On this our 52nd episode we welcome Ann Armbrecht. She is the author of a new book called The Business of Botanicals: Exploring the Healing Promise of Plant Medicines in a Global Industry.

We’ve all heard of the farm to table movement. But what about farm to supplement? What do we really know about the herbal tinctures and capsules we’re taking in an effort to improve our health. It’s a blindspot that Armbrecht’s book shines a much-needed light on. She takes readers on a long and winding journey into the byzantine supply chains of industrial plant medicine.


Picture yourself youre standing in the supplement aisle. Maybe Whole Foods is having a sale. You stock up on turmeric pills, mushroom powders and maybe a few tinctures. You feel like you’re on the road to wellness. But have you ever stopped to think about the process behind how these products got there? Ann Armbrecht has and then some. In this conversation, we dive deep into the often-opaque global supply chains behind what has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

In addition to being a Harvard-educated anthropologist, Armbrecht is a filmmaker and the director of the Sustainable Herbs Program of the American Botanical Council.