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Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham in Ningxia, China, with Goji Berry, 2010
Christopher Scott Kilham
July 22, 1952
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Occupation||Medicine Hunter, TV Personality, Educator, Author|
|Spouse(s)||Zoe Helene (2007–present)|
Chris Kilham (born July 22, 1952) is an author, educator, and world-traveler researching and promoting plant-based medicines. He is the founder of Medicine Hunter, Inc., and was a Fox News integrative alternative medicine TV personality and columnist for 9 years. He is the author of 14 books, including The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook - The Essential Guide to Ayahuasca Journeying, The Five Tibetans, Tales from The Medicine Trail, Psyche Delicacies, and Kava: Medicine Hunting in Paradise. The New York Times has referred to Kilham as “part David Attenborough, part Indiana Jones." Richard Branson writes about Kilham's sustainability work in his book, Screw Business as Usual.
Chris Kilham was born and raised in a family of ministers, broadcast and public speaking professionals. He is the son of Elizabeth Scalise Kilham “Bette Day” (1925-2006) and Gene Kilham (1919-1971). Bette Day was one of the first female on-screen TV talents at Boston’s WBZ-TV and became a popular radio disc jockey during her 43-year broadcasting career. Gene Kilham was also a broadcasting professional and songwriter. His grandfather, Rev. Dr. Victor Scalise graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1932 and spoke for his graduating class and received an award for effective preaching. Kilham’s uncle and first cousin are both Baptist ministers.
Chris Kilham with Shaman Dona Sophia and Maca
Kilham is the founder of Medicine Hunter, Inc. Through Medicine Hunter, Kilham travels to locate native medicinal plants and set up cultivation methods and sustainable trade with indigenous peoples. Medicine Hunter, Inc. is sponsored by companies who compensate Kilham for researching and promoting specific plants.
Kilham is currently Explorer In Residence for Purity Products, a collaboration that brings to market health-promoting herbal concepts that Chris supports. These products are largely based on his findings on botanical expeditions.
For 21 years, Kilham's primary sponsor was Naturex, a French supplier of plant extracts. The Naturex Foundation employed Kilham to establish fair trade with indigenous peoples in the areas in which their plants are grown. On their behalf he headed new botanical discovery, helped to develop sustainability programs, and developed communication programs about medicinal plants.
Kilham's wife, Zoe Helene, is an active partner in Medicine Hunter, Inc. Zoe Helene is an artist, and cultural activist,  and interactive media pioneer. Helene travels with Kilham on expeditions and conducts field research on the state of wilderness and wildlife, the arts of indigenous peoples, and women and children’s rights. As partner and 'co-pilot' in Medicine Hunter, Inc., Helene has traveled with Kilham on expeditions to the Peruvian Amazon, Peruvian Andes, Panama, Chile, South Africa, Vanuatu and Aotearoa (New Zealand), where she spent the years 9 to 19. Helene traveled with media on Medicine Hunter expeditions and appeared with Chris Kilham on NBC Nightly News, and in twice in The New York Times. She is mentioned in Reality Sandwich, Ode Magazine, and most recently, Outside Magazine, where she was quoted as advocating for New Zealand’s critically endangered Maui’s dolphin "of which a mere 55 survive.” On Huffington Post she writes about the importance of sustainable harvesting of medicinal plants, stating that “Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis), in the Amazon, are increasingly difficult to find in the wild.”
Under Medicine Hunter, Inc. and partner companies, Kilham has conducted medicinal research in over 20 countries. He also promotes the following plants as having these properties:
- Ayahuasca as an addiction treatment, *Ayahuasca as an addiction treatment, for healing psoriasis, physical abuse and chronic fatigue, and for personal healing.
- Rhodiola rosea for reducing cortisol levels, reducing stress, improving mental function, and enhancing libido.
- Tongkat ali as an aphrodisiac and for balancing both male and female hormones.
- Dragon's blood for skin healing and antioxidant properties.
- Acai as superfood and for antioxidant properties.
- Maca for enhancing energy and sexual function.
