Holistic Healing with the Syuxtun Collective
Since the 20th century, Western medicine has focused on treating a patient’s symptoms, not the underlying cause. Today, scientists and doctors are realizing that we should be wary of a health system that relies on direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising and are embracing alternative, preventive whole body options, which start with a healthy mind, body, and spirit. These are concepts Indigenous peoples have practiced for thousands of years, by using medicinal plant knowledge that informed much our pharmacopeia.
In 2016 Julie Cordero-Lamb, herbalist & ethnobotanist from the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, did a plant walk while visiting Santa Barbara. Upon realizing there was no one to teach the youth about plant knowledge, she formed Syuxtun Plant Mentorship Collective. Cordero-Lamb, along with Mia Lopez and Casmali Lopez of the collective, Dr. Kevin Curran, professor of biology at the University of San Diego, and Ken Owen, executive director of Channel Islands Restoration help us rethink our relationship with medicine by connecting it to our knowledge of the flora and fauna of our surrounding environment.