"Oyate" Means Family: A Qwinterview with Native American Herbalist and Oyate Herbals founder Tammie Lowell

Qwin's Lura Briggs sat down with Tammie Lowell to talk about what led her to natural healing, the state of the cannabis industry, and advice for those wishing to explore herbal remedies for the first time.
4 minute read

I had the pleasure of interviewing herbalist Tammie Lowell, founder of Oyate Herbals from Colorado. She comes from a long line of holistic healers and has been creating her own remedies for over 20 years! Her company Oyate Herbals carries Comfort Mountain, her own line of herbal health and beauty products which includes cannabis-infused salves, and she is also one of our valued partners.  

Lura: First, can you tell me a little bit about your company Oyate Herbals? And what inspired you to become a holistic healer? 

Tammie: Oyate ​is a Lakota word meaning family or tribe. My father was full-blooded Lakota Sioux from Pine Ridge, and my mother was an herbalist and nutritionist all her life. So, I was raised with the knowledge of herbs and holistic healing. 

Lura: How long has Oyate been around and how long have you been an herbalist? 

Tammie: ​ I’ve been an herbalist for over 20 years. My friends and family were the ones who pushed me to open my own business. That’s why I named it ​Oyate, because of my friends and family. That’s what we call our connection of people, our ​Oyate ​ . I was creating herbal remedies professionally for about eight years, and then I became big enough that I had to become an LLC, and that’s when I opened up Oyate. Oyate has been in business for a little over two years now. 

I’ve have Eastern, Western, and Native American herbology behind all of my products. 

Lura: You use RSO in your salves for your patients, how did you learn about cannabis’s healing properties, and what do you love most about using cannabis with your clients? 

Tammie: ​My mother had Lyme’s disease and started researching RSO several years ago. This was before we ever even thought that cannabis would be legal. It was, of course, illegal at the time, and it was still on the controlled substance list. 

She wasn’t sure if she had Lyme’s disease or multiple sclerosis. She’s had several different tests on both, and she has had lots of different health issues. She, of course, started researching RSO to help her manage her symptoms, and that made me interested in learning more. 

I went back and started looking into Rick Simpson Oil when I found out about my mom’s stuff. And then, about nine years ago, I found out that I had a hereditary blood disease that presents itself as a leukemic disorder. That’s when I became really interested in it. I knew I didn’t want to go down the traditional western medicine route to keep my illness from progressing. 

So, I went through all my research and tried several different methods and different strains of CBD, but as a dispatcher, I had to have something that also didn’t have any THC in it. It was a very long process, but I got to a point where I found the right strain. That’s when I hooked up with 

Lazarus Naturals. They do have an isolate, but isolate didn’t help me with my condition. I was able to use their high-potency full-spectrum CBD oil which seemed to work the best for me, and they also carry an amazing RSO.  

I knew what RSO was, and I knew how phenomenal it was for cancer patients. If you study Rick Simpson oil, then you know that that’s the whole purpose of why he made it. Lazarus has the purest form of RSO and is the closest to Rick Simpson’s actual RSO and that’s why I use it inside of my extra-strength pain salve. 

Lura: You are also a cannabis patient yourself; can you tell me a little bit about your personal experience managing chronic migraines, and how did you discover QWIN? 

Tammie: ​QWIN has been working very well with my chronic migraines. Unfortunately, with the blood disease I have, I don’t absorb B vitamins. I am part of the American Holistic Institute, and one of my fellow herbalists was able to recommend a phenomenal sublingual B vitamin. The doctor who designed it really knows what she’s doing, and I’m able to absorb the vitamin better. 

To give you a little backstory, I received the call from QWIN while I was on my way home from bringing my husband to the hospital. He was having surgery for a grade four glioblastoma brain tumor. It was very terrifying. We’re still dealing with it. Unfortunately, this was a little out of my league when it comes to cancer and herbology. It is something that will grow back very quickly. So, I’ve got him on CBD, that’s the one thing that at least they’ll let him have. Unfortunately, he must go through the traditional treatments until I can find some other alternatives so we can make sure we keep it gone and not let it grow back right now.  

Shiky [from the Sales team at QWIN] called me on my way home. I normally don’t return sales calls, but something moved me spiritually to call him back. When I talked to him, I told him about my situation, and he probably spent 30 minutes on the phone with me. Shiky talked about Mimi and Phiton’s values and that they had liked my web presentation. They had read my personal page about me and how I want to help people.  

It’s not really about the money for me. It’s about helping people learn how to live healthier lives without chemical drugs. And these insurance companies are taking advantage of people. There are other alternatives out there. You don’t have to rely on western medicine all the time. You have other remedies that you can use to help.  

So that’s how I ended up with QWIN. It was a blessing, and one of the biggest things that has helped with my stress and migraines. One of the longest migraines I had was 17 or 18 days in a row.  

Lura: That sounds awful, so how were you able to continue getting up for work and to take care of your husband? 

