Adonito Flores is an herbalist, teacher of holistic health. He has practiced yoga for over 20 years, trained in Energy and Bodywork, and professionally certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbal Medicine.
He has made it his passion to cultivate and produce the finest Frankincense Extract on the market. His Milk of Frankincense is a very pure and particularly potent extract of resin.
In this interview, we discuss his herbal and yogic practices, his Milk of Frankincense, and more.
You are a practicing Yogi for 20 years, trained in energy and body work, and a certified Holistic Nutrition and Herbal Medicine specialist. What led you to training in these various healing modalities?
As a little kid I was fascinated by the nature around me. I had a wild imagination. I grew up in Idaho, Washington, Alaska and Tennessee. These different landscapes were rich in biodiversity and natural wonder. Bobcats, snakes, whales, moose… the animal totems in my backyard were enough to inspire a sense of awe, but I also spent much time alone as a child wandering in the woods, talking with the plants and the faeries. I could sense the energy and actively interacted with it. As I grew older and found myself in libraries, I quested for what I thought was secret and coded information about the magic I experienced, hoping to access it in a better way. I found myself interested in anything that had to do with the occult, energy systems, and sorcery.
My parents were kind enough to enroll me in ju jitsu classes, since I was already doing cartwheels, tumbling in the grass, scaling fences and climbing trees. We were also members of the YMCA, where I was lucky enough to take many art classes and study Hatha Yoga. Meanwhile, at home I was always experiment with witchy brews, casting spells I crafted from movies, books and my own imagination.
As I grew older these parts of me stayed but transformed into other things. I began to see the value of plants and these movement practices for their health value in the form of nutrition, herbal medicine, exercise, physical therapy, mindfulness, meditation and relaxation. I think finding a joy for them for their own sake before zooming in on the utility makes the experience that much richer and more effective. Really, it was born out of being a child that experienced the world vividly and then delved into the mind to understand the deeper meaning. I felt my way into this life that I live now.
As a Yogi with a love for martial arts and dancing, movement is obviously an important part of your life. How can herbalism complement these practices?
When we think about health and healing, we know it is important to take a holistic view. We can eat healthy and sit around doing nothing, but that is no good. We will still meet imbalances from lack of exercise, from not moving and dancing around, challenging out heart, lungs and muscles and the rest of our physical body. The lymphatic system, which helps remove toxins from the body and supports our immune function, only moves when we move. It does not have a self-regulating pump like the cardiovascular system. Moving around is essential for cleansing, metabolism and so many other important functions of the body.
On the flip side, what we put in our bodies is also important. Our bodies make themselves fresh and stronger in magical ways but what we feed our bodies becomes the building blocks. In other words, we are what we eat. We can exercise all day but if our body doesn’t have the essential nutrients it needs it wont have much to work with. The body becomes stressed and inefficient, leading to many imbalances. To me the practice of herbal medicine is magical. These plants supply our bodies with the nutrients we need but they also offer a vibrational tuning, bringing out bodies into alignment with their own blueprint of wellbeing and optimal functioning.
Yoga is holistic and includes herbal medicine in the form of Ayurveda. It looks at the energy of all individuals and how those energies interact with the environment. It looks at the individual energies of different plants and foods and how they influence our own energy. These systems are special because they take into account both diversity and unity, looking at things from a holistic perspective. I can’t imagine worrying about trying to cure any illness without looking at the energy behind it and asking, “what type of movement, scents, sounds, colors, textures, tastes and qualities can be invited in to restore balance, pleasure and joy?”
You say on your site that you work with those recovering from addiction and trauma. What role herbs and plants play in that?
Addiction is a tricky thing. We are powerful creatures of habit but intuitively want to cultivate habits that work well for us. Our brains are designed to recognize pleasure so that we can move towards things that nourish the body and add to the life- but sometimes it backfires, making us slaves to a substance. When we eat foods or imbibe in substances that are concentrated with pleasure-triggering chemicals our brains can become addicted to the experience of pleasure. Over time it can become more important than the life. Plant medicines help the body come back into its natural rhythms.
Certain plants stimulate a detoxification process from these substances and others help us cope with the symptoms of withdrawal, such as calming a distressed nervous system. Some even more powerful plants considered to be visionary, such as ayahuasca, actually help reset neural pathways, increase neural plasticity and activate different levels of consciousness. They also offer us the space for deep reflection so that we can rediscover what is really, truly, important. My mother used to always say, “remember who you are.” Plants are our allies and they do just that. They provide us nutrition as well as energetic support. Most importantly of all, they offer us an example of how to thrive.
Tell us about your daily supplement, Milk of Frankincense. What are the benefits from daily usage?
I don’t want to get into making any promises about what this tincture can cure or heal. I will say that it is a very potent extract of a sacred plant medicine made with much love and attention. Liquid extracts have been shown to be far more bioavailable and this makes it an easy and effective way to work with this medicine on a daily basis. Right now, Frankincense is being researched as a treatment for many types of cancer, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and many other serious conditions. What I can promise is that by using this tincture you will be sharing in an intentional prayer for both your own wellness and the wellness of your community.
I also make a Frankincense Balm that is made with infused resin not essential oil. By simply adding essential oil you lose out of valuable constituents for pain, inflammation, fighting cancer and wound healing because those compounds are too heavy to carry over in distillation. I believe that just combining commercial essential oils into things is really trendy right now, but not actually making the impacts their claim to have.
Essential oils are not very environmentally conscious medicines, at least not the way most people are using them. It takes so much more plant material to make an essential oil than most people can even imagine, and then they carelessly add them to things in inappropriate concentrations. This is part of what inspired me to make a Flower Water that can be used as an alternative to Florida Water. Unlike others who do this, I hydrodistill the plants myself instead of mixing extracts, essential oils, and hydrosols. No one that I know is hydrodistilling and blending their own plants this way, in house. Any other version of Florida water on the market that I have seen is blending commercial bulk hydrosol and TONS essential oils making them harsh on the body. It has been a long labor of love and I am very proud of it. My hope is to share this with the plant ceremony community to use as an alternative to chemical mass-produced Florida Water.
You also sell beautiful jewelry in your online store that you describes as “sacred jewelry and modern alchemy intended to connect you to your blissful true nature.” What makes your jewelry more than just accessories?
All of our jewelry is handmade by myself, or one of our MetaPhysik team members. Everyone who works with us in an energy healer. Each piece is a work of art born out of inspiration, creativity, and divine connection. No two are every the same as they are custom made to order, channeled for the customer based on the healing qualities of the materials. Our hope is that their beauty will be a mirror, reflecting back to the wearer all of the good stuff that’s already inside. After all, the true guru is you.