Nicole Apelian, Ph.D.
Author / Scientist / Herbalist / Forager / Survival Skills Instructor / TV & Film Survival Consultant / On-Screen Personality
Interested in featuring Dr. Nicole in your magazine, newspaper, or article? Looking to hire her to consult on your next TV or film project? The information on this page will help you get started.
Nicole’s MS Story & Philosophy
Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it.
– Ellen Goodman
A passionate herbalist, author, survival TV celebrity, biologist, anthropologist, expeditionary leader, mother, and wilderness skills instructor. Nicole was a challenger on the second and fifth seasons of the History Channel’s TV series “Alone”, where she thrived in the wilderness totally solo with little more than her knife and her wits. She also stars in the UK documentary series “Surviving The Stone Age”. She is the author of three books, The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies: The Healing Power of Plant Medicine, A Reference Guide to Surviving Nature: Outdoor Preparation and Remedies, and The Forager’s Guide to Wild Foods: Edible Plants, Lichens, Mushrooms, and Seaweeds .
An unexpected diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2000 led Nicole to apply her scientific research skills towards her own personal wellness. She focuses on a healthy living strategy, including deep nature connection and gratitude practices. Through changes in her lifestyle & diet, recognizing profound mind-body linkages, and making and using her own herbal remedies, Nicole went from bedridden to being fully alive and from surviving to thriving.
She has spent years living in nature with the San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, one of the last Indigenous peoples who still live as hunter-gatherers. Developing strong relationships within the tribe helped Nicole learn many of the remedies and skills she practices and teaches today and she continues her work with the San through her non-profit, “The Origins Project”.
At home in the Pacific Northwest, she makes her own herbal medicines from local plants and mushrooms as part of her healthy living strategy, especially as related to autoimmune issues, and has her own herbal medicinal apothecary line.
Herbalist, Wild Foods, & Foraging
Nicole looks at her landscape as her grocery store and her pharmacy. She believes that wild nutrition is a key part of a healthy diet and spends much time foraging, processing, and cooking wild foods. She loves sharing her vast knowledge of wild foods and wild medicine with others through her blog and social media channels.
A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2000 led Nicole to apply her research skills towards her own personal wellness. She developed a healthy living strategy, focusing on health and wholeness. She formed her own Herbal Apothecary, supplied with herbal medicines she makes from local plants and mushrooms.
Medicinal mushrooms are a particular specialty of Nicole’s. Nicole takes four mushroom tinctures daily as part of her healthy living strategy and gives medical talks that focus on peer-reviewed research around medicinal mushrooms. They are becoming more mainstream for autoimmune issues and functional oncologists are now incorporating them into their treatment strategies.
MS and Autoimmune Awareness
Nicole is active in the field of MS and Autoimmune Health and Awareness. After the airing of the show Alone, she had tens of thousands of inquiries asking how she manages Multiple Sclerosis naturally. On her website, she shares her strategies about diet, herbs, supplements, and lifestyle to manage MS naturally. Nicole has spoken at naturopathic and medical conferences on the subjects of sustainable health and wellness, and medicinal mushrooms and MS.
Survival Skills Consultant and TV Work
Nicole consults for TV, book, film, and movie productions on all aspects of survival, including actor training and script review. Recent work includes survival skills consulting and/or training for the Allison Janney film “Lou,” (Dir.: Anna Foerster, Prod.: J.J. Abrams) where Nicole read through the script for authenticity, in particular for those scenes involving survival and outdoor skills. Focus was on the authenticity of the action and dialogue in the script, notes about the outdoor elements, weather, and clothing, as well as information about plants, mushrooms, insects and other protein sources that could be eaten that time of year in the Pacific Northwest. Previously she served as a survival skills consultant for the film “Leave No Trace,” and provided training for actors Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie, helped with script authenticity with director Debra Granik and producer Anne Rosellini, worked with props, set design, and green design, and as an on-set advisor.
Nicole recently consulted and acted in the upcoming UK Channel 4 documentary series, “Surviving The Stone Age: Adventure In The Wild, a month-long Stone Age living project”, which documents what life would have been like as a mobile hunter-gatherer clan in the Stone Age. She has also worked with NBC Universal, training Social Media Influencers in the art of survival.
