Documentary Photographer Anna Shulyatieva is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  From her project ‘Potion Grows Because of  Different Ailments‘.  To see Anna’s projects click on any image.




Joseph Shiroky was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1992 and refused medical treatment. He discovered the power of herbs from an herbalist in northwestern Russia who helped him battle his cancer.

Today at 80, lives life to the fullest, writing books and helping people with his knowledge of medicinal herbs.  Joseph highly values life and the time he has left.


He had since seriously study the power of herbs and made several potions using recipes that he learned from the elders in his region.



There are no confirmed cases of phytotherapy curing oncological diseases, Joseph decided to give it a try and a year later, the cancer retreated.



“A potion can combat any sickness. It only needs to be properly collected, prepared and used,”

Old Russian Saying


Joseph finds herbs in the forests and fields of the Krasnobor district of the Arkhangelsk Region and grows more rare ones that can only be found in the north in his garden.


“I don’t cure people and do not consider myself a healer or a medicine-man,” Joseph points out. “I only advise people on how to use medicinal plants and I am always happy when my advice helps.”


“I did not become an absolutely healthy person, but the illness is not controlling me and does not impede my ability to live life to the fullest,” he says.


Joseph takes care of his household


He wakes up at 6 a.m. every day and starts working straight away.


Every year he tries to learn and create something new.


This year he learned to make stools from vines and birch bark. Last year he built small houses for children. In his free time he writes books and poems. Here is one poem that he wants to use as his epitaph.


“You are a passer-by, but you will lie down like I do

 Sit down, rest on a stone near me.

 Tear off a blade of grass – remember me

 I’m at home, and you are a visitor,

 Think about yourself!”


City of Kotlas, Arkhangelsk Region, Russia


See also:

On The Way To Happy Marriage

By Anna Shulyatieva