A practical guide to understanding and using Mexican healing traditions in everyday life.
Arranging ofrendas. Brewing pericón into a healing tea. Releasing traumas through baños and limpias. Herbalist and curandera Atava Garcia Swiecicki spent decades gathering this traditional knowledge of curanderismo, Mexican folk healing, which had been marginalized as Chicanx and Latinx Americans assimilated to US culture. She teaches how to follow the path of the curandera, as she herself learned from apprenticing with Mexican curanderas, studying herbal texts, and listening to her ancestors. In this book readers will learn the Indigenous, African, and European roots of curanderismo. Atava also shares her personal journey as a healer and those of thirteen other inspirational curanderas serving their communities. She offers readers the tools to begin their own healing—for themselves, for their relationship with the earth, and for the people.
The Curanderx Toolkit includes more than 25 profiles of native and adopted plants of Baja and Alta California and teaches you to grow, know, and love them. This book will help anyone who has lost connection with their ancestors begin to incorporate the herbal wisdom and holistic wellness of curanderismo into their lives. Take the power of ancient medicine into your own hands by learning simple herbal remedies and practicing rituals for kinship with the more-than-human world.
Atava Garcia Swiecicki is guided by the plants, her dreams, and her Mexican, Polish, and Hungarian ancestors. She received a BA in feminist studies from Stanford University and a master’s degree from the Indigenous Mind Program at Naropa University Oakland. Atava has studied healing arts extensively for over thirty years and has been mentored by herbalists, curanderas, and traditional knowledge keepers. She works as a clinical herbalist and teacher. She is the founder of the Ancestral Apothecary School of Herbal, Folk, and Indigenous Medicine on unceded Lisjan Ohlone territory in Oakland, and she currently lives in unceded Tewa Pueblo territory in the Southwest. Her website is ancestralapothecary.com, and she is on Instagram at the handle @curanderxtoolkit.