Surviving the Stone Age on UK Channel 4: https://www.channel4.com/programmes/surviving-the-stone-age
History Channel: Outdoor Adventure Series
- Yeti Company
- Umpqua Bank
An engaging and dynamic speaker, Dr. Nicole Apelian brings energy and inspiration to her audience. She is an experienced and motivational keynote speaker for corporate groups, academic conferences, fundraisers, motivational seminars, commencements, workshops, and more.
Medical and Naturopathic Conferences
- Keynote Speaker, Northwest Naturopathic Convention, Vancouver, BC, 2017
For ND Practitioners: Sustainable Holistic Health and the Art of Deep Nature Connection
- Keynote Speaker for OAND Nov. 2018 (Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors – https://oand.org/)
For ND Practitioners: Sustainable Holistic Health and the Art of Deep Nature Connection
- July 2021: Wahls Protocol Seminar (Dr. Terry Wahls, M.D.): Keynote Speaker
Medicinal Mushrooms and MS (Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Turkey Tail: Medicinal Mushrooms and MS) https://thewahlsprotocolseminar.vhx.tv/products/2021-wahls-protocol-seminar-advanced
- July 2022 (upcoming): Wahls Protocol Seminar (Dr. Terry Wahls, M.D.): Keynote Speaker
Brand Ambassador, Social Media Influencer, and Spokesperson
Nicole is a leader in wilderness living, herbal medicine, organic health & wellness, and all aspects of survival and prepping. She seeks affiliate partnerships that align with her values and skills. Through her personal influence and community network, she can expand your brand’s outreach and promote your products.
Brand ambassadors and social media influencers are the present and future of marketing. Dr. Nicole has an excellent engagement rate across her social media platforms and is a trusted name in health, wellness, and the outdoors. Find out if your brand is in alignment with Nicole by contacting her through this website or via her Instagram page.
Wilderness Skills Instructor/Africa Work
As a game warden with the US Peace Corps Nicole fell in love with the African landscapes and the San Bushmen’s way of life. She went on to complete her doctorate, focused in Cultural Anthropology within the field of Sustainability Education, with her field work in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana, Africa.
Nicole also spent time as a lion researcher for the Okavango Lion Research Project (Botswana). Nicole learned many traditional skills and ways and shares this knowledge through classes and workshops on her land in Western Washington and throughout the USA and Canada.
Dr. Nicole Apelian is an anthropologist who is regarded as family by the Naro San Bushmen community she works with in Botswana. Together they strategize ways to help retain their traditions and catalogue indigenous plant uses with the community.
She is the co-founder of “The Origins Project“, a 501c3 set up as a joint venture with a community of San Bushmen.
In the Press
- Portland Monthly | This Banana Slug–Eating Survivalist Will School You on Wilderness Skills
- Portland Tribune | Nicole Apelian Gets Back To Basics
- Bleeker Street Media | An Interview with Dr. Nicole Apelian
- Join MS Warrior Terry Wahls MD and me for this important conversation. We share our stories, research, MS strategies, and personal experiences with you. I know you’ll find this interview to be useful and informative (and fun too :-)). https://www.instagram.com/tv/CIi7EVjj0Pz/?igshid=1ban3acxb3rma
- YouTube Interview with Laura Prepon
- Journey of Possibilities Podcast | Medicinal Plants, Multiple Sclerosis, Natural Wellness
- Daniel Vitalis: Rewild Yourself Podcast, On Lions, the San and Being Alone, Dr. Nicole Apelian #141
- LA Times | Step 1: Scout the setting; Step 2: Interview the locals; Step 3: Write
- Leave No Trace’ Chinook Observer | ‘Survive and thrive’: Pacific County woman’s philosophy
- Healthline | How to Prepare Your Emergency Survival Kit
- Alone – Seasons 2 and 5! What I brought on Season 5 of Alone – Alone: Bonus – Nicole’s 10 Items (Season 5) | History
- Salon | Ben Foster on his role in indie hit “Leave No Trace”
- Dazed | The moving new film about a father and daughter living outside society
- The Oregonian | Story of father and girl found living in Forest Park is now a movie
- The Daily Astorian | Experiencing ‘Alone’ with Nicole Apelian
- Featured in Laura Prepon’s book: You and I, As Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood and Primal: Why We Long to be Wild and Free, by Nate Summers
Contact Nicole Apelian
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