My dear friend Frank Cook passed away on August 19th.  His death was sudden and unexpected.  We last taught together in early July in New Mexico.  I had no idea when we said goodbye there that it would be for the very last time.  Frank inspired me in so many ways.  In the almost two decades I knew him, he grew exponentially as a healer, a botanist, a world traveler, a , a wild fermenter and a mystic. He led a fascinating, high-energy, globe-trotting life dedicated to learning and educating others about plant medicine knowledge from all cultures and all continents on the planet.  One of his goals was to get to know at least one representative plant from every plant family on the planet.  There are over 500 known plant families and I believe he made it well over half way to his goal.

Frank’s website is still thriving at if you would like to read more about him in his own words. Last year he finished a master’s degree in holistic science at Schumacher College (named after E.F. Schumacher, author of the classic book Small is Beautiful) in England. His brilliant master’s thesis that included a survey of herbalists and their knowledge of the main systems of medicine in the world and the plants used by each.  Frank’s most recent workshops expanded beyond botanical medicine to holistic science and sustainable living after his work at Schumacher College.

He he inspired thousands of people by walking a path that empowered others to live simply, eat wild foods and be healthy using local plants.  He believed that we could thrive on the abundance of nature very easily and that today’s modern lifestyle was way too much work for too little return.  Frank lived and travelled the world on donations.  It amazed me how he always had plenty of what he needed in this lifetime.  I am thankful for the ways he enriched my life.  When I make fermented foods, wildcraft herbs for medicine or make wild food meals, I always think of Frank and always will.

Live each day as if it is your last-

Margaret Philhower, ND