We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mark “Merriwether”, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
My training and work experience as a research scientist taught me how to analyze data to determine the next step I should take to accomplish my goals. I’ve incorporated this in all important aspects of my life. After any sort of experience (business, parenting, travel, etc) I write myself an AAR (After Action Report) where I take note of what went right, what went wrong and why, and what I’ll need in the future to make more of it go right. This is to truly learn from my mistakes.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
In January of 2020, three Texans joined forces, unified by core beliefs, to form Medicine Man Plant Co. These core beliefs are:
1. Many modern health issues are the result of our ancient bodies being maladapted to the modern world we’ve created.
2. Our ancestral use of plants and mushrooms as medicine gives us an evolutionary adaption that still makes these the first thing people should use to support and maintain proper health.
3. The re-globalization of humanity’s genetic code over the last 600 years requires an equally global mixture of medicinal plants to maximize their healing power.

Based on these beliefs, I use my knowledge of medicinal chemistry to create unique, science-based herbal formulas that work via multiple mechanisms in the body, with dosing levels based on what science has determine is the necessary amount to get these effects.

However, this is just our starting point. We also teach people how simple “caveman” activities can have huge, beneficial effects on their health. Things like walking on uneven ground, throwing things at stuff, going barefoot, and just spending more time in wild places feeds our evolutionary physical and mental needs. One doesn’t find health on the couch, one needs to go wild.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The day would start at one of the local Snowflake Donut Shops to get coffee and donuts, asking if we can join the group at the “Old Farts” table to hear stories of Houston’s past. This is a great way to understand how much has changed here! Next, a drive down to Space Center Houston to revel in humanity’s brilliant expansion into space. This is truly one of Houston’s gems! After that, at late lunch at any food truck. There are no bad ones in Houston.
Next comes a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to look back at all that has gone before us. After that, supper at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen followed by beers at The Walkingstick Brewery…but not too many beers as the next day will be wild. 🙂
Early the next day again begins at a Snowflake Donut Shop, but only a brief “Hello” to the Old Farts table. An hour north, up in the Sam Houston National Forest, is the trailhead of the 4-Notch Loop. This, in my opinion, is the most beautiful part of the 96-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail. We’d hit start the loop by 8am and end around 5pm, with plenty of time to gather edible, wild mushrooms, rest in hammocks, and generally go wild. After, a quick wash, then off to AvantGarden on Westheimer for some more beer, great pizza, music, and interesting people to meet.
Finally, if everything works right, the evening will end with a free symphony, ballet, or opera at Miller Outdoor Theater or the Cynthia Woods Pavillion.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shout out to the Houston Arboretum, the Bayou Land Conservancy, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, the Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center, Texas Historic Sites, Texas Parks & Wildlife, the Native Plants of Texas Society, Texas Master Gardeners, Texas Master Naturalists, MicroLife, ArborTrue, and all the other organizations that give me a pulpit to preach about nature!

Website: www.medicinemanplantco.com

Instagram: @mmplantco

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-vorderbruggen

Facebook: @medicinemanplantco

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/drmerriwether

Other: www.foragingtexas.com Outdoor Adventures Guide – Foraging (my newest book): https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/2133415/mark-vorderbruggen/

Image Credits
Pictures courtesy of Medicine Man Plant Co.

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