Kilham’s work with aphrodisiacs has been featured on CNN, The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, and in the New York Times and Washington Post, ABC News Nightline, Outside Magazine, and Business Insider.
Work in Natural Products Industry
From 1985-1990, Kilham was the Vice President of Marketing for Bread and Circus, a natural foods chain bought by Whole Foods in 1992. In 1990, Kilham founded Cowboy Marketing, a consulting firm for the natural foods industry. His book, Cowboy Marketing: How to Shoot from the Hip and Win on the Wild Frontier of Natural Foods Retailing is about his experiences in the natural foods industry.
Role in Cannabis Reform
Kilham is an activist in the movement to legalize marijuana and has written about the topic, including the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and U.S. patent 6.630.507, on several occasions as part of his Fox Health blog. Kilham’s wife and business partner, Zoe Helene, is also a public advocate for the legalization of marijuana, and was recently featured in a Forbes article stating that she uses cannabis occasionally “as a tool for evolving and expanding my psyche.”
Cannabis fine dining is gaining momentum across the country. Kilham is the "celebrity ethnobotanist" in Robyn Grigg Lawerence's, The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook (2015), which features healthy cannabis-infused food recipes and seasoned advice from America's top cannabis chefs. He was listed as one of the "Top Cannabis Chefs" in Culture Magazine.
Voice of Shamanism
Chris Kilham with Chakruna (Psychotria viridis) leaves in the Peruvian Amazon. Chakruna is one of two essential plants for making ayahuasca, a body, mind and spirit medicine. MERGE Chris Kilham with Chakruna. Photo by Zoe Helene
Kilham is recognized as a chief in the South Pacific. He researches and promotes psychoactive and psychedelic plants used in traditional shaman rituals, including kava and ayahuasca. He has written a book about the medicinal qualities of psychoactive and psychedelic plants, entitled Psyche Delicacies: Coffee, Chocolate, Chiles, Kava and Cannabis and Why They're Good for You. Chris' most recent book, The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook - The Essential Guide to Ayahuasca Journeying, has been featured in Newsweek, Boston Magazine, and Reset with Amber Lyon. The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook - The Essential Guide to Ayahuasca Journeying is dedicated to Kilham's wife, Zoe Helene, and to the late Ipupiara, Bernardo Dias Peixoto, a shaman.
Kilham’s Ayahausca Monologues have been described as a “psychedelic TED talk” and “Insightful, funny, wild, and totally real". Chris is the founder of Ayahuasca Test Pilots, a “collaboration of individuals who engage in the ceremonial practice of ayahuasca journeying with skilled shamans”. His wife, Zoe Helene, serves as “Co-Pilot”.
Yoga and Meditation
Kilham is a yoga teacher and conference speaker. His most notable yoga contribution is his book, The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power, which has been a bestseller for 20 years and translated into 27 languages. Nicki Doane, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Mehmet Oz are quoted on the book jacket. Kilham has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show teaching Dr. Mehmet Oz the exercises. He has also demonstrated The Five Tibetans on Fox News. Kilham is sometimes referred to as the "Psychedelic Yogi".
Work with University of Massachusetts
Kilham has taught ethnobotany at University of Massachusetts since 2000. His title there is “Explorer in Residence.” He leads the Shaman’s Pharmacy Amazon Field Immersion Course, an expedition to primary rainforest in Peru for students from UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, and Smith College. Students experience the Amazon while learning about field expedition, sustainability, shamanism, and medicinal plants of the region. Helene travels with and educates the students.
Kilham is the author of fourteen books and numerous publications on medicinal plants, natural products, and yoga, including The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power and Stalking the Wild Orgasm, which appears as a key character set-up prop in the cult 1988 movie, Earth Girls Are Easy in the lead role Valerie Gail’s (played by Geena Davis) lingerie drawer. Chris' most recent book, The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook - The Essential Guide to Ayahuasca Journeying, provides a practical guide to ayahuasca use.
