The WishGarden Herbs Story
We are herbalists, botanists, and scientists who are constantly innovating and striving for better. We are both grounded in and propelled by our mission of making a difference and making effective, herbal solutions accessible to all.
Our humble beginnings started way back in the 70’s with naturalist and cultural advocate, Catherine Hunziker.
Before she became a premier formulator and “radical” herbalist, like many empowered youth in the 70s, Catherine was an activist. She was an environmental crusader and avid supporter of the women’s rights movement and the midwifery resurgence, which involved reclaiming women’s health and wellness. For Catherine, part of this movement meant getting back to the land and living a more self-sufficient, natural lifestyle.
Living off the land in the Ozarks, Catherine recalls a pivotal moment in her life when she was on a cold winter walk and heard an odd buzzing sound. She noticed a plant in full bloom with bees buzzing all around it – it was the middle of January. How could this be? She referenced her botanical field guild and found out it was witch hazel. She was stunned by this thriving plant; and what might seem like a small moment, in fact sparked Catherine’s lifelong curiosity and dedication to medicinal plants and she began learning about them from a local herb grower in the community.
She eventually moved to Colorado where she continued her plant education, taking classes with local herbalist Feather Jones, and learning from herbal renaissance pioneer Michael Moore on their yearly Springtime in the Desert field trips. Catherine particularly valued, and eventually helped co-teach, these immersive forays into nature to learn about Southwestern bioregional herbs used by indigenous peoples for many thousands of years. Concurrently she was also studying cross-cultural indigenous traditions around the human-nature relationship through the Naropa Institute that lead to pilgrimages under local shaman’s guidance to sacred places in Mexico, Scotland, Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe.
As the Boulder herbal community grew and learned from each other, Catherine and her cohorts co-founded the Rocky Mountain Herbalist Coalition and became thought leaders in the budding industry around ethical wild-crafting practices. The efforts of this coalition sparked an important conversation around industry practices and eventually paved the way for the United Plant Savers, an organization dedicated to herb sustainability.
Catherine also worked closely with the midwifery community. As a childbirth educator and Boulder Farmers Market herb vendor, Catherine noticed that people were craving natural solutions to everyday health problems, but they didn’t have the knowledge to navigate the complex world of herb supported healthcare. And despite thousands of years of successful use, herbal remedies were considered radical to the mainstream.
As a seasoned activist, she thought, “I don’t want to preach to the converted. How can I bring this to the mainstream?”
With her activist roots she knew she couldn’t force it; people need to experience it for themselves – and it has to work. Catherine developed multi-herb liquid herbal blends designed for efficacy with catchy, condition-specific names in hopes of making Herbalism approachable to a wide - and often skeptical - consumer base.
Decades later, we are a nationally distributed, family-run business still making formulas the same way we always have. We prioritize sourcing organic, sustainable herbs from fair trade, family-owned farms, and qualified suppliers, and we run our own, independent, FDA-regulated, manufacturing facility in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. Catherine remains the chief of expertise, guiding our innovation and educating staff and industry professionals on all things Herbalism.