How Tarra Parks Turned A Water Scare Into A Herbal Healing Mission

How Tarra Parks Turned A Water Scare Into A Herbal Healing Mission

Tarra Parks’ venture into herbal healing begins with an alarming incident involving contaminated water. As is often the case, when Yah is positioning us for promotion, the first steps of the journey usually begin in a crisis. 

I met Tarra and her family at Sukkot last year. During our conversations, Tarra’s passion for finding healing solutions for those in pain gushed forth from a heart committed to serving others. Recognizing this, I asked Tarra if she would consent to an interview to tell the story of Maker’s Mark Herbals and her belief in natural healing. Her response was a resounding, “Yes!”

Q: I alluded to the mission of Maker’s Mark Herbals in my introduction. Explain the personal crisis catalyst that led you to start this business. Where did your interest in herbal solutions to health and healing begin?

Tarra: Thinking back it still feels like a lot, so naturally it may come through as a lot! My family and I moved from Michigan to Texas in 2022. We had a 3-week stay in the Ft. Worth area before moving to our final (so we thought) destination.  It was only a matter of a week and a half of us being in the new town that my youngest two children, who were 1 and 3 at the time, began spiking very high fevers. Our daughter, who was 1, spiked a fever so high and so fast that she had a febrile seizure. One of the scariest times of my life was holding my shaking baby, seeing her eyes rolled back into her head with no obvious cause, and not knowing a single person to call on for help. While my husband called 911, I ran around the neighborhood screaming for help, while praying over her as I held her in my arms. After that situation, I was quite shaken up and confused. Both of my babies were born at home, they were healthy in Michigan. What was happening in Texas that was causing their bodies to panic?

It took several more weeks to figure it out, but through a series of events, I concluded it had to be the water they were bathing and playing in. I was able to confirm my suspicions by getting the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality involved. We received a 30-page report of their findings and 22 pages were citations against the city for their improper and neglectful actions at the water department.

That event, in and of itself, wasn’t responsible for the creation of Maker’s Mark Herbals.  However, as we were investigating what was going on, we began talking to others in the community.  People who had also moved from other parts of the country shared similar stories of unexplained and unresolved sicknesses and ailments.  Natives to the community seemed to think that these things were just a normal part of life and that the environment and things that went into their bodies were of no consequence to their overall health.  This is when we began to see an opportunity to share what we’ve learned and provide a new perspective on health and wellness with those around us. 

Once in a house of our own, and after having whole house water filtration installed, life began to feel a bit more calm. I was able to pull it together to begin preparing our family to join others for Sukkot, and one of the ways I did so was by making elderberry syrup. My husband suggested I make enough to share with the community, to offer something healthy and readily accessible. It took off very quickly! And that is how Maker’s Mark Herbals was born. 

the parks family
Will and Tarra Parks Family

Thinking back to where my interest in herbal solutions began, I’m taken back to my earlier years of motherhood. Our 3rd daughter was born in 2005 and it wasn’t long after her birth that word made it around my family that one of my cousins had just had his two-year-old shots and then stopped talking. My aunt was blaming the vaccinations. Up until that time it had not occurred to me there was the potential of harm from vaccinations. My eyes were opened to the great debate. Through my pursuit to learn all I could I was introduced to a book by Aviva Romm, a MD who was also a herbalist, called “Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide: How to Make Safe, Sensible Decisions about the Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives”. 

I was only 23 at that time, but I had the sense to understand the stated reason for vaccinations; and I also had the faith to recognize that we were created with an immune system and that our Creator knew best what we’d need when He created us. It made sense to me that if we treat our bodies well by healthy lifestyle practices, our immune systems would be able to function well and do their jobs of keeping us healthy. 

As situations arose (and we’ve had many), I always looked at and sought alternatives to the norm. Putting herbs to the test and seeing them work in amazing ways is what has kept my interest strong all these years. I am 42 now, and while I have been interested in herbalism for nearly 20 years, I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Even so, the herbs show up and many, many people are finding their own faith in creation, which I pray leads them to an acknowledgment and deeper understanding of our Creator.  Psalm 104:14 (KJV) states that Yahuah made herbs for the service of man. He has given us all we need through His creation. What an incredible El we serve! HalleluYah!!

Q: The words Maker’s Mark makes me think of the ‘mark’ that has been placed on all Torah believers. What was your inspiration for the name? 

Tarra: Our brand name did not come from either of us. We had reached out to a friend for assistance with designing a logo and it was our friend who named us Maker’s Mark Herbals. It immediately stuck with me. I felt it was perfect – we have a Maker, and He has left His Mark on all creation, including Herbs =  Maker’s Mark Herbals.

makers mark herbals logo

Our brand is currently in the hands of the Trademark Association. I hope we are granted a trademark because at this time I just cannot envision a better fitting name that would perfectly capture everything we stand for as simply and straightforwardly as our current brand name does.

Q: Functional medicine doctors agree that allopathic medicine practically ignores the connection between nutrition, disease, and aging. But even more shocking, many of us have a distorted opinion of what ‘food’ is. I would venture to guess that 90% of what we find in grocery stores is not ‘food’ in the way the Father intended. How do you define food from a biblical standpoint?

Tarra: I wholeheartedly agree. What is even more shocking to me is the history of how we evolved to this place. When you consider the amount of processed foods that fill grocery store shelves, it’s easy to think you could stay in the safe zone by just shopping the perimeter. Unfortunately, that’s just not so. Genetically modified and hybridized foods – man’s foods – are what grocery stores offer. The biblical definition of food could be a whole separate discussion.  Let’s touch on the basics.  

