To All the Black Women I Love

Guest student post by third year Cecemmana student Tatille Jackson.

As a Black Woman, my healing journey has involved reuniting with pieces of myself that I was meant to turn my back on. With the support of plant, human, fungal, and spiritual comrades, I’ve been able to explore some of my most painful thoughts and beautiful emotions.

Third Annual Planting Seeds Herbal Fair

Join Ancestral Apothecary for our third annual Planting Seeds Herbal Fair this holiday season. Have fun while holiday shopping and support your local herbalists! All of our vendors are students or teachers in our Cecemmana Herbal programs.

The Fifth Season: Herbs for Wildfire Season

Guest student post by third year Cecemanna student Beth Sachnoff. Here in California a fifth season has emerged. As we move from the warm months of summer into the dry winds of autumn we enter what has been the peak time for California wildfires.  In this era marked by extreme drought, years of fire suppression and climate change, fires have raged up and down California and the Pacific Northwest. This year alone, 1,258,880 acres have burned in California[1]. Driving up north to the mountains last month I was met with gray skies and… Read More


Guest student post by Melissa Reyes.

I look at the freshly trimmed roses on the table in front of me and I think of my nana and her mom tending roses in their yard in Puerto Rico, adding coffee to the soil so they would bloom well, and gathering the flowers to sell. Some mornings I take coffee grounds from my kitchen, bring them outside, and

Self-Care as a Political Act

“In the East Bay, women of color and queer people are making alternative health-care practices accessible and culturally relevant to their communities — as well as a key part of their activism.”

Herbal Meditations and Magic for Thriving in a Neo-Colonial World

Guest student post by Avani Mody Sunrise: There is an incomparable beauty to sunrise. The time of the gods, as it is described in Ayurvedic traditions. As a child my father told me, walk barefoot on the earth and take in the green grass at sunrise, to strengthen my eyes. The combination of a luscious green and morning sunlight, calmed my eyes and mind. During my recent, formal herbal education, this advice remains in my psyche. The colors, beauty and feel of the plants, indeed calm my mind, and strengthen my vision… Read More

Remembering Who We Are: Chinese Botanical Guides

Third year Cecemmana student, Bekah, gets to know the plants of her grandmother’s village in Guangdong, China.

Indigenous Mind: Remembering Who We Are

Much of the vision of Ancestral Apothecary is inspired and informed by my experience in the Indigenous Mind Program.  As the founder of Ancestral Apothecary, I, Atava Garcia Swiecicki, received a graduate degree from  from Naropa University in the Indigenous Mind Program in 2003.  The Indigenous Mind Program focuses on reconnecting to one’s indigenous ancestors, no matter what their cultural or ethnic background.  The program was founded by Dr. Apela Colorado, who also is the founder of the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network. Heidi Corning, of White Tigress Ancestry, was also a student… Read More

Save the West Berkeley Shellmound!

Ancestral Apothecary stands in solidarity with the Ohlone people (the indigenous people of the Bay Area) in their fight to protect their sacred site from development.  Please join us in taking action now.

Healing Ancestral Trauma with Plant Medicine

When we ingest and make relationships with the plants that our ancestors lived with and worked with, we heal.  When we ingest the medicine they might have needed to heal, we heal them because we are our ancestors.