The tropical rainforest of Belize is full of medicinal plants. The knowledge of these plants and their uses has been considered secret, closely guarded by the traditional Mayan practitioners of shamanism.

Rosita Arvigo and Remedies from the Rainforest:

But several decades ago, an inquisitive, well-prepared and persistent American woman showed up and became a shaman’s apprentice. Ultimately, the shaman realized that she could teach others, including young Mayans, about remedies from the rainforest so that his knowledge would not be lost forever. Rosita Arvigo tells her story and shares her wisdom as she talks with Joe and Terry.

This Week’s Guest:

Rosita Arvigo is a doctor of naprapathy as well as an ethnobotanist and teacher. She has written nine books on the traditional healing of Central America, with the blessing of her mentor, Don Eligio of San Ignacio, Belize. They include Rainforest Remedies: 100 Healing Herbs of Belize; Rainforest Home Remedies: The Maya Way to Heal Your Body and Replenish Your Soul; Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer; and Medicinal Plants Used in Northern Guanajuato, among others.

Her enthusiasm has helped keep Don Eligio’s knowledge of remedies from the rainforest alive. Dr. Arvigo  has been instrumental in cataloging and preserving thousands of healing plants and trees of Belize through the Belize Ethnobotany Project.  She founded the Ix Chel Tropical Research Center in Belize along with the Arvigo Institute.

To learn more about the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® for your reproductive and digestive wellness, classes offered by the Arvigo Institute, and to find an Arvigo® Therapy practitioner near you:

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The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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  1. Carlita
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Enjoyed this and was very intrigued by the other aspects of Dr. Arvigo’s work, particularly the reproductive/digestive focused practice.
    Any chance she will be back discuss these in depth?

  2. Amanda

    What an interesting show, however I feel we only have half of the story. With the advancement of science and thorough study of indigenous techniques from a western mindset we are at last beginning to understand the ‘hows and whys’. We all know that many of the drugs commercially used are derived from natural plant sources. I wonder if there may not be better efficacy in using whole plant medicines rather than isolated, refined and maybe even synthesized products.
    Rosita mentioned Arvigo® Therapy and I would be interested to hear her talk more on this topic. I believe we do not live in isolation and neither do our body systems function in isolation.

    From my own practice I have observed on many occasions a client report the reduction in a symptom totally unrelated to their original reason for seeking a treatment. Bodywork in many forms is becoming much more recognized by the allopathic community for its benefit in helping to maintain homeostasis and support heamodynamics.

    There needs to be much more research into these topics and this will only happen if we raise the profile of indigenous techniques in the public eye. After all acupuncture is an ancient method that is now accepted by the medical professional and I look forward to further integration of ancient wisdom and modern scientific understanding.

  3. Li-Lan
    Durham, NC

    I am a licensed acupuncturist in NC as well as an advanced Arvigo practitioner and instructor of the Arvigo Self Care classes. I have studied with Rosita since 2008 and am honored that she has visited the Chapel Hill/Durham area to share her knowledge and People’s Pharmacy has interviewed her.

    It is possible for modern science and ancient wisdom to converge and Rosita exemplifies that kind of health practitioner, which I aspire to be. Many of the topics that she spoke about in her interview are presented in the 2.5 day Arvigo Self Care classes, and we spend two mornings with the anatomy and physiology of the female and male reproductive organs and how the placement of these organs affect and may contribute to disease processes such as painful periods, fertility challenges, urinary incontinence, and benign prostate enlargement.

    I see scientific research making very rapid strides to explain certain aspects of what traditional/indigenous medicine with hundreds and thousands of years of history has observed, and this is very exciting! People’s Pharmacy, continue to provide information that expands horizons! Hope you can have Rosita on the show again as well as other practitioners that are a bridge between modern science and ancient wisdom.

  4. Dr. Chris Knight
    Champaign IL

    The program featuring Dr Arvigo does you a terrible diservice. Her ideas about energy flow being obstructed by anger, and so forth, are straight out of the 14th century. You, of all people, should know that medical science has evolved considerably since the middle ages. Shame on you.

    • J. V.
      The Bahamas

      Dr. Knight,
      I was raised mainly in Jamaica, with doctors who had been graduated from the School of Medicine, Edinburgh University, Scotland, and, they were taught many areas of medicine during their years of study.
      One of them, Dr. Victor Magnus, one of my uncles-in-law, a General Practitioner with an extremely large practice, on a number of occasions, when unable to find any physical reason for a patient’s illness, would have a conversation about the patient’s life, then, would give him practical advice which always ended in curing the illness without medication. If you wish, I can repeat some of the stories to you.
      I, myself, used to be ill all the time, with ailments mainly arising from allergic rhiniitis, with many episodes of pharyngiitis, tonsyliitis, sinus infection, and, a number of other types of infections. At that time, I was deeply unhappy, and, pessimistic about every aspect of life. Now, I still suffer with the allergy problems, but, I am no longer ill so often, or, with such severity since I have changed my attitude, and become more optimistic, and, grateful for what I have instead of dwelling on what I lack.

  5. Colin
    Cary, NC

    I was fascinated to listen to Rosita’s discussion of the healing powers of the tropical rainforest plants. There was also brief mention of Arvigo abdominal massage and I would be interested in hearing more about that work and how it can help with issues of male and female reproductivity. Is it possible to have Rosita back on the show to discuss that aspect of her work in more detail?

  6. Edwinna
    San Antonio, TX

    Many of our prescription medicines today came about as a result of plant remedies from the Rain Forest. Always tell your medical doctor if you use them because they might not mix with meds you are taking.

  7. Paula
    central Wisconsin

    Ten years ago I spent a week at a Maya Spiritual Healing Seminar at Rosita’s home. Since then I have used many of these remedies for my health. They work so well with the body and have no side effects. Being there is one of my favorite memories! Thank you Rosita for the work you do…. PK Wisconsin

    • Carlina Marie

      How does someone protect themselves from the Envy of the neighbor ect…

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