Everything Desert

creosote (chaparral)

I call the creosote bush my Medicine Chest of the Desert.  I have a very special relationship with this plant and turn to it for everything from venomous bites and stings to lung ailments, holistic cleansing and all skin conditions.  This plant helps our relationship with the sun; so important in this desert land dominated by brilliant sun 365 days a year.

 

cyndi ruehl

I have lived and loved the desert for 35 years always in awe of its mysteries, magic and breath-taking beauty. 
 
In the beginning,  as a child in the Ohio River Valley, nature has always called to me, always restored me, always taught me and always healed me.   While living in the Ozark Wilderness, I was taught how to turn toward the bounty of nature for food and natural remedies.  It is there that I learned that Mother Nature offers medicine for all ailments indigenous to the area.  When transplanting to the Sonoran Desert some 35 years ago, I was reminded of my lessons in the Ozarks and began seeking out the masters of our regional desert medicines to teach me the uses of the plants in this land which seemed so foreign.  Over my 35 years of study I have come to live harmoniously with our desert, searching out its abundance, its mystery and its healing powers.  Always the scientist, I sought my advanced degrees in Desert Restoration Ecology and am passionate about the sustainable living on this fragile land, its preservation and its restoration in the areas where some are not so passionate.  I am driven to educate and bring an awareness of the deserts global importance and uniqueness; and have found that "sweet spot" at the interface of science, practicality and mystery.
  In many ways, to live  within the desert; four-legged, rooted ones, crawlers, winged-ones and two-leggeds, means to be tough, resilient and adaptive. Yet it is a fragile ecosystem, not understood by most urban dwellers.  To live in relationship with the desert one finds an abundance of foods, beauty, serenity, inspiration and medicine.  My home and teacher has been the Superstition Mountains in the lush, biodiversity of the upper Sonoran Desert, on the outlying edge of the Phoenix megopolis.    I share my living space with the bobcat, javelina, mountain lion, jackrabbit, quail, raven, and hawk;  the plants have been my teachers and my medicine has been a few steps out my front door. 
Come walk with me.  As that interface between the wild and the urban development, I love sharing my understanding of this magical place, I love teaching about all that the desert has to offer us in food and medicine, I love offering the experiential hikes and classes which teach us about our relationship with this fragile and wondrous region and the power of making your own medicine and coming back to our roots in the Earth.
 
"Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better"  - Albert Einstein
 Desert Ecologist, Arid Lands Restorationist, Associate Faculty at ASU and CAC, Certified Master Gardener and Certified Herbalist. She conducts guided walkabouts on the desert teaching the medicinal and edible aspects of our wondrous desert plants, and teaches medicine making from the desert plants, plant relationships and desert vegetable gardening. Cyndi also enjoys consulting for school garden projects. 
  

Only a 45 minute drive from central Phoenix, Cyndi lives right at the base of the beautiful and mysterious Superstition Mountains, with this amazing view.  She conducts her classes in this wilderness as well as throughout other peripheral open lands of the Phoenix valley.