Traditional Herbalism in a Globalized World: A Case Study of Cuba

Posted April 14th, 2016 by VCIH

with Kenzie McDonald, VCIH Clinical Intern
Wednesday, May 4th 6-8 pm
$12/$10 for members

Cuba, historically isolated from access to global technologies, has become known as a nation dedicated to local, organic food, and accessible healthcare. While healthcare is free, the industrial diet and lifestyle of a globalized world comes at a cost. Health concerns include issues of malnourishment, diabetes, heart disease, and auto-immune disease. In this class, we will discuss the reality of traditional herbalism in the context of Cuban culture, specifically focusing on Havana and the surrounding region. We will also discuss how industrialization is changing traditional herbalism used throughout the world. This class will provide an overview of Cuban herbalism from the perspective of a traveling, American herbalist and agriculturalist, and participants will leave with herbal recipes that are commonly used in Cuban homes.

Kenzie McDonald is a clinical herbalist intern at VCIH and is starting her first herb farming business, Wild Femme Herb Farm. Kenzie has traveled and lived in the Middle East, West Africa, and Central America while studying permaculture, sustainable agriculture, herbalism, and local languages and traditions. In 2015, Kenzie visited the western region of Cuba to research the current status of its health care, organic agriculture, and herbalism. Kenzie’s perspective is limited to her own experience, and while she is not an expert on any of the subjects she will cover in the workshop, she is passionate about the possible benefits of this kind of cross-cultural exchange of herbal wisdom.