Kilham’s other books are:
- The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook: The Essential Guide to Ayahuasca Journeying. ( North Atlantic Books | Evolver Editions, November 4, 2014) – ISBN 978-1-58394-792-0
- The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power. (Healing Arts Press; 2nd Edition, New Edition, August 16, 2011) – ISBN 978-1594774447
- Hot Plants: Nature’s Proven Sex Boosters for Men and Women. (St. Martin’s Press, September 2004) – ISBN 978-0-312-31539-9
- Psyche Delicacies: Coffee, Chocolate, Chiles, Kava and Cannabis, and Why They’re Good For You. (Rodale Press, 2001) – ISBN 1-57954-347-2
- Tales from The Medicine Trail: Tracking Down the Health Secrets of Shamans, Herbalists, Mystics, Yogis, and Other Healers. (Rodale Press, 2000) – ISBN 1-57954-185-2
- OPC: The Miracle Antioxidant. (Keats Publishing, Jan. 11, 1998) – ISBN 0-87983-842-6
- Kava: Medicine Hunting in Paradise. (Park Street Press, 1996) – ISBN 0-89281-640-6
- Cowboy Marketing: How to Shoot From the Hip and Win on the Wild Frontier of Natural Foods Retailing. (New Hope Communications, 1993) – ASIN B000E6CS1O
- The Bread & Circus Whole Food Bible: How to Select and Prepare Safe Healthful Foods Without Pesticides or Chemical Additives. (Addison-Wesley, 1991. Revised version: Healing Arts Press, 1996) – ISBN 978-0-89281-626-2
- Inner Power: Secrets from the Tibet and Orient. (Japan Publications, 1988) – ISBN 0-87040-689-2
- In Search Of The New Age: A Humorous Look at an Emerging Culture. (Destiny Books, 1988) – ISBN 978-0-89281-209-7
- Take Charge Of Your Health: Healing with Yogatherapy and Nutrition. (Japan Publications, 1985) – ISBN 0-87040-632-9
- The Complete Shopper's Guide to Natural Foods. (Autumn Press, 1980) – ISBN 0-394-73983-3
Television and Radio Appearances
Kilham is a frequent guest on The Dr. Oz Show with Dr. Mehmet Oz, appearing on at least 15 occasions from January 2008 to January 2015,  and Good Morning America, where he has appeared to discuss herbal remedies, his cocoa sustainability project, and libido boosting plants. Kilham also serves on The Medical Advisory Board of The Dr. Oz Show.
Kilham has appeared as a guest expert on numerous radio and television programs, speaking primarily about medicine hunting, mind/body health and wellness, traditional botanical medicine, sustainability, environmental and cultural preservation and other related topics.
- "The Medicine Hunter Challenge". Dr. Manny's Notes on Fox News.com. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- Kilham, Chris (2014). The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook - The Essential Guide to Ayahuasca Journeying. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 978-1-58394-792-0.
- Kilham, Chris (1994). The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power. Healing Arts Press. ISBN 0-89281-450-0.
- Kilham, Chris (2000). Tales from the Medicine Trail: Tracking Down the Secrets of Shamans, Herbalists, Mystics, Yogis, and Other Healers. Rodale Press. ISBN 1-57954-185-2.
- Kilham, Chris (2001). Psyche Delicacies. Rodale Press. ISBN 1-57954-347-2.
- Kilham, Chris (1996). Kava: Medicine Hunting in Paradise. Park Street Press. ISBN 0-89281-640-6.
- Downie, Andrew (1 January 2008). "On a Remote Path to Cures". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Branson, Richard (2011). Screw Business as Usual. USA: Penguin Group. pp. 236–240. ISBN 1-59184-434-7.
- "Globe:". Boards.radio-info.com. 2006-03-10. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- Bulletin of Yale University, The Divinity School. Series 27.11. New Haven. Feb. 15, 1931.
