Leslie Taylor is the author of the Raintree website and the extensive online Tropical Plant Database. Ms. Taylor founded, managed and directed the Raintree group of companies from 1996 to 2012. She is the author of the book, Herbal Secrets of the Rainforest, published September 1998 and The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs, published in 2005. She is currently working on her new series of Rainforest Medicinal Plant Guide books.
As a cancer survivor who survived a rare form of leukemia only because of alternative health and herbal medicine in her mid-20's, Leslie has been researching, studying and documenting alternative healing modalities including herbal medicine for over 30 years. She is a dedicated herbalist and naturopath and has developed many herbal formulas and remedies for her companies, practitioners and for individuals needing help. In 1995, while researching alternative AIDS and cancer therapies in Europe, Leslie began researching a medicinal plant from the Peruvian rainforest called cat's claw. This research took her to the Peruvian rainforest for the first time to learn first hand more about this new medicinal plant. Upon her return, Leslie founded the Raintree companies to make this important new rainforest medicinal plant available in the United States.
Since that first trip, Ms. Taylor has returned to the Amazon numerous times, continuing to research and document more medicinal plants from the South American rainforests. In these endeavors, she has worked hands on with Indigenous Indian shamans and healers, learning directly about their ancient empirical plant knowledge, as well as with Indigenous tribal communities and other rainforest communities. In addition, Ms. Taylor works directly with phytochemists, botanists, ethnobotanists, researchers, and herbal medicine practitioners to document, research, test and validate rainforest medicinal plants. Her personal and company mission was to make available new and important medicinal plants from the rainforests while trying to make an impact in helping to preserve the rainforests from destruction.
For over 20 years, Ms. Taylor has been a leader in the industry in educating people about these powerful medicinal plants of the Amazon and she has actually welcomed competition and encouraged other companies to sell them and use them in other herbal supplement products. In 2012, Ms. Taylor decided to close down her company and to stop selling any herbal or dietary supplements. Regulations enforced by the FDA have progessively prohibited free speech about the value and benefits of herbal supplements, factual information about clinical research, as well as what to take them for and how to use them. As long as her company was engaged in the business of selling herbal supplements, Ms. Taylor was regulated by the FDA and was limited in what she could actually say about them. With so many other companies selling the rainforest plants that she created markets for over the years, she decided that the wealth of factual and truthful information about these important plants and formulas that was being legally suppressed was more important than selling products herself. Ms Taylor strongly believes that this factual information needed to stay widely available to continue to help and educate people. Ms. Taylor's company, Raintree Nutrition, Inc., officially closed and ceased selling products on December 21, 2012. She then freely shared all of her proprietary formulas by posting them on this website so that anyone and everyone can make them and use them. She will continue being the voice and the source of factual information about rainforest medicinal plants and keep this website up and active.
Ms. Taylor is a board certified naturopath and has lectured and taught classes in naturopathic medicine, herbal medicine, ethnobotany, as well as environmental and sustainability issues in the Amazon for over 15 years. She shares more of her personal story in the introduction to her book, The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs