OUR STORY

Hi Dianne and Elizabeth, It was great meeting you both yesterday! I’ve been using my Rapid Heal first aid cream for bug bites and heat rash, love it!!
Emily Dreblow
Owner, Soulflower Floral Design, San Francisco, CA”

This is our story with CBD in Panama.  Organic herbal medicine as part of a healthy, vibrant lifestyle is central to the vision of Finca Luz. With this in mind, we created our own brand of organic herbal remedies and skin care products under the name of Cloud Forest Botanicals CBD Panama in 2012.

How did this happen?

Cloud Forest Botanicals was born on Finca Luz in 2008. Within the rolling borders of Finca Luz, there are multiple micro ecosystems. It is possible within the nine acre farm to walk through a mountain hardwood forest of towering trees dripping with wild orchids, purple and red epiphytes, and shading an under-story of wild gingers and exotic heliconias, then to meander through a meadow planted with rows and rows of Arabica coffee trees, pick a bunch of bananas, and eat an orange or a guava; and then finally to sit by a reflecting pond in a natural wetlands where springs encourage wildlife to water, frogs to spawn and papyrus, elephant ears, lilies and God knows what else to grow with abandon.

It is the “God knows what else” that gave inspiration to Cloud Forest Botanicals.

We, Elizabeth Worley and Dianne Heidke, the founders of CFB, have been living here in Panama for years. Dianne, from Queensland, Australia, has always been keen on knowing plants, knowing their scientific as well as common names, and knowing what they were good for. She worked for years in a botanical research facility, learning the how, what and why of plants. Elizabeth, from the temperate rainforest of western North Carolina, spent much of her life wandering those mountains, learning the names of trees and wildflowers, and just generally feeling comfortable knowing where she was and what surrounded her. She once owned a health food store in Brevard, NC and studied herbal medicine with several Cherokee Indian medicine people and a few ‘granny women’ back in the mountains.

Bienvenidos! to Panama, where we found that many of the local trees and plants were unfamiliar and the local names of none were known. Oh, there was some familiarity with some…but out of context. What to make of a twenty-foot tall philodendron climbing the side of an unusual oak—only recognized as such because there are acorns on the ground? Clumps of wild elephant ears the size of Buicks, just hanging out in the valley? Hibiscus bushes two stories tall? Poinsetta trees? So, even the few identifiable plant varieties were strange and alien. Weird, really. And then, there was all this other vegetation that we just flat out didn’t know. We would walk around. What’s this? What’s this? And, that over there, what’s that? And, what’s it for?

our story with CBD in Panama cloud forest botanicals
working on the cloud forest botanicals farm

Another teacher appeared. A tall, strange man—half gringo, half Panamanian—who had spent the last 30 odd years tromping through the jungles, studying with curanderos (local medicine doctors), formulating herbal remedies using plants that healed. Modern pharmaceuticals, he decided, were too expensive and often unavailable for many people living in the Highlands of Panama. Frank Gruber Chiari, reckoned that we were serious enough inquirers to share knowledge with. He helped us identify plants, gave us a few herbal remedy recipes, steered us in certain directions, and hinted at mysteries we were too “young” in the field of herbalism to know. He also introduced us to Doña Maria, the famous 101-year-old curandera living in the El Valle area of Panama. At a mere four and half feet tall, this tiny woman walked us through her 5 acre garden, pinched off leaves, pulled up shoots and roots for us to take home to grow, and gave sometimes explicit and sometimes mysteriously veiled instructions for their use. We were blessed to visit with her twice, and to gain both her trust and friendship, and that of her heir and grandson, Estaban.

There is an old Zen saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” In our case, teachers began to appear. Mountain people who had lived their whole lives here on Jaramillo helped us to identify plants. A common theme began to emerge as we wandered through gardens and woods, while they pointed out various trees, leaves, shrubs and plants, giving us the local names (which we feverishly took note of, and then cross-referenced with Spanish resource books to learn the English and Latin equivalents. And, thank God for the internet!). That theme was: this leaf is medicine; use the bark of this tree for medicine; the root of this plant is medicine; this herb flower is medicine.Our fascination grew. We began looking amongst the growth on Finca Luz for “medicine plants.” We found them.

frank gruber 1

our story with CBD in Panama

We tested everything on ourselves. We drank nasty teas and delicious teas. We stung ourselves with nettles. We made tinctures, infusions, decoctions. We made batches of greasy ointments that turned moldy…until we got the hang of it. We harvested and hand processed hive leavings to make creamy yellow beeswax. We found local sources for organic coconut oil. We dug roots, chopped leaves, took photos, researched, asked questions, learned. We did not die or get sick. In fact, Dianne’s lingering bronchitis from exposure to toxic burning plastic cleared up. Elizabeth’s chronic digestive issues went away. We got better. Our potions and tinctures got better.

