The Santi family comes from a long bloodline of healers and caretakers of plant medicine. Ancestors Ayuy yu, or ‘people of the palm’, lived closely with their plant allies and knew how to traverse through various realms to protect and heal their family. Flavio Santi spent much time living with his grandfather Virgilio when he was a boy, and many ‘secrets’ infused his cosmology from the multitude of medicine that flourished around them.
Sacred tobacco has been a powerful teacher to countless indigenous communities for generations, and it is also highly treasured in the Santi family’s healing practices. The spirit of tobacco is vastly protective, deeply cleansing, grounding, and transformative. Yachaks use tobacco smoke to connect with ancestral spirits, and to heal their patients with profound universal energies.
Using a tobacco log whose leaves have been grown and prepared by families who fast with the plants, a small amount is often steeped in wayusa tea or hot water until the liquid is sufficiently saturated. The liquid is then strained and consumed either orally, administered up the nose, or used topically. While sungazing at the first or last hour of sunlight each day, they commune with their ancestors and receive information through the vast and magnificent rays of the sun. This vino de tabaco, or ‘tobacco wine’ is essentially a tea that is also used as a valuable companion to la dieta, a strict diet of simple foods and regular fasting. Students begin by learning to drink the tobacco preparation in small quantities, and over time can learn the secrets of drinking entire bowls of it while fasting. This medicine is immensely cleansing to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies, and is highly revered for its powerful healing capacities.
The use of sacred tobacco is not confined to humans or animals, it is also used to feed and nurture the Earth. Dried leaves are chewed, and another kind of tobacco tea is created directly from the mouth to cleanse and consecrate land. With the help of strong ancestral bonds, yachaks and learned students may continue purifying and protecting sacred sites and homelands in this way.
A house-clearing ceremony, called wasipichay, may also be accomplished with the help of sacred tobacco in all its forms, in addition to singing, and transmitting clear intentions.
Wayusa (ilex guayusa) is an emblematic dreaming tea of the Kichwa people and revered by many communities in the Amazon, and often it is prepared over a fire and consumed before sunrise to connect with their ancestors. Yachaks believe that this medicinal plant can help them achieve clarity to interpret their dreams in order to protect their community and sacred lands.
Primarily utilized for spiritual awareness in the dream state and for protection from animals and/or adverse energies, wayusa possesses a plethora of physically and spiritually healing properties. It cleanses the urinary tract and acts as a diuretic, as well as improves digestion and elimination, which assists in alleviating illnesses such as gastritis and balancing the body’s pH and blood sugar levels. The leaves are also abundant in antioxidants and phytonutrients, they carry many amino acids, and are rich in trace minerals.
Wayusa is a species of caffeinated holly tree (also contains theobromine), and it possesses energizing effects which aid in concentration and fortitude, especially for carrying out daily jungle activities such as hunting and fishing. This medicinal tree is an ally to many medicine people in the Amazonian regions of Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru, and it is believed to increase fertility and libido, thus ensuring the continuation and vitality of their culture. By drinking wayusa tea one can support the survival of Amazonian culture, the safeguarding of their ancestral territories, as well as partake in the wisdom of this rejuvenating, rainforest medicine.
A visionary jungle medicine that is used ceremonially by many indigenous communities in the Amazon basin. Originating from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and other admixture variations, traditionally it is a concoction that is prepared carefully by a yachak who has undergone comprehensive training within their community, and who has been nurturing the plants for years. Twisting and coiling within the rainforest like a double-helix snake, the vine physically resembles the sacred anaconda, whose spirit has been revealed in the visions of many as a dynamic teacher and healer. Consumed to receive important wisdom from spiritual allies and ancestors, this Abuela Medicina, ‘Grandmother Medicine’, illuminates the path to genuine well-being. It can initiate purgative, physical, and emotional healing, and has been used to treat depression, PTSD, and drug addiction. Some people have expressed deep healing of life-threatening illnesses, and others unveil the possibility of making peace with significant relationships, and discovering their true life purpose. Ayahuasca is often renowned for its strong, otherworldly visions and profound spiritual revelations, and many find that this ‘vine of the soul’ has the potential to make transformational, long-lasting healing available to those who drink it. Healing is a unique process for everyone, and the curative effects of this medicine may occur on a deeply subtle level, or it may be dramatic, it is a personal journey to experience.
Also called Wanduk, or Angel’s Trumpets, it is a plant species of Brugmansia suaveolens and another vision-inducing rainforest medicine. After an initiation with ayahuasca, a student may eventually advance to a ceremony with Floripondio. This magical plant serves for healing, spiritual strengthening, and assistance on the path of living Sumak Kawsay, a good life that is harmonious with nature and all life forms. It is a sweet but very intense medicine that is consumed just after sunrise, and it teaches us how to balance our consciousness, and it directs us to our destiny by experiencing the past, present, and future. There are 3 kinds of Floripondio: one to have visions and to connect with the stars; another to connect with animals and the elements; and a third to mend wounds and to heal oneself. This plant teacher is an ancient relative, an ancestor, and it connects with other animals such as turtle, anaconda, owl, tiger, and with waterfalls and lagoons. Women who consume its medicine will experience a masculine spirit, whereas men will observe it as feminine. Students who learn with Wanduk will experience many challenges, because they will discover all the bad and all the good that exists, but with proper guidance they shall acquire great wisdom and consciousness.