The search for treasures derived from jungle pharmacopeia is a practice funded by almost every major pharmaceutical company in the world. Call it bio-piracy or bio-prospecting, each company has its own branch of researchers combing the tropical forests of the world, often in secret. Indigenous people have gradually become aware of this and are rightfully seeking injunctions to keep multinational drug companies from patenting their traditional formulations. Most of these formulas are actually empirically verified treatments which native people have refined after a millennia of active research and development. At ATL we believe naturally occurring phytochemicals found in plants should never be ‘owned’ by any one company. We strive to develop an equitable approach to cooperate with indigenous leaders in the marketing and cultivation of the plants and remedies which they, and their ancestors, have developed.
Proper Preservation Techniques
We work with small lots that are fresh harvested by master herbalists to impart the strongest therapeutic benefits. Our team members have knowledge of climates, soils and appropriate harvesting and preservation techniques.
Dr. Barrantes (left) and Dr. Maximo Aedo (right) tend germplasm and genetic material in vivo. Plants such as these were developed by the Inca and other pre-Columbian cultures over decades of natural selective harvest in the Andes mountains (left). Careful techniques such as co-management direct planting under the forest canopy, mimics exactly the growing conditions of sensitive, rare botanicals.