Chris Kilham is an in-demand charismatic public speaker. He regularly presents to a wide variety of audiences, in the following areas of expertise:
- Medicinal Plants
- Natural, Plant-based Cosmetics
- Environmental Sustainability
- Ethical Global Trade
- Cultural Preservation
- Ethical World Trade
- Yoga & Meditation
- Ayahuasca, “La Medicina”
- Psychoactive & Psychedelic Plants
- Hot Plants (Natural Aphrodisiacs)
- Purpose-driven Adventure Travel
- Holistic Health/Fitness
- Natural Products Industry & Organic Trade
A holistic approach to health is a multidimensional endeavor. Eating well, using medicinal plants, exercising, and staying vital in many ways, are all part of total wellness. Additionally, adventure travel, preservation of native cultures and environmental sustainability are at the heart of Medicine Hunter activities. In talks and presentations around the world, Chris shares a deep knowledge of highly integrated holistic health, and the plants, people and places he encounters around the world as a medicine hunter.
Today the communication landscape is more diverse than ever before. Topics like shamanism, psychoactive plants, aphrodisiacs and native practices now are received warmly. Speaking from decades of experience, with candor, humor and extraordinary images from the field, Chris compels audiences to embrace natural medicines, environmental preservation and indigenous cultures, to think broadly, and to know more. Viva la evolution!
Natural Products Industry & Organic Trade
Chris is a lifetime contributor to the growth and development of the Natural Products Industry. He has been a regular guest expert at Whole Foods, Natural Products Expo East and Natural Products Expo West in the United States, most years since 1980, and has spoken at international conferences such as Natural Products Expo Asia in Hong Kong, and in Dubai, and repeatedly at Vita Foods Geneva. He has also presented at well over two hundred independent natural retailer outlets across the United States.
Expert Advisor and Thought Leader
Chris Kilham speaks to many types of groups, from gatherings of herbalists to industrial interests. As a guest expert to industry, Chris has presented across a wide variety of sectors to companies such as; Coca Cola, Pepsi, Unilever, Pfizer, Roche, Beiersdorf, Avon, L’Oreal, Chanel, Clarens, Body Shop, Royal Canin, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, and Whole Foods. He is also a regular adviser to Woman’s World, Fox News Health, and is on the Medical Advisory Board of The Dr. Oz Show and various industry and trade publications. This broad and diverse range of engagements affords the opportunity to influence cultural trends in influential, action-oriented ways.
Chris has been invited to speak at some of the finest botanical gardens. He has given presentations at great institutions such as the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and the New York Botanical Garden. These centers perform vital roles in the promotion and preservation of plants of all kinds, including medicinal plants. The major botanical gardens are world centers for plant knowledge.
When Chris is in a room filled with herbalists he feels a deep connection to the core of the path of healing. Herbalists are fun, friendly, largely good-natured, and devoted to the healing power of nature through herbal medicine. Chris has spoken at gatherings such as the American Herbalists Guild, International Herb Symposium, and Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium, and at the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades, International Plant Medicine Conference.
Since 1994 Chris has worked, traveled and studied with shamans in Brazil, Peru and North America. He has participated in many dozens of ceremonies, both with and without the ingestion of ceremonial psychoactive drugs. He is experienced with Sacred Plants, including Ayahuasca, San Pedro cactus, peyote, coca, sacred mushrooms, and tobacco. He has spoken about sacred plants all over the world, including Psymposia 2015 Conference: Envisioning a Post Prohibition World, the Plant Teacher's Convergence, a global gathering of thought-leaders deeply engaged in the exploration of Ayahuasca, “La Medicina”, in the Peruvian Amazon. Chris has presented psychoactive and psychedelic plants and shamanism keynotes at Visionary Convergence LA, The Spirit Plant Medicine Conference, and Bastyr University and many more. Please see Events for current information.
Chris is founder of The Ayahuasca Test Pilots, a collaboration of individuals who engage in the ceremonial practice of ayahuasca journeying with skilled shamans.
Chris speaks at the Evolver's Ayahuasca Monologues, where he combines his decades of experience in the field of yoga with his deep involvement in South American shamanism. He is a thought leader in the ayahuasca scene, and writes articles on shamanism for Reality Sandwich, FOX News, and other venues.
