Behind The Essentials
Francisca Santibanez is a plant|heart based healer, herbalist, visual artist, and educator. Raised in South America, she spent her childhood in Brasil and Chile. From a very young age she was deeply connected with plants and had the awareness that her primary relationship was with nature and life itself. She inherited a love for herbs from her mother and grandmother, both whom were avid herb gardeners and medicinal tea (aguita de yerba) drinkers following a long tradition of Chilean folk kitchen medicine.
In 2013 Francisca chose to formalize her studies and dedication to the plants and joined the Ohlone Herbal Center in Berkeley, California to complete their Clinical Western Herbalism Training program where she currently offers support as their Student Services Coordinator and teaches workshops.
Besides her path in Western Herbal Medicine, she has spent the last 15 years studying and exploring in depth various other healing modalities which she weaves into her practice and integrates into her offerings. These include Andean-Amazonian Vegetalista Practice, Meditation, Ayurveda, Holistic Nutrition, Yoga, Temple Dance and Tantra. Artistically, Francisca delves between mediums such as drawing, painting, photography, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry making, ceramics, etc. These days she’s most interested in invoking expression of her plant communions through the use of the aforementioned mediums.
Her philosophy is in living life treasured as a sacred gift. Honoring our bodies as holy vessels for our spirit. Every moment as a miracle with the opportunity to express and receive the medicine of the heart(of life). She believes that we are not only part of nature and her eco system- but rather an integral expression of the earth, and her intelligence; not separate from all other beings that encompass her. Through an intentional practice of acknowledgement and inquiry we create the fertile grounds for our natural allies to make their presence. Plant spirits communicate this way. Our body’s healing mechanism responds this way as well. Together, when we invite medicinal plants to form an alliance with our body’s systems, and receive their innate healing support along with their reflection showing us our primitive thriving nature, we are able to create the container for our body’s natural ability to heal itself to take place.