Ancestral Apothecary school is dedicated to the study of herbal, folk and indigenous medicine.  We are committed to creating a multi-cultural learning community for the study of herbal medicine, which honors the diverse cultural healing traditions of the Bay Area.

Ancestral Apothecary is the prayer and dream of Atava Garcia Swiecicki.  Atava has been studying holistic healing and herbal medicine for over twenty-five years.  She is inspired by the healing traditions of her Mexican, Polish, Hungarian and Diné (Navajo) ancestors and has been trained by western herbalists, indigenous healers and Mexican curanderas.

Atava began teaching herbal medicine classes out of her home in Oakland in 1997.  She was inspired to share her love for plants with her community. She realized that teaching people a few basic herbal skills could make a huge difference in people’s health and wellness.

Over the years her classes grew in size and length until one day Atava realized that her business had transformed into a school, which she renamed Ancestral Apothecary School of Herbal, Folk and Indigenous Medicine.   Her vision was to create an educational center where people from many different cultures could come together share their herbal knowledge and ancestral medicine.

The first regular ongoing classes at Ancestral Apothecary were the Curandera’s Toolkit and Herbal Allies.  As time passed, we added more class offerings and brought in more teachers. After much demand from our students, in 2016 we launched Cecemmana, our nine-month herbal training program.

Currently Ancestral Apothecary offers dozens of classes per year, has an amazing team of teachers, and has trained hundreds of students.  

Ancestral Apothecary School was born of a dream and a prayer to create herbal educational spaces centered on people of color. Herbal medicine has always been integral to people’s resilience in the struggle for liberation and this moment is no different.  We believe in the power of plants and our ancestral medicine to help us heal individually and collectively from systemic racism and the impact it has had on Brown, Black and Indigenous people.

We all agreed that a way to contribute to the movement is to increase our class offerings for members of the Black community and to also increase scholarship opportunities so that our classes are financially accessible.

One of the ways you can support us in making this happen is to donate to our Black Scholarship Fund.  Click on the link in our profile or visit:

.We also accept donations via Venmo: @Ancestral_Apothecary

Thank you for your support & for helping us spread the word!