Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen, Ph.D. chemist’s path to becoming a medicine man was long but not unexpected. He always knew three things: 1. He loved nature. 2. He loved science. 3. He loved tsking care of people.
#1 & #3 came from his parents, both who taught he and his two brothers the ways of nature and how it can heal people physical, emotionally, and spiritually. His love of science led him to getting a M.S. in medicinal chemistry and a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry with the plan to go into the pharmaceutical industry, but his expertise in the chemistries of nature led him into a different path. For 20 years he applied his talents to novel, natural chemical ways of protecting and healing Mother Earth and those who live upon her, leading to 15 patents, ranging from using cinnamon as a corrosion inhibitor to preventing silicosis from sand dust by coating it with a self-assembling oyster shell mimic.
At the same time, he developed an international reputation as an expert in edible and medicinal wild plants, spending his evenings and weekends reconnecting people to the natural resources their ancestors used to survive. It was during this time he was given the nickname “Merriwether” after the Meriwether of Lewis & Clark fame – a scientist sent into the wild to bring back knowledge of its beneficial flora. This role led to the writing of Idiot’s Guide Foraging and the soon to be released Outdoor Adventure Guide Foraging books, along with a monthly wild food article for the fashion/lifestyle magazine CHARM. He’s also appeared on numerous TV shows, radio, and podcasts to preach the benefits of cavemanosity – how acting like a caveman is necessary to remain healthy in our modern world.
More recently, he became the formulator for Medicine Man Plant Co., finally bringing forth at a greater level, his ability to help people with the power of plants and mushrooms. As both an herbalist and a chemist, Merriwether examines both traditions and scientific research to find and develop new formulations of ancient plants for modern issues. For more than 83,000 generations those gifts of nature repaired, protected, and sustained us. They were more than medicine, but an integral part of our existence, allowing us to grow and expand out across the planet.