Award for Diversity in Herbal Medicine

We are honored that Ancestral Apothecary has been chosen to receive the Victoria Fortner Award in Diversity, Inclusion and Equity from the American Herbalist Guild that recognizes “outstanding accomplishments in the field of professional herbalism that address the health care needs of diverse communities.”  I am grateful for our incredible teachers and students who shape our learning and healing community. We’ll be attending the American Herbalist Guild’s Symposium in October to accept this award.  Hope to see you there!

New cycle of Cecemmana starts soon!

More than ever before people need well-trained herbalists to serve and support their communities! If you feel the call to the plants, we invite you to check out our nine-month training program that starts next week.

Drawing to win free workshop with Sergio Magaña!

We are excited to be co-hosting maestro Sergio Magaña again this March, when he will be back in the Bay Area to teach two new workshops. Now you have a chance to win entrance to one of his Berkeley workshops!  Simply enter the drawing by reviewing Sergio’s new book: Caves of Power: Ancient Energy Techniques for Healing, Rejuvenation and Manifestation. Drawing Details: 1. Purchase Caves of Power at Amazon. 2. Write a review. 3. Notify Valerie Niestrath that you wrote a Drawing will occur on February 2nd, 2017. Winners will be notified on… Read More

Support from our Herbal Allies

In these turbulent times, when I’ve lost faith in humankind, I turn to the plants.  The plants love us unconditionally and have been helping humans since the beginning of time.  They provide us food, shelter, clothing, medicine, spiritual guidance and beauty.  They give us life every moment we breathe and take in their oxygen. Thankfully, the plants have not given up on humanity yet.  They continue to support us on many levels.  This post is dedicated to our Herbal Allies and sharing how we can build stronger relationships with them. What is an… Read More

Holiday Herb Fair, November 26th at Studio Grand in Oakland

Join the Ancestral Apothecary community for our first Herbal Fair!    Find unique herbal products and gifts made by our teachers and students.  We’ll also be offering healing services including limpias, ear acupuncture and tarot readings. All profits go to our Cecemmana Year 2 Scholarship fund. For more updates, check out the event page on FB.  

Teacher profile: Francine Madrid

Today in the Ancestral Apothecary classroom a small circle of women gathers around an altar with one candle and a bouquet of fresh flowers and herbs.  Throughout the day they share deeply personal stories amid much tears and laughter.  This safe and sacred space was created for women to tell their stories about their wombs, their menstrual cycles, and their histories of sexual abuse, pregnancies or abortions. Teacher Francine Madrid created the Matriz Sagrada (Sacred Womb) class to help women make a healing connection to their wombs and to their bellies.  Francine… Read More

Cecemmana Open House, October 26

After almost completing a successful first year of Cecemmana, our nine-month training in herbal medicine, we’ve decided to offer it again in 2017!   All those interested in learning more about Cecemmana are invited to come and see our classroom and apothecary and to meet our core teachers. We’ll share an overview of the program and be available to answer your questions. For more info and a great slide show of this year’s program, see the class page on our website. For people interested in the second year of Cecemmana, which focuses on herbal… Read More

Healing Dreams

Next month we are offering a nine-week class called Dreamwork as a Spiritual and Healing Practice. This is a space dedicated to exploring our dream landscapes and sharing dreams with others for personal and collective healing.

Herbal Support for Stress and Trauma: Part 2, Adaptogens

Adaptogens are some of our best herbal allies to help ourselves cope with chronic stress.  Adaptogens are herbs that help increase the body’s ability to adapt to all kinds of stressors: physical, emotional, environmental, social, and biological. Adaptogens help build the body’s resistance and reliance to stress by supporting the nervous, immune and endocrine systems. They help to increase the body’s strength, stamina, vitality and immunity. Many adaptogens have been considered supreme herbal tonics in the cultural systems from which they come.  For example, reishi mushroom was considered in ancient China to… Read More

Herbal Support for Stress and Trauma, Part 1: Nervines

Herbal nervines are herbs that support, strengthen and nourish the nervous system. They can help with stress, shock, tension, pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia and other nervous systems disorders. Nervines are great herbal allies to support our bodies during acute or chronic stress. They also help the body, mind and heart to heal from stress and trauma.