Our Medicinal Plant Reviews Executive Editor Thomas Ropp
Medicinal Plant Reviews Executive Editor Thomas Ropp standing in a mystical Costa Rica rain forest

About Thomas Ropp

Longtime journalist and author Thomas Ropp has an eclectic background in horticulture, medicine, health and ethnobotany.

For many years, Thomas wrote a column for the Arizona Republic newspaper on desert plants. He also covered medicine, health and fitness for the paper’s Healthy Living section. Thomas went on to work as the senior editor for HoneyColony, a publication out of Los Angeles that focuses on a more holistic approach to health.

In 2007 Thomas moved to Costa Rica to help restore the habitat of the endangered mono titi monkey. He built a home on 36 acres of rainforest in Villa Nueva, Costa Rica, where he studied a “living pharmacy” of plants and discussed their health benefits with local curanderos – benefits that are still widely unknown by most of the world.

His favorite plant? The guapinol tree, also known as the “tree of life” because of its importance to both animals and humans. The guapinol produces a large seed pod with an edible pulp inside that smells like cheese and has the consistency of wet sawdust. Local people have used the pulp for thousands of years as a natural medicine for many remedies including promoting prostate health. The bark is also used medicinally. Different parts of the guapinol tree are used for arthritis, asthma, beriberi, blenorrhagia, bronchitis, bruises, catarrh, cystitis, diarrhea, dyspepsia, emphysema, fractures, headaches, laryngitis, lungs, malaria, nephritis, rheumatism, sore, spasms, stomatitis, ulcers and venereal disease.

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