Ten years ago I went through a plastic purging craze and got rid of anything polyester in my closet and all the free tupperwear my grandma has saved over the years for “baon” (Tagalog, take-away food). Something deep in my gut and vibration started to feel energetically and physically irritated by something in the air and something was telling me it had to do with plastic!

Graduation Celebration!

On Wednesday December 12th, eleven students graduated from our third year of Cecemmana.  Most of these students have been part of Cecemmana for the past three years. In this third and final year they received training in clinical herbalism.  They were taught skills for working with clients as herbalists and began to see clients in our supervised herbal clinic. After they graduate many of them will go on to work in their communities as clinical herbalists.

Living Ghosts: Flower Essences for Grieving the End of Connection

Guest student blog post by third year Cecemmana student Sirama Bajo.

Have you ever had the sensation that something, or someone you have let go of, is still hanging around your energy field, your consciousness or your subconscious?

Welcome Refugees!

Guest blog post by third year Cecemmana student Batul True Heart.

 Some local Oakland herbalists, healers, and helpers are gathering and making medicines for the caravan’s arrival. We will be making immune boosting tinctures, nervine tinctures, wound and pain salves.

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