Formulas?
These Rainforest Bio-energetic herbs are wild plants from virgin soil. They provide the most usable form of nutrients I have ever encountered since mother’s milk.
– Dr. Eric Innes, D.C.
- Quality nutrition from the most fertile Eco-system on the planet
- Ecologically and sustainably harvested by Indigenous tribes
- Purely prepared using ancient Spagyric process
- 10% of company’s net profits used for rainforest preservation
I have never found any herbs that compare with these Amazon Herbs.
– Marvin Portner, M.D.
Our vision is to offer the world life-changing herbal remedies, economically support indigenous cultures, and preserve the rain forest. There are many ways to partner with the Amazon Herb Company.