Interviews & Publications
Amanda Boldenow, owner of Colorado-based Woodsong Coffee, and her husband, Brandon, interviewed Linden Botanicals owner Michael Van der Linden about the company’s selection of health optimizing teas.
“Before Brandon and I knew that Michael was planning to launch Linden Botanicals, we thought he just took the most amazing vacations ever, and we had serious travel-envy. We still do, but our travel-envy expanded into excitement when we learned his trips had been to source farmers and cultivators for his new business, Linden Botanicals. Linden Botanicals sells a selection of [health optimizing teas] curated with extreme care and research for their ability to optimize health and well-being.
“Michael’s story of how and why he decided to launch his business is as interesting as his travelogues, and we’re thankful he took an afternoon to sit down with us for coffee, tea, and conversation.”
How and Why Michael Started Linden Botanicals
“Linden Botanicals was founded out of a passion for helping people optimize their health. I had Lyme disease 10 years ago. It took four years to get over it, with three years of antibiotics that did nothing. I found Phyllanthus niruri, a plant from the Amazon rainforest known for aiding kidney health. Lyme disease can affect every system and get into your central nervous system. Phyllanthus niruri originally helped me with a kidney stone (Phyllanthus niruri’s other name, Chanca Piedra, means “stone breaker”), so I did a lot more research and learned it could also be helpful for the Lyme disease – there are more than 1,000 studies done on this plant.
“Tea has a number of health benefits and I use it daily. For example, I drink a mix of Phyllanthus niruri, Terminalia chebula, and Cistanche tubulosa before going to the gym. Terminalia chebula is good for your joints; it helps support cartilage. Cistanche tubulosa is a good support for bones and muscles. I use a ½ teaspoon of the mixed extracts in a cup of blueberry juice. You could use water or another juice, that’s just my preference.”
Health Optimizing Teas: Plant Sourcing and Selection
“We chose very carefully and set out to keep our selection narrow, only choosing plants with research and science behind them. We have nine [health optimizing teas], and Phyllanthus niruri was the first one we selected because of my experience with it. The rest were selected after careful research to be sure they are effective and safe. I wanted plants that would repair the body’s systems. …
“We visited the countries and growers we were interested in sourcing from before choosing. The point of visiting is to get to know the people collecting the plant and drying it. Having tea or coffee with a grower is a great way to get to know them. We wanted to be sure that the process would be fair for everyone involved with growing and sourcing the plant and that every plant grown was organic and processed in FDA-certified facilities. Some companies pay workers a fraction of a penny, so meeting with the entire supply chain is important to ensure workers are getting fair wages.
In Peru, we explored the Amazon jungles to find Phyllanthus niruri. In India, we went out into the fields and met members of women’s cooperatives. We’re trying to be conscious of the whole process while providing education to customers about the plants and their benefits. They’re not just tasty teas. Drinking teas from these plants is all about optimizing health.”