Our Founders

Dr. Eric Baumgartner L.Ac., DAOM

Dr. Eric Baumgartner is a father and a pilgrim, and has spent the last 21 years in the study and practice of medicine traditions from around the world. His father and grandfather were both physicians, and though he grew up suspecting he would be a doctor someday, he had no idea that his path would lead to Chinese medicine. He currently holds a Master’s degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Emperor's College, as well as a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine with a Family Medicine specialization from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine including subspecialties in Women's Health, Pediatrics, Mental Health, Neurology, and Orthopedics. He practices functional medicine, acupuncture, herbalism, and nutrition in Ojai at the Bernhoft Center for Advanced Medicine and also works with patients remotely around the world.

Dr. Baumgartner has had the privilege of studying and mentoring with many amazing clinicians over the years, including Dr. Yvonne Farrell, Dr. Will Morris, Dr. Jeffrey Yuen, Dr. Daniel Kalish, Dr. Jill Blakeway, Giovanni Maciocia, and Juan Ruiz Naupari, among many others. He is currently a student of transpersonal psychology with the Pneuma Institute.

After many years of study and relationship with herbs, and many a blessing granted by the plant kingdom, Dr. Baumgartner was called into service as the chief formulator for Essential Medicina. He continues to cultivate a romantic and rewarding relationship with herbs and plants of all shapes and sizes, and is deeply humbled by the alliances he has built with many of the legendary super-herbs featured in our products.

In his spare time, by heritage and by grace, he is an organic tree gardener and wildcrafter, aspiring solar artist, kitchen alchemist, and backcountry naturalist, prone to sudden bouts of singing and absurd voice impersonations, usually to be found digging, writing, playing with his kids, adoring his wife (our co-founder below), or concocting some nutritious if not always delicious potion, smoothie, latte or salsa.

Cheserae Scala

Cheserae is a mother, teacher, wellness coach, esthetician, and spiritual student, and has found her life’s mission working as a death doula. She has spent the last 7 years studying the process of mystical death through transpersonal psychology, and learning about how to support and facilitate end of life care. Among her many gifts is the ability to bring beauty into any situation, and to help her clients discover the beauty within.

Since her youth, Cheserae found herself drawn to the subtle, the sacred, and the extraordinary, and she felt this call growing stronger ever since becoming a mother. She was blessed to have the opportunity to become a certified Death Midwife prior to her mother’s diagnosis with terminal cancer. Fulfilling this role for her mother and helping to create a peaceful and healing transition for her family and community was one of the greatest, and most transformational experiences of her life.

Inspired with a new vision of what is possible in death and dying, and having forged new alliances with Hospice, funeral homes, community leaders, and colleagues, Cheserae has committed to sharing this work with families, groups, and individuals. She currently works as a death doula, and offers end of life support, death care directives, after death care, home funeral planning and ceremony, as well as classes and programs for those interested in learning more about death and dying work.

Her newest project involves sharing the sacred use of essential oils in tending for the dying, and focuses both on the oils for the dying as well as those for supporting the caregivers. Being a caregiver herself, she is especially excited to share this beautiful way to care for the caregivers.

In her rare moments of spare time, she is the Chief Inspirational Officer and keeper of beauty and grace for Essential Medicina, and continues to inspire (and be the guinea pig for) all of our new and potential products.

Cheserae and Eric were officially married in July of 2014, and joined their families into a millenial Brady Bunch worthy of wonder. Their five children have all contributed to the creation and growth of this vision and its perfect unfolding.