My Personal Plants is a company with a beautiful mission. We first heard about them during the summer of 2021. Michael Pollan had tweeted that they were the go-to site for DIY plant education. Having just finished Pollan’s latest book “This is your Mind on Plants,” all signs from the Universe pointed us to connect.
In short, we reached out to My Personal Plants and were immediately connected with Amanda Rieman, the founder. After just a few minutes of chatting we knew that we were deeply aligned in the philosophies that motivated us to work with our favorite plants.
Who are My Personal Plants?
The team behind My Personal Plants is headed by their founder, Amanda Reiman. Amanda has been working in and writing about the emerging world of legal cannabis for the past 20 years.
She has written for various publications regarding cannabis, such as Rolling Stone and HuffPost. Prior to founding My Personal Plants, Amanda managed Marijuana Law and Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance in Berkley, CA.
When we first met Amanda we were immediately struck by how she genuinely believed in empowering people to take control of their health.
One of the unfortunate lessons we’ve learned in starting Top Tree Herbs is that the natural-product health-and-wellness world is crawling with disingenuous upstarts looking to make a quick buck.
Worse than not having a personal relationship with the plants that they sell, their sole motivation to profit often hurts the industry as a whole.
With regulations always pending and legal hurdles all around us, we understand just how critical it is to forge relationships with purpose-driven brands focusing on helping others. From talking with Amanda, it’s clear that she (and My Personal Plants) is exactly that: a brand that’s here to empower us From Seed to Self-Reliance.
The mission fueling our friends at My Personal Plants is to empower people to take control and manage their health through plants that they cultivated themselves. We foster holistic thought patterns and good general life habits when gardening.
If you’re gardening therapeutic plants, you’re really doubling down on your health. Returning to an herb-based apothecary restores a relationship between our health and nature that has only really stopped existing in the past 250 years.
While powerful in their own right through strictly physical means, certain plants contain powerful wellness benefits that are mediated through the mind. Knowing the plant that you use to take care of yourself because you germinated it and touched it daily has inarguable psychic benefits.
Believing yourself to be a part of nature, and partaking of nature, is good for you. Reconnecting yourself and your wellness to nature serves to bridge the alienated gap that marks our experience as 21st century beings.
In essence, both My Personal Plants and us at Top Tree Herbs believe we’ve lost something. It is our goal to return ourselves, and our customers, to a more robust relationship with the natural world.
Relationships with Plants
For Amanda and the rest at My Personal Plants, the crux of their mission centers around cannabis. At Top Tree Herbs, we’re firm allies of the emerging post-prohibitionist world of cannabis. Like many before us, our passion for a more natural wellness routine was first “lit” by cannabis.
Yet in late 2019, when we were first developing the idea that would become Top Tree Herbs, we felt that cannabis was on the right path already. Of all the wonderful natural products that make our lives better, cannabis is in a good position.
Over the years, cannabis has proven itself stronger than prohibition. Soon, cannabis will be a part of our culture much like alcohol is. Kratom, on the other hand, was in a much more precarious position. So we decided to throw our weight behind the lovely evergreen tree from Southeast Asia.
Growing kratom outside of a tropical forest is difficult. It’s not something we can expect everyone to be able to do at home. Especially since they can consume multiple gallons of water a day and grow over 80 feet tall. So without encouraging home grown kratom, we had to work to restore ours, and our customers’, relationship with the kratom plant.
The eureka moment came as we were examining the vast traditional use of kratom in its native habitat, especially in Thailand. While we, like every other American kratom consumer, were used to swallowing kratom powder, this was rarely ever the way kratom was consumed in Thailand.
There is definitive evidence of the use of kratom since the mid-1600’s in Thailand. Yet it is more than likely that the traditional use in Thailand goes back hundreds if not thousands of years. There are two ways to consume kratom.
It is either chewed immediately after getting picked from the tree, or brewed into a tea. Our American habit of swallowing heaping spoonfuls of kratom powder is alien to the indigenous Thai practice.
As lovers of kratom, intent on reaffirming our relationship with the plant, we started obsessing over kratom tea. In Thailand, most kratom teas take two to three hours to brew. Usually done over a fire.
We felt that this method of preparing kratom tea was inaccessible and too demanding for the American market. If we wanted to bring along others with us on our journey to reaffirm our relationship with the kratom plant, we needed to find a better way to make tea.
The Science of Kratom Tea
Herbalism fascinates us and we love the natural world. However, we do not shun the advances of science. We started researching, and read everything that had to do with kratom in the annals of science. The reason kratom tea took so long to brew was its poor solubility. So, we learned that free nitrogens characterized the active components of kratom.
This is nothing more than the definition of an alkaloid. From there, we learned they can be made more soluble by reacting them with a weak acid. Citric acid, the kind found in citrus fruits, worked perfectly. Finally, we reviewed the Ideal Gas Law that we had learned and forgotten in High School.
Taken all together, tradition and herbalism met the western scientific method. To maximize solubility through lessons of the ideal gas law, we decided to brew in thermoses. To find a weak, food safe acid, we bought lemons. After some experimenting, we finally landed on a method that reduced the traditional three hours down to just 20 minutes.
First, add your kratom tea bags to a vacuum sealed thermos. Squeeze about a quarter of a lemon over your tea bags while your water comes to a boil. Once your water is at a rolling boil, immediately pour it into your thermos. Cap it quickly and carefully to retain as much of the heat as possible. After 20 minutes your kratom tea is done steeping. It is ready to be poured from your thermos, cooled, and sweetened to taste. Enjoy!
Your Personal Kratom Experience
My Personal Plants is all about forging a “personal” relationship with the plants in our lives. We believe that taking the time to make kratom tea, learn about it’s tradition, and recognize it as a plant gives some personality to this tree. This personality is lacking when sold as a powder in a plastic bag at a headshop.
Kratom is a leaf with a deep tradition. Continuing to use kratom powder builds walls between our ability to recognize that it is a leaf. Swallowing the powder ignores this tea tradition. It’s time to fix that.
We’re thrilled to have connected with Amanda and the rest of the team at My Personal Plants. We believe that a mission dedicated to striking out the alienation felt between people and nature is a noble mission. Be sure to check out their website mypersonalplants.com, where you can find products ranging from cannabis-bath-salts to our kratom tea.