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Herbal Radio

Feb 2, 2024

This week’s guest on Herbal Radio is the wise-spirited author and curandera (ku·ran·de·ra), Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz. We recorded our interview with Felicia prior to her keynote presentation for the 2023 Fall Virtual Free Herbalism Project, so be sure to check out her recorded presentation after listening to this episode!

In Felicia’s words, Curanderismo (ku·ran·de·ris·mo) is a 500-year-old traditional healing practice that is still in existence today. It is influenced by Spanish, Indigenous Mexican, the Moors, West African, and Native American traditional healing practices, and is a result of the blending of these cultures during colonization.

Today, we sit down with Felicia and learn about her family who originated from northern New Mexico. She reflects on her childhood spent uncovering the power of plant medicine through her great-grandmother, who was a naturally gifted and knowledgeable elder curandera. Felicia’s youthful eyes were fascinated by her great-grandmother’s ancestral medicine-making practices, which soon blossomed her intrigue into connecting with the Indigenous principle of one’s medicine being one’s food. Shaped through the lens of her ancestors, her practice led her to publishing her book on elemental recipes and rituals, Earth Medicines.

As always, we truly hope you enjoy today’s Herbal Radio episode, thank you for tagging along with us for another botanical adventure!

Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz is a traditional healer, award-winning author, and indigenous foods activist recognized for her work with food and lifestyle as medicine. As a child, she was deeply influenced by her great-grandmother, who was well-known in her New Mexico community as a curandera. Also called by the healing medicine, Felicia honored her own spirit and began learning folk herbalism, whole food cooking, and other holistic modalities with Indigenous teachers across the Southwest–where she works with the sun, the moon, and the elements, offering medicine workshops and one-on-one healing sessions for her community.

Felicia’s work has been featured in Spirituality & Health, Forbes, Bon Appétit, and several other media outlets including The Original Americans episode on Padma Lakshmi’s Taste The Nation (Hulu). Felicia presents frequently around the country on traditional healing practices, culinary medicine, holistic wellness, and Native American food sovereignty for nonprofits, universities, and museums–including the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Click here to watch Felicia’s keynote presentation from the 2023 Fall Virtual Free Herbalism Project!

Click here to learn more about Felicia’s practice through her business, Kitchen Curandera!

Check out Felicia on Instagram!


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