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As a horticulturist, Kari has been interested and researched the benefits of lesser known plants on the way our bodies are able to protect themselves from disease, feel younger, and stay health.
"From the tropics and deserts to arctic regions, indigenous tribes have relied on plants and their remarkable chemistry to treat and prevent illness, and to help protect and increase their own natural beauty. But how do they identify which plants are useful as medicine or beauty aids? In our ethnobotanical studies with traditional healers around the world, we have found that the sources of discovery are often hidden in the mists of time. Some scientists believe that through trial and error, indigenous peoples who have been resident for generations in a single area, have learned which plants are useful and which are not. Sometimes indigenous peoples tell us that the uses of the plants were revealed in dreams, or by their ancestors. Regardless of how plant uses were originally discovered, when specific plants are used for generation after generation, their accumulated knowledge begins to approach the results of thousands of human clinical trials and years of market research.

As more people seek environmentally friendly and safer ways of making themselves feel better about the way they look, they are turning to plant-based beauty products; many of the ingredients in these products are based on centuries-old knowledge of traditional cultures. Our vision, as ethnobotanists, is to ensure that companies share the benefits from these discoveries and products with the indigenous peoples who have developed them."


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