Tammie: ​ I am a go-getter, I’m a full-time dispatcher, so I just do what I must do. I developed a lotion that’s called Head Ease, and it’s great for people with migraines, so between the lotion, QWIN and my extra strength pain salve, it would at least bring my headaches down for a little while to help maintain my busy lifestyle. 

QWIN being a nebulizer and because of the absorption and the understanding of how CBD’s absorbs. I was very interested in more information. Because of the blood disease, it has messed with my lungs and I can’t use a vape pen. There’s no way.  If I try to use one, I just cough and cough. So, when I talked to Shiky, I said, “go ahead. Send me one. I’ll try it.” QWIN didn’t make me cough. I got instant relief on my head. It wasn’t like totally gone, but it took pressure off of my head and the back of my neck. I could feel the tension come out because a lot of my migraines stem from tension headaches. It lasts about 2 hours for me. It really does work! 

If I don’t believe in it, I don’t endorse it. I really like QWIN because of what Mimi and Phiton stand for. They have a lot of the same missions that I do, and I have a lot of respect for that. I’ve ordered 10 ​QWIN Plus Kits​ for my clients, and I think I have about five kits left. My clients love it! And my people are very picky because they’re tincture users. They understand that capsules don’t work. If you take CBD internally it’s going into the intestine; it just doesn’t absorb — you’re absorbing about 20-percent maximum. And it doesn’t rebalance your endocannabinoid system. You have to have higher absorption, and that’s why I use tinctures. And I tell people to try not to put it in water, put it directly under your tongue and hold it.  

Lura: Yes, there’s definitely a lack of education within the cannabis space. That leads me to my next question, ​ what’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone just starting out in their cannabis wellness journey? 

Tammie: ​Educate yourself! Make sure you understand what you’re using because there is a lot of junk out there that is not real cannabis. Make sure that you’re checking the company’s lab reports, make sure that it is an organic derived substance, and make sure that you’re talking with an herbalist or someone who is very educated because you could be buying stuff that is just junk. And there is a lot of it out there. 

Lura: I know! It is just insane how many people have just jumped on the bandwagon and are peddling garbage.

Tammie: ​ It is! It took me probably three years to find Lazarus Naturals. 

Lura: Is Lazarus based in Colorado? 

Tammie: ​No! [laughing] No, they’re based in Oregon. Yes, I have to ship it to Colorado. Go figure! Because everything in Colorado… I mean there are some good [CBD] companies, don’t get me wrong.  

But for my illness and for what I needed Lazarus Naturals worked. And it worked really really well. I did the R&D on it. I tried it out. I figured out what worked and what didn’t. 

I took blood tests on a regular basis to find out to see if my counts were progressing, and my doctor knew that I was doing nothing but diet and cannabis. And my bloodwork hasn’t moved in six years! And in fact, my numbers have improved, which they told me that they wouldn’t.  

Lura: Wow! That is incredible! So, what does your doctor think when she sees all these results?

Tammie: ​Well, she isn't opposed to what I'm doing. She is a medical doctor, but she understands. She has an indigenous Asian background and was raised knowing that there are alternatives out there. So, she gives me all of the typical medical spiels. She gives me four or five options, and then she looks at me and says, "or we can do nothing" because she knows that I prefer to manage it my way. 

Lura: [laughing] That’s great that you both have an understanding.

Tammie: ​[laughing] She has never burdened me with that. She knows how I am and how I like to do things.  

Cannabis I know has helped a ton of people; now do I think cannabis is the answer to all. No, not at all. Being an herbalist, I know there are other remedies that help people with their individual needs, and that's the other piece of advice that I'd give to anybody. They need to realize that when you're using any type of herbal remedy, it's a trial and error process. You have to give it that test. If you don't try something for at least two weeks, you're not going to really know how it interacts with your own constitution and your body. 

Lura: If someone wants to reach out to you about Oyate Herbals — how do they get in contact with you, and what can they expect in their first consultation?

Tammie: ​ The best way to get ahold of me is by my cell phone (719)661-0410, or they can go to the Oyate website, ​www.Oyateherbals.com​, to read up on any of my line of products called Comfort Mountain. I also have QWIN on there, I have Lazarus naturals on there, I also work with a Cherokee man who creates his own herbal teas, so there's a lot of information on the website. You can also read about me. I have an introduction to what​ ​ Oyate Herbals is, who I am, and this journey. Read about it and then contact me by phone.   

I do a lot of personal consultations with people. If they prefer, we can set up an appointment, and we can evaluate what medications they're on, what situations they're going through, and figure out what would be the best route for them. Everyone is an individual, so there is no set thing that will work for everybody. Sometimes the recommendations work right away. Sometimes it takes us a couple of different times to figure out what works best for them.


Huge thank you to Tammie for taking the time to talk with me today! You can find her on Instagram at ​@Oyateherbals​, Youtube at ​Comfort Mountain​, and Twitter at ​@OyateHerbals​ or you can visit her ​website ​for more information on her company Oyate Herbals and her personal product line ​Comfort Mountain​.