Local Product Spotlight:
Desert Woman Botanicals
Monica Rude left the cold, gray winter of Upstate New York in 1988 and moved to
the desert. She writes,
“I was amazed by the sunshine. Within a few months, spring arrived in a glorious profusion
of wildflowers like I had never experienced. I was in love! The light, the rocks, the
clouds, the dirt, the plants, the
energy... were transforming. I was here to stay.
That's when I became... a desert woman.”
After studying with the well-known southwestern herbalist Michael Moore, Monica left behind a twenty
year nursing career to be outside with the plants. She says “gardens became my habitat.
Plants became my teachers. I especially love weeds - they have a lot to offer.” She started
her own nursery business, becoming a certified organic grower and created the Desert Woman Botanicals
herbal product line. During the early years many Coop members bought Monica’s herb plants at
La Montanita's Earth Day and Garden party celebration, fresh harvested herbs at the Coop’s harvest festivals
and attended her classes on herb cultivation.
Desert Woman Botanicals’ best known products are the Desert Woman’s exclusive product “Fire Cider” and a
series of cremes and lotions including “Rehab” and “Fab Foot.” Fire Cider is a hot, sweet, sour,
experience that is a general health tonic. Made from her home grown powerful cayenne it's easy heat
fades into a slow burn that can be used as a mood lifter, mover of chi, digestive aid, decongestant,
anti-microbial, tonic for heart and circulation, immune system and liver. In an apple cider vinegar base,
it contains no alcohol.
Re-hab Crème is used for sore muscles and joints and inflammation after physical work out, surgery, or injury
by runners, bikers, athletes, and anyone subject to physical exertion. “Fab Foot” crème soothes and heals
dry cracked, hard-working feet and hands.
All Desert Woman products are made using fresh herbs grown in her certified organic gardens in Gila,
New Mexico. They never contain any chemical preservatives, petroleum products or synthetic
fragrances. Instead of chemicals she uses vitamins, grapefruit seed extract, & benzoin which are
considered natural preservatives without side effects. Other ingredients include olive oil, beeswax
and essential oils that have anti-oxidant activity and contribute to the natural preservative effects.
Monica says “I believe in good old fashioned customer service and make quality products with no junk in them.
Opening any of my jars is like stepping into my gardens.”
This year Desert Woman Botanicals is unveiling two new products: Lavender Light Lotion and Creme of Lemon Supreme.
They are both luscious, buttery, smell heavenly and are great for your skin! A luxurious blend of lavender
flowers for the entire body, Lavender Light Lotion softens, soothes and moisturizes skin. A delight
for all your senses, smooth on right after a bath, at bedtime to promote restful sleep. Or try the invigorating,
refreshing essence of lemon with the triple treat of Meyer lemons, lemon grass and lemon verbena in the
Lemon Supreme Body Lotion.
Desert Woman Botanicals specializes in capturing the healing energies of the Southwest Desert and bottling it
up for our benefit. Look for Desert Woman Botanical products in the HBA department at the Valley location
or come meet Monica in person at both the Valley Coop’s Garden Party and the 16th Annual Celebrate
the Earth Fest in Nob Hill.