Our late Founder, James A. May, Sr., traveled the globe to bring the finest herbs to people worldwide. His journey started more than three decades ago as one of discovery.

His story began deep in the South American rainforest in the heart of Paraguay. On that journey, Mr. May was searching for the legendary Wise Old Man of the Guarani natives of whom he had heard so many stories. People along the way told James about the man’s knowledge of the healing qualities of local rainforest herbs. Jim was very determined to meet him and learn from his wisdom. Although he never met the Wise Old Man, James learned of and tasted various herbs used by the locals in teas from the people that did meet him. It was from the wisdom of the people and the inspiration of the Wise Old Man that set Jim on his lifelong mission.

Through his personal journey, he found the remarkable herbs to be restorative and energizing, so much so, he brought back samples to the United States and made them part of his daily routine.

To honor the Wise Old Man and those who preceded him, Mr. May named the herbs, Wisdom of the Ancients®. Over the years, he added other herbs found around the globe. All were used and respected for their wellness benefits by the locals.

Among the herbs introduced to America were stevia and Yerba Maté. In 1982, no one in the U.S. had heard of these two herbs and their ancient legacy. So, another journey begins for Mr. May, this time in the United States to spread the word of these wonderful, beneficial herbs. Jim shared the knowledge he gained from the people from Guarani and his own personal experiences in using stevia, Yerba Maté, Pau d’Arco and Symfrē®. James started conversations about these herbs with family and friends and those conversations escalated spreading his knowledge during invited educational lectures, radio talk shows, and in published articles.

As mentioned earlier, James May never met the Wise Old Man. However, the inspirations of his teachings set Jim on a lifetime journey that will be known throughout time.

Jim was wise himself and to those who knew him personally, will attest to his kindness, sweetness, caring personality. He was a gentle man, a wise man, a man who was loved by all who were lucky enough to know him.

Jim’s legacy is known worldwide. Honored by the stevia industry with many, many accolades and even named the Father of Stevia, Jim won global recognition for his contributions with stevia and other herbs. James May was also presented with the Vision Award by the Specialty Food Association and inducted with his wife Carol (now CEO of the company) into the prestigious Hall of Legends at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, California.

Today, his company, Wisdom Natural Brands® which began with a few herbs discovered deep in the South American rainforest, is a global sweetener, herbal beverage, and ingredient corporation.

His products can be found throughout the US and in more than 30 countries. And recently the company was awarded the prestigious President’s “E” Award for Exports.

Our hope today is that you enjoy the delicious herbal beverages and sweeteners of Wisdom Natural Brands® and imagine how the native people enjoyed their taste and rich benefits. We get asked many times, how did Jim May drink his Yerba Maté? We thought you would enjoy knowing how industry giant, James A. May, Sr., relaxed with his favorite beverage.

How Did James May Drink His Maté?

Having learned from the Guarani people, James May preferred the robust sweetness of the loose Yerba Maté Royale® tea sipped through a bombilla.

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