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Botanical Adventures in Ecuador

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

I would like to share some adventures with you from my recent trip to Ecuador. The country of Ecuador is about the size of Nevada. Ecuador is a country of mountains, hills and valleys.

I first travelled to Quito, the capital city, and took a taxi ride about 1 1/2 hours to a valley. This is where the small city of Cotacachi is nestled between two mountains.


I stayed with a friend who offered me the local foods grown in the valley and those that grow along the side of the mountains. Eating the local food planted in volcanic soil was a very enlightening experience for me. My diet at home consists of a variety of organic traditional foods so I did not expect to feel a real change. However, the change was notable! I can still feel the strength of the nutrients from the daily foods.

We went to the local markets and the little shops to select root vegetables and fruit. These were grown mostly by the indigenous people of the area. Within a week I could feel the core of my body strengthening. I did not experience hunger between meals nor cravings. My body had a feeling of harmony from one meal to the next. To interact with people who ate in a similar way was always a pleasant experience.

Ecuadorians have a huge heart flame. They are genuine, helpful and give their full attention to you. They appear to be balanced, perceptive and kind. Not to say that there isn’t western junk food lurking around. The available junk foods contain a lot of sugar and rancid oils. Fortunately, most people do not have the budget to buy prepared foods!

One of the unique aspects of Ecuador are laws that respect plants and animals. The botany department at the university in Quito is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world. Various species are still being discovered. Some of the most notable healing plants in the world come from this area.


The Island of Galapagos off the Pacific coast of Ecuador is one of the most diverse places in the world for animal, plant and sea life. People come from all over the world to study botany in Ecuador. Many students also have the opportunity to further their studies of plants at the Young Living Farm.


The indigenous people have always depended on healing plants as part of their lifestyle. There is a plant that grows wild in everyone’s yard. This is called ruta or sometimes common rue. The official name is Ruta graveolens. Ruta is one of the first plants that founder Gary Young distilled at the Young Living Farm in southern Ecuador.


Just standing beside the plant, you can smell the strong essential oils emitting from its thin, fir-like leaves. The native peoples make a tea of ruta and verbena for treating flu-like symptoms. Sometimes they recover in a matter of hours! Ruta has also been used for treatment during plagues.


While Gary Young was travelling with a medical team to the villages in the Amazon, he formulated a blend called Rutavala. This blend includes lavender, valerian and ruta. Ruta is highly anti-viral and anti-bacterial.


Gary used this blend for children with dental health issues. Although their parents were concerned that the blend would be too strong, Rutavala had a calming and relaxing effect on the children. Soon other parents asked for the oil for their children as well.


My friend in Ecuador is a Young Living Distributor. She is also very active in local charity work. We delivered food to elderly people who often live on their own on the hillsides and are very poor. When they receive the gifts, they always say, “May God pay you.”


Some of Young Living's most unique oils come from Ecuador. When you open the bottle,

there is a certain essence that is so unique it is hard to describe. There seems to be vital

quality about them that I do not experience in other plants. It is simply a different experience.


While in Ecuador, I had time to teach and share my experiences with healthy food and essential oils. I am looking forward to offering Young Living presentations in 2022 here in Montana as well as returning to Ecuador. Please send an email yleo.aspirations@gmail.com to put your name on our contact list. A schedule will be sent so that you see what is of interest to you.

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