Truth Frequency Radio
Nov 05, 2013

plants-medicine-botanica-san-francisco-california-bay-area-curandera-healer-truth-frequency-radio-chris-geo-sheree-geo-alternative-media-news-information, Bay Area Bites

Lupe is consulting a customer at her shop, Botanica Los Sueños, in San Francisco’s Mission District. (Like other healers I interviewed, Lupe didn’t want her last name used in this story, saying it is bad luck.) She directs a young Latina woman to a wall lined with rows of colorful candles, each decorated with images of saints.

The customer picks out two candles with the words ‘success’ and ‘money’ written on them and takes them to the front counter. Then Lupe begins poking holes deep into the wax with a sharp pencil. She grabs a bottle of a nondescript essential oil, pours some into the candle, and begins turning the candle in circles while chanting prayers under her breath.

Lupe is a curandera, a traditional healer who treats the spiritual as well as physical ailment by using herbs, candles and rituals. Her shop is one of many botanicas in the neighborhood (there are also many botanicas in Oakland’s Fruitvale District, off of International Blvd., as well as others scattered around the Bay Area). Customers come to meet healers who use local and imported herbs to helping them make a mind-body connection.

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