The Plant Alchemist
with goldthread’s William Siff
A master. A gifted healer. An ambassador of plants.
These are all names that have been given to William (Bill) Siff, herbalist, doctor of Chinese medicine, and founder of Goldthread, a plant-based line of tonics taking the health beverage shelf by storm. We propose adding another one to the list: Alchemist.
For Bill, working with plants is an opportunity to tell their story, spread their message, and alchemize something utterly transformative from something ordinary. A devoted follower of the lessons and healing that plants provide, he’s built a life around translating their wisdom to the masses. At his bungalow-cum-office in Santa Monica, CA, he even leads a signature Plantventure Experience which “gives people a complete tool kit for building a life saturated with plants and radiant health.” And next month, he’ll be leading a three-part series for guests to dive deeper into their own plant journeys.
We sat down with Bill to talk more about the upcoming Plantventure Immersion and the undeniable magic of plants.
Tell us a bit about your passion for plants! Where did it come from and how has it sustained you?
From the moment that I first found myself stopped in my tracks by a flower on the shore of Walden Pond near where I grew up in Massachusetts, I was on a mission to get closer and closer to these amazing and powerful beings. My love of the plants turned into a mission to put my life in service to them. Along the way, I spent two decades as a natural medicine clinician, working with patients one on one to incorporate plants into their daily lives to support healing and optimize health and longevity. My experience in the clinic was a deep dive into the bigger picture of human health and how it works and doesn’t work in our culture. My training in eastern medicine gave me a nature-based context for interpreting what I was witnessing and a roadmap for increasing the health of everyone that came to work with me.
What is Goldthread and why did you create it?
Goldthread began as a local, plant-based medicine model located on an organic herb farm and retail apothecary that also housed my clinical practice. For 10 years I ran the organization, educating people from around the country to replicate the model in their own communities, treating patients in the clinic, growing over 100 varieties of medicinal plants and formulating them into preparations that my patients received. Every step of the way, the mission remained the same, to follow the direction of the plants and do their work in the world.
In that spirit, I created the line of plant-based tonics that are at the heart of Goldthread today, based on the formulas I used with patients in the clinic to achieve powerful results. The tonics are designed to put a therapeutic dose of plants, in professional formulations, within arm’s reach of anyone, so that people can easily begin to incorporate these powerful plants into their lives and experience their life changing effects.
What inspired you to create the Plantventure Immersion series?
With that idea of accessibility and giving people the most direct experience of the power of the plants, the Plantventure Experience came into being. The method is the most direct and powerful way to connect to the plants and create a lifestyle that is saturated with them, based on decades of devoted study and practice. The immersion expands on the fundamentals we explore in the Plantventure Experience, and gives people a complete tool kit for building a life saturated with plants and radiant health.
What can guests to the Plantventure Immersion series expect?
The Plantventure Immersion uses an experiential method to bring us up close and personal with this life force and the ways that plants can transform it. In the series, I’ll work with the group and each individual to create a present moment experience of transformed health. The program is designed to impart a complete understanding of the context and application of plants in our daily lives.
Each week we will dive deep into a specific group of medicinal plants that activates and enhances a vital sphere of our physiology. We will explore the core physiological functions that form the foundation of optimal health and how certain plants have an ability to nourish, energize, and regulate these systems.
About The Experience
As Lauren Schiff of One Commune tells us, “The Plantventure Experience is a surprise and delight of every one of the senses. From entering the Goldthread space (which is gorgeous, cozy, and simply magical), all the way through to the end of the night, the experience is such a memorable and fulfilling one. William is so knowledgeable, approachable, and passionate (not to mention hilarious) about sharing the wisdom he's gained over the years, and his team is absolutely lovely; it all creates for a unique night where you come in curious and anticipatory, and where you leave pretty blown away. With so many great vibes, and captivating plant-based elements to absorb through listening to William's insights, as well as through sight, smell, and taste, I truly can't WAIT to come back for more. Thank you so much, Goldthread team! What a fantastic way to spend my time.”