Chris has also been a long-time speaker and presenter on yoga and meditation, at venues such as Midwest Yoga and Southwest Yoga, Jivamukti Yoga School and Yoga Chicago. Since 1971 Chris has taught yoga to thousands of people in classes at colleges, universities, dance centers, conferences, hospitals and jails. In his yoga presentations, Chris integrates information and methods of yoga, meditation and the martial arts, to enhance mind/body integration and sexual health, and to promote healthy aging. Chris is the creator of True Kundalini™, Yoga of Pure Spirit, a practice that leads to deep realization of pure spirit, the essence of all being. His best-selling yoga book, The Five Tibetans, is published in twenty-seven languages.
If you want true holistic medicine, you can't offer symptomatic relief while the natural environment is systematically destroyed and native people are forced to live in poverty.
In a sustainable system, all parts flourish. Speaking to influential groups about ethical trade affords an opportunity to share ideas about real sustainability. Chris has spoken for the Vanuatu Ministry of Trade, the Thai Ministry of Trade, the Canadian Health Food Association, the Australian Health Association, the Hawaiian Kava Association, and many other organizations around the world. It's not hard to engage in sustainable trade, but you have to care.
The reasons to care are many. Without nature we have no life. Future generations deserve access to beautiful, undisturbed ecosystems. We cannot ultimately survive in a toxic, over-developed world. And surely, the people who perform the back-breaking labor of harvesting and collecting our medicinal plants and aromatic spices deserve far better than a lives of abject povert and pitiable wages. Part of the challenge we face with sustainability concerns getting large corporations to care one way or another. Some companies do understand that we need to manage natural resources differently and pay people fairly if we want a future. Additionally, now there is real market demand for sustainably-produced, ethically-traded products.
Chris Kilham continually promotes sustainable principles and practices, and communicates these values in a host of venues. Even if a company engages is environmentally responsible practices to benefit from “green” marketing, the effect is positive. The market offers room for true adherents and marketers alike.
Our planet is in real peril. At least 60% of all ecosystems have been damaged, some beyond repair. Other ecosystems are being degraded rapidly. Additionally, indigenous people live largely in poverty, and face bleak futures. We believe that anyone with half a heart will want to do better than this.
Interest in botanicals in the health and beauty sector is growing rapidly. Chris has spoken at the Health and Beauty Association in New York City, at In Cosmetics in Munich and France, and most recently, the Symposium International Aromatherapie & Plant Medicines, also in France. He has also presented to numerous cosmetic companies including L’Oreal, Chanel, Avon, and The Body Shop.
Universities and Educational Institutions
Chris is Explorer in Residence at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. On occasion Chris speaks at academic venues as a guest lecturer, and enjoys sharing his work as a medicine hunter. He has guest lectured at educational institutions such as Cornell University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Arizona School of Medicine and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. Colleges and universities offer great opportunity to reach peers in the fields of plants, medicine, and cultural studies, as well as to influence students who are studying these and other disciplines.
The Shaman’s Pharmacy
UMass Classroom, 2002 – 2010
Since 2002 Chris has taught "The Shaman’s Pharmacy" a popular ethnobotany course at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. This course is part of the curriculum of the Medicinal Plant Program in the Department of Plant & Soil Sciences.
The Shaman’s Pharmacy
Amazon Field Immersion Course, 2010 – 2014
In January of 2010 Chris led the first Shaman’s Pharmacy course on the Rio Napo in the Peruvian Amazon. Amazon Shamanic Medicine provides a unique, intensive exploration of the plant-based medicines of Amazon rainforest, a body of knowledge derived from shamans who are considered among the most capable of natural healers alive today. The course involves three two-hour class sessions, and eight days of travel and participation in studies and rainforest activities, in the Amazon rainforest. Students from the Pioneer Valley's "Five Colleges" area are eligible to participate.
Over the course of time, I have developed a tremendous love for the Amazon and its people, and an abiding sense of heartbreak at the demise of the forest and its native cultures. On an ongoing basis I work in the Amazon to help develop sustainable projects with medicinal plants. And I am deeply committed to finding ways to protect this rainforest and its indigenous people. Thus this workshop, The Shaman’s Pharmacy. I would like to share with you what I have seen and experienced. Let me take you on a journey to the great Amazon rainforest and areas nearby, to the land of the shamans, who carry vast medicinal knowledge, and are willing to share their secrets. This is a journey of mind, of heart, of spirit.
Please visit our Upcoming Events page for an updated list of confirmed engagements.