Body Botanicals Blends CBD with Decades of Herbal Knowledge

Gyan Devi of Body Botanicals at the Vermont Cannabis and Hemp Convention at the DoubleTree Hilton in Burlington on Saturday, May 12 2018. by Erin Doble for Heady Vermont
Cindy Kleh 25 Apr 2019

Editor’s Note: This profile was written as part of a paid business partnership.

Self Care is the New Health Care

Gyan Devi admits she has always been ahead of her time – she has known about the healing properties of cannabinoids for several decades. She has been recording their effects on her own body in order to survive devastating migraines and neural sensitivities to artificial fragrances, dyes, and additives in body care and cleaning products.

As she approached her teens, she longed to experiment with the store-bought skin care and makeup that her friends were using, but her skin reacted to anything containing chemicals or artificial ingredients. So she began to make her own beauty products in her mother’s kitchen using fruits, grains, honey, clays, flowers and herbs. She wrote down her recipes and learned to be precise in each batch, like a “Kitchen Chemist.”  

She felt deeply drawn to explore the power of plants, and apprenticed with Rosemary Gladstar in 1993. She was blessed to learn from many other master herbalists, including Juliette de Bairacli Levy, Susun Weed, Tieraona Low Dog, and aromatherapy expert, Jeanne Rose. She spent many years learning how to sustainably harvest, process, and blend specific herb combinations to increase their efficacy and healing power. But the person she would end up helping the most would be herself.

She founded Body Botanicals in 1995 – a retail and manufacturing shop on the Mountain Road in Stowe. The business expanded with formulation orders from the Vermont Soap Company and various spas, and she sold it in 1999 with a strict non-compete clause that lasted 10 years. She became immersed in her other talents, including developing educational materials and training programs.

Learning from Pain

Then all hell broke loose. She started suffering from debilitating migraines that left her immobile with severe pain and vomiting. She was mostly bedridden for seven years, but instead of wasting time flat on her back, she decided to go back to college and earn a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Professional Coaching. These migraines still impact her daily routine, but now she has more control over the symptoms and the triggers.

“I was desperate to get my life back, because my herbal medicines were not working, and the neuro meds I was prescribed made me even sicker – they caused Serotonin Syndrome, induced mini comas, and impaired my motor coordination and balance,” Devi said. “I finally decided to fire my neurologist and assemble a medical team that was more open-minded about my healing results from the use of cannabis medicines and meditation. I was able to replace the opiates and Zofran I had been on for a decade without the serious side effects associated with these pharmaceuticals.”

“During my training at UVM College of Medicine, my research uncovered a link between migraine and clinical endocannabinoid deficiency. I am now formulating oromucosal sprays to prevent migraine symptoms and treat chronic pain.”

She studied the overwhelming evidence showing human brains had evolved to function with natural plant cannabinoids. She documented firsthand the return of her health using phytocannabinoids as the cornerstone of her recovery, and was already becoming an expert on that science when hemp was legalized in Vermont in 2013.

She felt compelled to share her knowledge and her herbal medicines with other sufferers because it changed the quality of her life so dramatically. She relaunched Body Botanicals in 2018 with a new line of products called CannaBliss.

All of her products start with organically farmed or wildcrafted herbs that naturally grow in Northern Vermont. She harvests her own St. Johnswort and wild mushrooms, and sources her calendula and comfrey from local organic farmers. She uses a 600-year-old recipe for the base of her pain salve, which has become her best-selling product.

Using her knowledge of the anti-aging and skin benefits of CBD, she created massage oils, body lotions, natural exfoliating scrubs, bath salts, and a new line of skin care products that includes daily cleansing and moisturizing treatments, nighttime nourishing creams, and intensive skin-repair remedies including a Facial Sauna for City-Dirty Skin and a CBD honey masque. “All of my products are made in small artisanal batches in harmony with the lunar cycles. When I make my pain salve, I create it on the waning moon.”

But her most powerful medicine is her PureCBD Drops – an odorless, tasteless form of pure CBD that allows precise dosing of only that molecule. When she adds CBD to her beauty and wellness products, she can measure the exact amount, which she says is critical.

She knows exactly how much CBD is in each of her natural formulations. In fact, she is a proponent of stricter laws on testing and product labeling for the entire Cannabis industry so that all “consumers know exactly what’s in the product, can make a well-informed purchase and use the product with confidence.”

“The FDA will require it in the near future, and that will weed out poor products with unhealthy additives,” she added. “I know precisely how much CBD is in each product and I can control the concentration. This informs my administration and dosing recommendations and is critical when using these products on pets, children, elders, or anyone with chronic health conditions.”

Getting Horses Back in Step

While enrolled in the Cannabis Science & Medicine certification program at the UVM Robert Larner College of Medicine, she did a case study on a thoroughbred horse named Cajun Quickstep. This former racehorse had quite a few health challenges, including insomnia, which was leading to narcoleptic seizures; and colic, a condition common in horses that are feeling stressed. The horse was on a number of medications, and exhibited 20 anxiety-related behaviors.

Devi started with a low dose of 20mg of CBD in Cajun’s feed twice a day, thinking that she would need to titrate up to a higher dose to relieve symptoms. After two weeks, the barn manager noticed a significant improvement. All medications were discontinued. Cajun was sleeping again, his colic cured, and 19 of the 20 anxiety behaviors had been eliminated. There was no need to increase the dose!

These results sent her back to her CannaLab to work on formulas for dogs, cats, and other mammals. The end result is a line of health and beauty products that are safe for everyone – from babies to puppies to old folks.

With 25 years of experience working as an herbalist and her recent certification in Cannabis science and medicine, Devi offers 30- and 60-minute CannaConsults to people interested in learning more about how to use Cannabis medicine for their family, their pets, or in their stable. For those with chronic health conditions, she offers wellness coaching and custom formulations.

Her name, Gyan Devi comes from a Sanskrit name given by her meditation teacher, Osho, when she was 18. Gyandevi, means Goddess of Wisdom, and she acknowledges that she’s still growing into it.  She teaches Osho meditation classes twice a week.

Body Botanicals and CannaBliss offer Heady Vermont members 10% off on products and consultations. Look for Body Botanicals at the NECANN Show on May 18-19 at the Champlain Valley Expo in Burlington, Vermont, Booth 618.

Contact Information: Call 802-730-4050 or email [email protected]

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