The book Jungle Medicine tells the story of how a pharmacist travels to the primal Amazon jungle and discovers how to infuse medicine for the body with spirit for the soul.
Book Review: Jungle Medicine (Citron Bay, 2001)
From a small heartland town, a pharmacist journeys deep into the
primal Amazon jungle in search for that which heals beyond
conventional medicine. There she apprentices to a jungle shaman who
takes her to the ragged edge of her sanity as he reveals to her the
mysteries of healing. Emerging as a shamana, Connie Grauds brings
us a new spirited medicine . . . one that infuses medicine for the
body with spirit for the soul.
Grauds, one of Herbs for Health’s editorial advisers, started
her career as a Western-trained HMO pharmacist. Her story is a
remarkable journey of the spirit—one that takes the reader deep
into the heart of the Amazon.
When Grauds was in her early forties, nearly twenty years into
her pharmacy career, her life began to crumble around her. She was
completely disillusioned with her work, her marriage fell apart,
and she learned she had thyroid cancer. Grauds also developed
carpal tunnel syndrome, which eventually forced her to quit her
job. All of these events caused Grauds to “ . . . [fall] into a
profound despair, a spiritual crisis that no conventional therapy
and no prescription in my pharmaceutical bag of miracle drugs could
Through, as she writes, “a series of seemingly random events,”
Grauds ended up in the Amazon rain forest near Iquitos, Peru. She
became an apprentice for shaman don Antonio, who became a profound
healer for Grauds as well.
In the Amazon, Grauds’ ideas about the limitations of Western
medicine became more clear. After her first day there, she knew she
wanted more. “Now, after twenty-four hours with don Antonio, I felt
more certain than ever that I, too, wanted to become a shaman,
whatever that meant,” she writes. As time went on, Grauds found
that the apprenticeship heightened her ability to communicate
directly with plants. She learned that a jungle shaman’s mysterious
healing practices are a blend of medicine and spirit and that
shamans are experts on the healing properties of the jungle’s rich
plant medicines. She discovered that shamans have an intimate
relationship with the healing spirits of nature, especially the
Jungle Medicine is a wonderful story, both for plant lovers and
for those interested in the spiritual or “unexplainable” aspects of
healing. Grauds tells her story with humor, courage, wisdom, and a
refreshing sense of wonder and self-discovery.
Paperback, 206 pages, $15. Available from Grauds’ website: www.junglemedicine.net.
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