Ellen Kamhi, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, RH(AHG). The Natural Nurse®, is an advanced Nurse Herbalist for over 50 years. She mentors those who are interested in becoming a Registered Herbalist(RH) and is a Regulatory Specialist ( Label, DSHEA, GMP) supporting companies who wish to bring natural products to market. She also hosts free Podcasts about Herbs and Natural Health / Holistic Health and CE Education Programs. Dr. Kamhi delights in recognizing the importance of our interconnections on spiritual, physical, and emotional levels, with our plant allies and the natural world.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up on Long Island, New York… a beautiful place filled with beaches and woods. I spent a lot of time with horses and also was involved in dance, which I still am. Some memorable moments include Dancing at the 1964 World FAIR as a performer and experiencing communication with extra-terrestrial beings who supported my early interest in science. I also communicated with many species of both plants and animals, which lead me to go to pre-veterinary school at Cornell University, and eventually become a Midwife, Nurse, and Herbalist.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

NOTHING… I really have followed my own path, and have always done just what I wanted to do, rather than make excuses about why I could not do something… If I wanted to go somewhere and had no money, I just hitchhiked, brought my dance costumes, and danced in bars at night for money, or got a grant to do scientific research.. whatever it took … Have NO REGRETS and NO WISH I did this or that differently. I have danced with gypsies in the caves in Spain, lived in a grass shack for years in Mexico, started an off-the-grid community in Bisbee Arizona, written many books, accomplished all academic endeavors, and somehow had time to also raise children and have grandchildren.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

As an herbalist, I hear people discuss going into business by preparing and selling herbal remedies, without understanding the massive amount of legal considerations that can interfere with that particular endeavor. That is why one of the many classes I reach is Herbal Manufacturing- Legal Considerations.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I cannot think of any dark period. Perhaps when my second child was born prematurely in 1978, in Bisbee Arizona, on a self-sufficient farm, in the middle of December during one of the coldest times on record in that area. This caused all the pipes to freeze. We had to fly to Tucson in a helicopter, which was a stressful time.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

I spend time visualizing a scene in the future, with everything EXACTLY as I want it to be. I then physically WRITE DOWN long terms goals, and then WRITE DOWN daily ‘to-do list’ goals that will lead to the completion of the long-term goal…such as getting advanced educational degrees and writing books. I then ACTUALLY DO those goad-oriented steps EVERY DAY. I see most people just state what they want to do, such as ‘ I am going to write a book”, but they do not set aside a specific time to ACTUALLY DO THE WORK!

What is your morning routine?

Wake up at 7 am, walk out on my deck in Florida which is inside a nature preserve… I can see up to 30 species of beings at any time, including birds, iguanas, insects, edible and medicinal plant friends, water flowing by, clouds reflecting on the water… then drink dark green vegetable or celery juice… then organic psyllium seed, ½ teaspoon baking soda, freshly squeezed lemon juice…. Then organic coffee while I open the computer and get to work.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Whole Life- not just the last few years- exercise… walk 3 miles, yoga half to one hour. The time I set aside for exercise cannot be used for anything else. I won’t take on another client, do the dishes or wash, or let anything else use up that sacred exercise time…

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

I WRITE DOWN a schedule on a physical calendar …I know others used electronic calendars nowadays…which is fine… I still like to write on a physical calendar. Often almost every hour is filled. I check off each item as it is completed, which is very satisfying at the end of the day.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

The Tibetan Book of the DEAD – Padmasambhāva

I read these books when I was young and they opened my mind to the possibility to create your own experience in life.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?