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Hispanic Herbalism


(Information supplied on this page is courtesty of The California School of Traditional Hispanic Herbalism)


Here is a story told by Curandero, Mr Charles Garcia. It is a beautiful story that was handed down to him from his ancestors. I hope that the following will inspire you as much as it did me...

"Long ago Raven created the World. Raven created all good things and all things not so good. He put the not so good things under the ground. This was the dream world. Eventually all things in the dream world would grow into the waking world and be good. His brother the Coyote enjoyed the waking world and spent his time playing tricks on the animals. Finally Raven created first Man and first Woman. They loved Raven very much and spent their time walking the world and talking to Raven. Coyote became jealous and decided to play a trick on the first Man and first Woman. He told them to dig into a hillside for tasty roots. They dug and dug but could not find nothing. Coyote told them to keep digging. Finally they dug all the way to the Dream World. The not so good things flew into the waking world. Out came vicious animal and stinging insects. Out came disease and injury. First Man fought the vicious animals until they ran into the forests and the mountains. But he could not fight disease or injury. First Woman asked Raven for help. He sent her the first basket. In the basket were all the herbs and roots for all the medicines the world would need. The basket was large and beautiful. First Woman asked what would happen when all the herbs and roots were gone. And Raven said, " You will find it again". "And what is the basket's name?" she asked. And Raven answered, "Hope!"

Traditional Hispanic Herbalism:

The California School of Traditional Hispanic Herbalism officially opened its doors in January of 1998, to teach and preserve the healing traditions of the Hispanic curanderos and curanderas (folk healers) of California. Many of these classes had been informally taught for two years prior to the creation of the school.

Although primarily offering classes in herbalism, the school also stresses an understanding of curanderismo, the native Hispanic healing philosophies as practiced in California. The cross-cultural influences of European and Asian herbs, as well as the use of native plants made California curanderismo a unique and potent healing medium. These practices also include the use of intuitive diagnosis skills, psychoactive plants, ritual, and magic.

Mr Charles Garcia, who is the director and primary instructor of the school, is a third generation curandero, having learned much of his skills from his mother, who learned them from her father. Chuck has treated and healed family, friends, and colleagues for almost two decades before going public with his herbal practice. He continues to treat physical and spiritual illnesses in the Hispanic and Anglo communities of Northern California.

Some of the more impressive work that Mr Garcia has achieved, are his lectures on Hispanic Herbalism.

Lecturing at:
  • University of California Berkeley Joint Medical Program
  • California State University at San Marcos
  • The local office of the American Red Cross
  • The San Francisco Community Healthcare Consortium
  • On Lok Healthcare Services of San Francisco
  • The San Francisco office of AmeriCorp


Chuck is also a weekly columnist for a newspaper in South Texas.


Curandero Garcia Quotes:

"The history of California Hispanic Herbalism is like that basket". It has been re-filled many times. And I hope that it will continue to be re-filled".

Shadow Quotes:

"For people who are into Traditional Therapies, I implore you, please do not lose your ancestral roots, rites and folklore. For once you do, they are almost impossible to regain. And they will be lost forever."


For more, in depth information and a full explaination of the role of Traditional Hispanic Herbalism in healing, make sure you go to and click on the link below. It will open your eyes to the wonderful world that Curandero Charles Garcia strives everyday to bring to us.

Hispanic Herbalism