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Feed Your Wild with Venessa Rodriguez

Jun 25, 2018

Today’s episode is one that is dear to my heart. We’re speaking with María Benedetti, an ethnobotanical researcher and author focusing on the plant medicine and invisible people of Puerto Rico.

We talk about her journey of self-discovery through her work of documenting and preserving plant wisdom and folkloric medicine. She shares incredible stories of so-called “barefoot healers” and we discuss the history and impact of colonialism and capitalism on folkloric medicine and the communities that hold these wise traditions and knowledge.

María also shares her refreshing and hopeful take on the challenges that Puerto Rico has faced and continues to face in light of the recent natural disaster and economic plight.

María Benedetti is an ethnobotanical researcher, author and educator focused on the botanical traditions of healing and reciprocity with nature in the Puerto Rican archipelago. A student of anthropology, literature and the art of writing in both English and in Spanish, she has worked as an educational journalist (culture, ecology, environment, botanical medicine) for nearly 40 years. She began herbal studies with Susun S. Weed in 1977, and came to Puerto Rico ten years later to learn about and document the tradition of green medicine in the native land of her mother’s family.

She has authored several books including Earth and Spirit and has continued to document the Puerto Rican botanical tradition in several other books, most recently a novel Dolores and Milagros. María Benedetti is director of BotaniCultura, an ethnobotanical education project, which includes a publishing company and a beautiful classroom without walls where she offers workshops and conferences, plant/tree recognition walks and facilitates circles of plant wisdom.

I know you’ll love her contagious belly laughs and uplifting spirit and the power of the stories she shares.

For Show Notes + ways you can support the people of Puerto Rico, go to