Alita has been one of our friends and collaborators for many years now. Her values and the mission of her company, Raiz Herbal, are similar to ours at Natura Cabana. For us, it is also very important to support the members of our community and prioritize collaborations between local people.
For a long time, we have been curious about the power of plants on the health and the general well-being. Raiz Herbal concentrates on natural herb remedies with the intention of healing through the earth.
Our garden contains a wide variety of plants that are not only used in our kitchen but have also been used for their medicinal properties when infused or blended with other elements of nature.
Over the years, we have hosted many events in partnership with Raiz Herbal and every single one of these events was a success, which is why we thought we’d introduce her in this article.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your project; Raiz Herbal:
Raiz Herbal was born in 2012 from my newly discovered passion, herbal medicine. I had traveled for many years, listening to that inner voice that was guiding me to follow my purpose. I wanted to study human nature but also wanted to know how to help humans have a more peaceful life despite the human condition. This is when I started my first class of herbalism in Montreal and since the first hour, I was hooked. After I finished my Materia Medica class I started producing herbal remedies in Cabarete that would heal every common symptom and would sell them in the artisan markets and some holistic health establishments. All of Raiz Herbal Remedies are handcrafted in small batches in Cabarete, from medicinal herbs. I am happy to observe that more and more people are becoming interested to use more natural products on their skin and in their organism.
Q: How and when did you discover Cabarete?
I discovered this town in 2004 on a student trip. I was amazed by the kites colorful dance on the sea. I then learned how to surf and from there I was also hooked. Surfing in Encuentro is a privilege, it is my turquoise temple, the place where I purify my soul, energize my system, get cured from whatever I need to get cured from and THEN start the day. Being in the present moment, in the vortex, in the fourth phase of water gives me such a high. I then transmit this energy to my work.
Q: How did you become so passionate about herbalism?
The love and passion I have for the plant realm come from the plants themselves. They transmit their love, beauty, ancient healing wisdom and magic to me. I just have to make sure I am receptive enough to connect with it. Medicinal plants have saved my life, they are healers, friends, allies, companions. Once you got them on your team you will never feel alone. I also believe this vocation comes through my genetic baggage, a vast majority of my ancestors were healers in Morocco.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself opening Herbalistas in all of the coolest surf towns of the world! Help orphans, travel the world to learn about different healing modalities and surf world-class waves with my baby girl.
Q: Do you have a favorite plant and why?
It is hard for an herbalist to only have 1 favorite plant… I have a top 3. Let me start with the 3rd: scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) because it calms my nerves. 2nd nettle (Urtica dioica) because it is packed with protein, iron, magnesium and all of those vitamins and minerals my organism needs to thrive. And my top of the top number 1 favorite is Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum). I love it because it calms my mind, my heart and connects me to my immortal essence. It is known as the mushroom of immortality because it allows you to grow old with all your mental capacities and physical strength. I add Reishi powder to my plant-based milk, some dates, Cacao, vanilla, and hemp protein.
Q: Describe the concept of your new store in the center of Cabarete.
Herbalista is a Natural beauty apothecary, an alchemy bar and an herbal dispensary. It is created to offer anyone who is conscious about their health, a variety of organic and vegan options. The alchemy bar is pretty groovy. You can choose from around 150 medicinal plants to create your own medicinal concoction. There is 10 different freshly handmade plant-based milk and an herbalist formulated menu of drinks to help you enhance your mood, get more energy, boost your immune system or detoxify. Then there is the green pharmacy section, the high-frequency beauty corner where you can custom formulate your own essential oil perfume, serum, aura mist, flower essence and face mask. We also have crystals! Herbalista is like a little sanctuary in Cabarete to recharge, regenerate and transform your body, mind, and consciousness from within.
Image credit: Mercedes Ruiz Acevedo & Cate Levasseur