Join the Herbal Academy for an herbalist interview with lara pacheco, of Seed and Thistle Apothecary. In the video interview below, lara speaks with staff clinical herbalist Heather Irvine about their work, Taino-influenced plant use, respecting the many ways of learning about plant use, and recognizing and empowering those who have or seek to carry on healing traditions.
lara pacheco is a Taino, Boricua (Puerto Rican) Latinx herbalist who learned about traditional plant uses from a grandmother who learned plant use in Boriken (Puerto Rico). lara was fascinated with, in their own words, the “loose threads of traditional knowledge throughout the world” anchored in knowledge passed from her Grandmother ‘Tata’, and more plant uses learned during travel. Knowing there are many others who also seek connection to plant use knowledge as well as ancestral knowledge, lara has formed several organizations that foster herbal learners to go deeper into ancestral learning and also become stewards or teachers of traditionally based knowledge.
Organizations lara has co-created include Brown Girl Rise and the Atabey Medicine Council. Seed and Thistle Apothecary encompasses Lara’s educational and herbal consultation services. lara also co-produced a bike tour documentary Faces from the New Farm, and helped start the Common Good City Farm.
In this herbalist interview, lara and Heather talk about recognizing that anyone you encounter may have plant use knowledge, and ancestral knowledge of healing practices, and also touch on observations about the experiences of Black and Brown herbalists in Western herbalism-dominated spaces, which have been shared with each of them by peers. lara and Heather additionally relate their experiences working in community herbal clinic settings and advice for approaching this work.
lara also shares some plants of Taino herbalism, and recommended herbal teachers, herb books, and online resources that are written in or can be accessed in Spanish. lara adds personal philosophy for approaching plant use, learning, teaching, and the practice of herbalism and supporting community wellbeing, including trauma-informed care, and emergency relief.
Watch the Herbalist Interview with lara pacheco:
We hope you enjoyed this herbalist interview with lara pacheco! If you’d like to learn more about their work, check out Brown Girl Rise, the Atabey Medicine Council, or Seed and Thistle Apothecary for lara’s educational and herbal consultation services.