Chanchka Remedios

Harmonizing Relationships between Plants and People

Chapparro amargosa

By Deb

As I reflect upon the relationship Chaparro amargosa and I have created, I feel a deep sense of gratitude within. We have known each other for almost a decade now! Each experience we share together brings us to greater understanding and growth. Although I have been building this relationship with Chaparro for almost a decade, It has only been in the past four years that I have physically met her. Thanks to my dear friend and teacher, Doug, who introduced us for the first time.


I remember the first time I met her. It was a warm, late night at the end of January and the full moon was shining sweetly upon her.  It had recently rained so the air was thick with the beloved smell of chaparral. I had traveled that day from what Doug refers to as the “arctic” (a.k.a Colorado).  It was one of those moments where your life changes… profoundly and deeply. I knelt upon the Earth at her feet and began to cry.  I felt as I had let go of years worth of baggage. Aware that I was establishing a lifetime relationship, I began my multiple expressions of gratitude.  Giving offerings, singing, and offering friendship. Fully submersed in that moment, Chaparro helped me to begin to understand the importance of boundaries and how to create a stronger environment inside of myself as to how to effectively deal with difficult energies or experiences. Chaparro helps us with regulating boundarieson many different levels. Considering that it was one of those really challenging periods in my life this plant was communicating exactly the lesson I needed to be learning.  Humbly, I accept I have a lot more to learn!

Upon my return from Costa Rica recently, I have yet again built a new sense of trust in my relationship with Chaparro and the help Chaparro can offer humans when we are dealing with questionable water or food.  This is a really powerful statement, right? When it comes to traveling to other countries our bodies are not used to certain bacterias and bugs. When these foreign entities enter our bodies it can be shocking to the system especially when your energy is compromised from traveling. We need support to regulate the environment with in our digestive tracts during these types of situations.  Chaparro can offer us just that! As one of our students said, “Chaparro is the ambassador plant for traveling to other countries”.  I feel safe with her.

Doug has always taught me “Put your trust in Spirit, but don’t forget to tie up your camel!”.  In other words, take all precautions, use these medicines articulately, and trust in the plant medicine.  When we travel to other countries and you know the water is REALLY bad then take precautions to drink bottled water, eat and sleep well, keep your chi strong, wash your hands and eat Chaparro!  When we build relationships with plants, the more we are active participants in that relationship, the more we understand and trust. Like Doug says when you are an active participant the information you learn about the plant “now has a place to land”.  That is one of the many reasons why learning from Doug is so valuable.  He has been practicing for decades upon decades and has opened lots of doorways for the information about the plants to land!