- Somerville Baptist Church description: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- Stewart, Kimberly Lord. "Natural Products Jungle-Book". New Hope 360 interview. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- Robyn, Lawrence. "Trippy Healing." Sensi Magazine. July, 2018
- "Zoe Helene Official Site". Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Marriage Certificate: Amherst, MA, Reg# 59, Intention# 75, July 23, 2007
- Hendricks, Steve (January 2014). "In The Jungle With Dr. Feelgood". Outside Magazine. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- "About Zoe Helene". Medicine Hunter website. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Roessler, Mark. "The Adventures of Black Vulture and Little Bear". News article August 2011. The Valley Advocate. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- Downie, Andrew (Jan 1, 2008). "On a Remote Path to Cures". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Products, Purity (Jan 11, 2017). "Chris Kilham's Purity Products". Purity Products. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
- "Partner Companies". Medicine Hunter website. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- "Medicine Hunter". Fox News topics. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Kilham, Chris. "In search of nature's pharmacy". Ode Magazine. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Helene, Zoe (December 2013). "Winter Wonderland: Artisan Gifts Inspired by Arctic Wildlife". Huffington Post. Retrieved Feb 2, 2013.
- Helene, Zoe (December 2013). "Yoga & Meditation: Good Karma Gifts of Dharma". Huffington Post. Retrieved Feb 2, 2013.
- Helene, Zoe (February 2013). "A Perfect Heart-Shaped Seed: Higher Plants at Risk". Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Helene, Zoe (Jan 18, 2013). "Master Guitarist and Ayahuasca Journeyer John Sheldon Creates Memorial Song for Yellowstone Wolf". Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- Helene, Zoe (Nov 2012). "Teach Your Babies Well: Adorable, Life-Affirming Gifts for Little Ones". Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 Nov 2012.
- Imperato, Gina (May 1999). "The Email Prescription". Fast Company. Retrieved Nov 20, 2013.
- Kitchen, Patricia (September 12, 1999). "Artistry for the Small Screen". Newsday. Retrieved Nov 20, 2013.
- Shapley, Deborah (January 1, 2000). "Dr. E-mail Will See You Now". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved Nov 20, 2013.
- Shapley, Deborah (August 9, 1996). "Marrying High Art with High Tech". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved Nov 20, 2013.
- Thompson, Anne (Sep 18, 2008). "The World's Biggest Pharmacy May Have Short Shelf-life". NBC Nightly News. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- Szymasek, Jennifer (January 2008). "A Medicine Hunter in Peru". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- Downie, Andrew (January 2008). "On a Remote Path to Cures". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- Kilham, Chris (November 2011). "In Search of Nature's Pharmacy". Reality Sandwich. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Kilham, Chris (Aug 4, 2011). "In Search of Nature's Pharmacy". Ode Magazine. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Exploring Nature's Pharmacy: A Talk with Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham". Reality Sandwich. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- Main, Douglas (Jan 1, 2015). "Ayahuasca Can Help You Communicate with Plant Spirits, and Heal Your Body and Mind". Newsweek. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "A Medicine Hunter's Hallucinatory Healing Chris Kilham Evolver Ayahuasca Monologues NYC". Evolver. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- Mehmet, Oz. "Sex-Enhancing Plants". Oprah Radio. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- Hopkinson, Natalie (Oct 16, 2004). "'Medicine Hunter' Stalks the Wild Libido Booster". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "The Quest for What May Be Nature's Most Potent Aphrodisiac". The ABC News Nightline. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- McDougall, Andrew. "Naturex launches new natural revitalising ingredient fresh from the Amazon". Cosmetics Design Europe. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Boncampagni, Tatiana (18 April 2003). "Acai Replaces Wheatgrass In Blenders at Juice Bars". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- Flanagan, Graham. "A Professional Medicine Hunter Reveals The 5 Plants To Boost Your Sex Life". Business Insider. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- Wang, Jeanette. "Chris Kilham Scours the Planet for Plants with Medicinal Properties". Morning Post. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "Peruvian 'hot plant' may boost libido". CNN. Nov 1, 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "Natural Cures, Part II". Dr. Oz Show.
- "Libido Boosting Plants". Good Morning America. ABC News. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "A Medicine Hunter in Peru". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- Hopkinson, Natalie (16 October 2004). "'Medicine Hunter' Stalks the Wild Libido Booster". Washington Post. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "Food Prices Will Rise". Vegetarian Times. Oct 1998. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Health Food Supermarkets? Why Yes, It's Only Natural". New York Times. Jan 8, 1992. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Kilham, Chris (1993). Cowboy Marketing: How to Shoot From the Hip and Win on the Wild Frontier of Natural Foods Retailing. New Hope Communications.
