By Daniel Casciato

“Amazon” John Easterling, founder of Happy Tree Microbes, spent over two decades in and out of the Amazon rainforest planting medicine. He researched and brought to market a variety of Amazonian medicinal and therapeutic plants after formulating them in America using advanced technological methods. As a result, he helped his former company, Amazon Herb Company, sell over $100 million of those products.

Easterling has always been a plant and medicine aficionado.

“I was introduced to cannabis in 1968 and had a pleasant experience with it,” he says. “I grew my first cannabis in 1970. I always had this dream about traveling to South America, into the Highlands and the jungle, and exploring lost cities of gold and Inca treasure. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, I sold my car and bought a ticket to Ecuador.”

During his first few years in South America, he sought out and traded pre-Columbian artifacts, and other tribal items with indigenous tribes on behalf of museums and collectors. At one point, he became gravely ill—fighting a long bout with hepatitis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. He soon found himself under the care of the Shipibo tribe, who shared their botanicals with him.

“They made me an herbal brew of Amazonian Botanicals, but I had no expectations of anything really good happening,” he recalls.

Things changed pretty dramatically after three days, however. His fever broke and he began feeling more grounded and the mental acuity was starting to come back.

“After about a week, I realized not only was I feeling as good as I was before this challenge, I was beginning to feel better than I ever had in my life,” Easterling says. “After two weeks of drinking their herbal tea, I felt as though I’ve gone to a new level of life experience. It was quite an astonishing feeling. It also gave me an appreciation of the rainforest that I had been going to for a number of years, cutting plants down looking for treasure. I recognized that there is the treasure—growing right out of the ground.”

Since that time, Easterling has been dedicated to the exploration and preservation of the rainforest. He later founded Amazon Herb Company to develop and market healing remedies from Rainforest Botanicals and do it in a environmentally conscious way.

Easterling calls the plants he found in the rainforest some of the most powerful analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties available. In 2012, it merged with the global wellness company TriVita, based in Arizona.

In 2008, Easterling married singer/actress Olivia Newton-John. Together, they helped spread the word about preserving the rainforest as well as the health values found in its botanicals plants. They also serve on the board of the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (ACEER) organization to help the indigenous people of the Amazon gain ownership and title to their land.

Newton-John is currently facing stage 4 breast cancer. In 2017, doctors told her that the cancer spread to her bones. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. At the time, Newton-John underwent a partial mastectomy and breast reconstruction, followed by chemotherapy.

His wife’s health condition only furthered Easterling’s interest and passion for plant medicine. He saw its potential of adding it to his wife’s therapeutic arsenal. So he reviewed as much information on cannabis and cancer as he could, and developed a research grow at their ranch in California with 26 cultivars and bred 11 new genetics. He spun off the trichomes and performed an organic sugar cane alcohol extraction combining various cultivars. He used a Shimadzu Cannabis Analyzer for potency to screen and quantify 11 cannabinoids. Newton-John began to manage her pain with a few drops of her husband’s formula. In addition to alleviating the pain, it also helped her with sleep stress.

“She’s doing great these days,” he says. “It’s quite astonishing how well she is doing. We recently returned from a trip to Spain and Ireland. Her mobility has increased substantially. Her energy levels are high and her mood is spectacular. The same day she started the specific multiple cultivar formula, she saw big decreases in pain. She’s completely off all opioids and not on any pain medication now. She uses a few drops of the formula several times a day. All the cancer markers are moving in the right direction. We feel very grateful, blessed, and ecstatic with the way things are now.”

Today, Easterling oversees Happy Tree Microbes where he continues creating products to enhance the therapeutic value of cannabis that benefits patients worldwide.

“Outside of Cancer and serious degenerative issues, I believe that cannabis is making equally powerful contributions to our general health and wellness,” he says.

The product his company makes is Bio Harmonic Tonic to increase yield and cannabinoids in cannabis . While most microbial products are developed in a laboratory, Bio Harmonic is born in nature. Originating with exclusively lactating bovine manure as source material, a natural fermentation and enzymatic process follows with special inoculates used along the way. This creates a lively environment of hundreds of living microbes that settle into a stable consortium over time. A special botanical blend of Amazon herbs is introduced and finally finished with the Harmonic imprint of Gemstone Elixir. This entire process takes about 8 to 12 months.

“I have come to appreciate what cannabis is and what it can do to help people with pain and the leading degenerative diseases we are facing today,” says Easterling. “I’m still fully onboard with researching and formulating cannabis. Every day is more exciting than the day before with what we are working on, especially combining multiple cultivars and cannabinoids. I love plant medicine, it’s just what I do.”

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