Lab Gardens

In 2012, I travelled to the Peruvian amazon and was amazed by the rich biodiversity of the jungle but also the rapid deforestation of that environment. Following that trip, I purchased 80 hectares of land for conservation. Most of this land was pristine jungle but there were sections of it that had already been cleared. Reforestation was to be a top priority. After repeated visits it became apparent that simply owning land didn’t mean the trees were safe. Opportunistic loggers and poachers took what they liked if no one occupied the land and most people had abandoned jungle living to look for work in Iquitos. What was really needed was a forest economy that promoted conservation and allowed indigenous people to make a living and stay connected to their land. It was important to make the forest worth more standing than cut down.

During those visits I was shown the amazing Sangre de Grado tree and its healing resin. On many occasions I used it for skin injuries, burns, rashes, insect bites and food poisoning. The locals preferred it over anything purchased at the pharmacy in town as it worked wonders on a wide variety of conditions both internally and externally. Until then, I never really thought about trees as medicinals. Lab Gardens was born out of the idea that these trees heal in a perfectly holistic way: body, community & planet. In 2013, working with the local community, we planted a thousand Dragon’s Blood trees and other high value rainforest trees in areas that needed reforestation, and we provided homes and salaries to indigenous guardians to look after the trees and patrol the jungle for loggers and poachers. This ethical model was the perfect solution for healing the rainforest, people's bodies, their communities and our planet. Lab Gardens creates an ethical business model that respectfully works with nature and empowers indigenous communities so that everyone benefits. Individuals, communities and the planet. These trees have transformed my life. I hope they help you too.

Cheryl Conway
Founder, LabGardens