- Shilton, AC (December 2015). "5 Stories of Adventurous Holiday Eating". Outside Magazine. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- Kilham, Chris (20 April 2011). "Marijuana Compound Treats Multiple Health Issues". FoxNews.com. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- Kilham, Chris (9 August 2010). "Patent on Pot". FoxNews.com. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- Griggs Lawrence, Robyn (May 2013). "Is Marijuana Booming Among Boomers?". Forbes. Retrieved 1 Nov 2013.
- Griggs Lawrence, Robyn (April 2015). "The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook". Skyhorse. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- Alexander, Sheryll (October 2015). "Meet the World's Top Cannabis Chefs". Skyhorse. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
- Ettinger, Jill. "Lessons from the Forests: Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham". Organic Authority. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Hutson, Mathew (September 1, 2007). "On the Job: Medicine Man". Psychology Today. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Kilham, Christopher (2001). Psyche Delicacies: Coffee, Chocolate, Chiles, Kava and Cannabis, and Why They’re Good For You. Rodale Press. ISBN 978-1-57954-347-1.
- Main, Douglas. "Ethnobotanist Chris Kilham: The Ayahuasca Experience". News article August 2014. Reset. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- Kilham, Chris. "Ayahuasca Test Pilots". Medicine Hunter. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Southwest Yoga Conference Presenters". Southwest Yoga. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Inner Traditions". Medicine Hunter. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Kilham, Chris (2011). The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power 2nd Edition. Healing Arts Press. ISBN 1-59477-444-7.
- Oz, Dr. Mehmet (Sep 18, 2008). "The Five Tibetans with Chris Kilham and Dr. Mehmet Oz". The Dr. Oz Show. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- Oz, Dr. Mehmet (Sep 18, 2008). "5 Anti-Aging Yoga Moves". Fox News Nature's Medicine Cabinet. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- Ettinger, Jill (1 April 2015). "Are Psychedelics a Gateway to a Thriving Meditation Practice?". EcoSalon. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Şenol, Neşe (1 September 2011). "Psychedelic Yogi". Reality Sandwich. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Morse, Steve (July 9, 1981). "CAMBRIDGE'S HIPPIE MEDICINE MAN; WHY CHRIS KILHAM PRACTICES WHAT HE PREACHES". Boston Globe.
- Miller, Laura. "Stalking the Wild Eleuthero: Chris Kilham is UMass Amherst's Explorer-in-Residence". News article June 3, 2014. The Valley Advocate. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Gagnon, Mathew. "The Shaman's Pharmacy". UMass Amherst. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- Kilham, Chris (1984). Stalking the Wild Orgasm. ACS Publications. ISBN 0917086554.
- Oprah Radio. Boost Energy with Adaptogens. Jan. 1, 2008 http://www.oprah.com/health/Adaptigens
- The Dr. Oz Show. The Tea Every Woman Should Drink: Matcha. http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/24-hour-body-cameron-diaz?video_id=3058862437001
- The Dr. Oz Show. Super-Powered Greek Coffee. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/super-powered-greek-coffee-pt-1
- The Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Oz's Skin Care Plan: Schisandra 1. http://www.medicinehunter.com/schisandra-dr-oz2/
- The Dr. Oz Show. Scents that Heal. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/scents-heal-essential-oils
- The Dr. Oz Show. Natural Cures, Part I and Part II http://www.oprah.com/health/Adaptigens; http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/natural-cures-pt-1
- ABC News Good Morning America. Libido Boosting Plants. Feb. 1, 2010. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/natural-cures-pt-1
- ABC News Good Morning America. Modern Day Medicine Man. Nov. 2, 2008. http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=6167143
- ABC News. Cocoa and the Kuna Indians of Panama. Apr. 4, 2011. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/cocoa-kuna-indians-panama-native-americans-chocolate-production-13402637
- The Dr. Oz Show. Medical Advisory Board. http://www.doctoroz.com/medadvisoryboard/chris-kilham