We tested everything on our friends. No one died or got sick. In fact, again, people improved, got healthier. And then they wanted more. We began doing limited production of herbal remedies and tinctures in the kitchen with a $30 juicer, a $10 mixer, a blender and little jars and bottles we either bought in a hole-in-the-wall shop in David (nearby city) or scavenged from the recycling center and then sterilized to a fare-thee-well. People began to pay us for the remedies and natural skin creams we formulated. People got better.

Cloud Forest Botanicals’  herbal remedies are now available in several locations in Panama. They can be purchased at the local Tuesday Morning Market in Boquete or they can be ordered and shipped to the US, Canada or Europe using our online store.

Our commitment is to make the purest, most natural and most effective natural herbal products possible at the most reasonable cost possible. Each product is researched, tested and based on both centuries of herbal knowledge and the most currently available pharmaceutical research. Each product and tincture is hand-crafted in small batches from plants that are grown organically or wild-crafted from the Cloud Forest jungle. We use no artificial preservatives, thickeners, stabilizers, perfumes in our natural herbal products…EVER.

We regret that we are no longer able to offer public tours of our private gardens.

our story with CBD in Panama
Inspecting the Anamu
our story with CBD in Panama - santamaria cones

Our Four Legged Babies

During the Rainy Season in Panama, our dogs do not like the heavy rains and thunder but with the help of Cloud Forest Botanicals, their advice on amounts per weight has been a game changer during this time of year.

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Tina

Helped Cats During Storms

I think this really helped my cats. They are not as skittish and nervous during storms.

Cloud Forest Botanicals CBD Panama DHorn
Dee Horn

Eased the Pain and Suffering

Pet Love eased the pain and suffering so much for my older dogs. It really helped.

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Tina Knowles

Cat w/Joint Articulation Problems

My older cat (14 years) has joint articulation problems. My vet says she is in pain and that Pet Love will really help.

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Kevin Fisher

Fear and Anxiety During Storms

Really helped Cassie and Memphis (his 2 rescue dogs) with their fear and anxiety during the bad storms here. 5 minutes after taking Big Pet Love their shaking has stopped and they are much more tranquilo.

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Tim Connelly

Wow! All Hail the Big Pet Love …

… Hemp and Herb Formula from Cloud Forest Botanicals! Our 8 month old rescue dog had severe seizures and urinary incontinence after anesthesia/spaying. The Big Pet Love stopped both in their tracks. Happy, healthy dog again. We also have a 15 year old dog that had chronically swollen lymph nodes. That is until Big Pet Love. All of our dogs line up and sit down when they see the bottle in my hand. This stuff is worth it’s weight in gold. We are FURever grateful!

 

Cloud Forest Botanicals CBD Panama BIG PET
W. A., Chiriqui

I Personally Saw Amazing Results…

 …from giving my 7yo Pitbull CBD Oil. She is a very active dog, who is constantly running and playing with her siblings. But recently it has been hard for her to get up due to her arthritis. It had gotten to a point that she was not happy. Within the first week of using the CBD oil she was having very little or no issues with getting up. Now it has been about 3 months since she started the Pet Love CBD oil and is back her puppy lifestyle of playing with her pack. I have even started giving it to our English Chocolate Lab who is getting up in years, for his mobility.

I can’t praise Elizabeth and Dianne enough for educating me on CBD oil use for my four legged kids. Thank you.

Cloud Forest Botanicals CBD Panama LITTLE PET
Tina E. Knowles

Giving my arthritic dog Big Pet Love

I have been giving my arthritic dog Big Pet Love every morning for a few years . I believe it has worked wonders for her. I had tried other CBD’s, 1 which cost more than double the price, which had little effect on her and another one that had 0 effect on her. I love this product for her. She is now 13.5 years old and is back to the way she was when she was so much younger. Friends had thought she would have to be put down a few years ago but are amazed to see her now. I have recommended Big Pet Love to so many people who have asked what made my girl so much better. I am so glad I found this for her.

Cloud Forest Botanicals CBD Panama BIG PET
Sue Dykler