For land animals to be considered food, they must have a split hoof AND chew the cud.  Sea creatures must have fins AND scales.  For vegetation, plants should yield seed after their own kind and trees should bear fruit with seeds in them, after their own kind.  In order to increase production and profit, both plants and animals have been altered in one way or another.  I don’t know that there is anything available to us in our current day that is as it was in the beginning. The domestication and industrialization of animals and vegetation is what has led to the place we are in. It’s a very tough avenue to navigate daily. It requires a lot of effort and certainly doesn’t offer much convenience.  This is a major area where we just seek to do the best we can and ask our Father to protect us and nourish our bodies through the food that we have available to us.

Q: The Daily Mail recently posted a graphic that revealed the forever chemicals that are hidden in popular grocery store items. Shockingly, the accompanying article did not stop there. Research into PFAS revealed that we live in a poison soup bowl of chemical exposure: poisoned landfills, toxic crop soil, toxic tap water, product packaging, air pollution, makeup, electronics, carpets & carpet pads, shampoo, furniture all contribute to destroying our health. This daily exposure has been linked to immune system damage, heart disease, cancer, obesity, autism, and infertility. Knowing this, some may want to throw in the towel on trying to get or stay healthy. What say you?

It’s super easy to become overwhelmed and want to throw in the towel completely. I have never felt entirely without hope, but I have felt very overwhelmed at times. What I try to encourage others and myself with is remembering we should give our thoughts only to controlling our controllables, and surrender what we cannot control entirely to Yahuah. I cannot control the city water that is pumped into my home, but I can make efforts to clean it up with proper filtration methods. Nobody is forcing fast food, processed food, or toxic beverages down my throat. I realize that our many differences affect what is within our control, so my efforts to control my controllables may look different than another person’s, but at the heart of the matter is awareness and intention. Do what you can, improve how you’re able, and aim to simply make your very next choice a healthier one. Keep doing the next right thing time after time and before long you’ll have created healthier habits without becoming so overwhelmed.

Q: Tell us about the typical MMH customer. Where are most people in their health and healing journey by the time they contact you?

Tarra: Our most typical customer has tried pharmaceuticals and either found them to cause very uncomfortable side effects or they’ve found them to be ineffective altogether. Several have come to us with “incurable” diagnoses. As someone who’s been given the same grimm outlook of an “incurable disease” I know what it’s like to receive that news. How do I handle it – I cling to my faith, control my controllables, and aim to do the next right thing. My ability to relate helps me help others empathetically. I’ve also seen herbs show up for many people and give them a renewed sense of joy and purpose in life. It’s really incredible to be in a position to witness such transformation. HalleluYah!

Q: In the past year I was diagnosed with several autoimmune conditions stemming from a leaky gut. After my functional medicine doctor explained the situation, he recommended diet correction (including eliminating all processed foods, seed oils, dairy, and nightshades) supplementation, following blood and other test results. However, one of my healing challenges has been trying to find quality supplements that don’t contain fillers or other contaminants. How hard has it been for you to source the ingredients you use in your product line? What would be your advice for someone like me?

Tarra: 20 years ago, being an ingredient sleuth was challenging, and it certainly hasn’t improved in the right direction. Being on the manufacturing side of the industry and sourcing raw materials has given me an even broader perspective of how great the challenges really are. I have found so many discrepancies between information on websites and what companies share by phone. I don’t trust what’s published on websites. I trust more what I’m told over the phone and via email, but I mostly rely on documentation in the form of COA’s (Certificate of Analysis) and SDS’s (Safety Data Sheet). At the end of the day I am trusting someone, but I go to great lengths to vet every source and supplier. 

Tarra Parks
Tarra Parks

It’s worth mentioning that we don’t have to use many industrial products because we are a small business offering only small-batch products, each one being made, labeled, bottled, and sealed by hand. Many chemicals come into play when machinery enters the mix. The need for fillers to help powders flow better, and solvents to reduce the viscosity of liquids for better flow. Industry impacts a lot. We hope to grow but we will never accept growing beyond what we believe is the very best we can offer. My advice would be to understand that you really need to have your own understanding of your body and how it works, and find someone you can trust along that journey to understanding.

Q: The good news is we are learning that those who have been diagnosed with conditions such as diabetes, dementia or other debilitating illnesses are seeing remarkable improvements and/or positive health outcomes through nutrition. What role do you think Maker’s Mark Herbals play in this?

Tarra: In the year-and-a-half of us being an established company, we have been blessed to have a role in helping many people improve and overcome a variety of conditions, including cataracts, osteoarthritis, pulmonary fibrosis, hormonal imbalances, allergies, osteomyelitis, bronchitis, migraines, inflammatory pain, tension pain, TMJ, nutritional and mineral deficiencies, traumatic wounds including severe burns and internal abscesses, infections, fatigue, kidney and gallbladder stones, cold sores, infant colic, teething and tooth disorders, recovery from surgery, male pattern baldness, alopecia, seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, eczema, vertigo, healing from miscarriage, endometriosis, and cysts.  I am sure there are situations I am not aware of or that I am not recalling!

Q: What is your vision for the future of MMH? How can this community of believers support your efforts?

Tarra: We have put the future of Maker’s Mark Herbals in our Father’s hands. We see ourselves as mere vessels for His kingdom’s work. We pray daily to be aligned with His will, and we pray about each and every opportunity afforded to us to grow and expand.

We have opted out of opportunities that offer the potential to grow faster than what we feel we can handle, even though some have felt exciting!  We believe if He brings us to it, He will help us through it and we lean on The Ruach to guide us. We hope to be around for a good long while, and maybe even pass things down to our children if we ever have to step out of our roles. We are in it for the long haul, as long as He wills.

Maker’s Mark Herbals Website

Maker’s Mark Facebook Page