LUYA Healing and Herbs was created in 2020 by Princess Manuel. Luya – in Tagalog, means ginger – offers spiritual life coaching, herbal consultations and also herbal blends. We talked with Princess about her love for plants, what can be healed using herbalism and much more. Check out below this special MysticMag interview!
When did you discover your love for plants and that you wanted to follow this path?
In July 2017, I attended a Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion program at Soul Fire Farm where I met many wonderful earth guardians. There I touched the fertile soils of Earth Mother and it was healing to my present-day and generational traumas. I was introduced to many farming concepts and racial justice in the farming industry. During that week, I also had my hands on the land and had the opportunity to plant foods such as garlic. I met many plants in person that would have otherwise already been processed as I lived in NYC.
This pivotal time in my life led me on a path to follow my excitement of working with plants. I met Karen Washington of Rise and Root Farm at the Younger Farmers Conference later that year in November 2017. After attending her talk, I mustered up the courage to introduce myself and let her know of my love of plants. She referred me to Master Herbalist Karen Rose who is the owner of Sacred Vibes Apothecary.
I reached out to Karen Rose and applied for her Sacred Vibes Spiritual Herbalism Apprenticeship and began my journey as a Spiritual Herbalism Apprentice in July 2018. I studied with Karen Rose from 2018 until 2021, developing intimate relationships with plants and learning their physical and spiritual properties.
I decided to continue pursuing an innate calling and founded LUYA Healing and Herbs on February 18, 2020 right before the COVID-19 pandemic became widespread. We are 2 years old and have been thriving ever since!
How does your lineage and your Philippine origin influence your work?
During my herbalism apprenticeship, we are guided to call on a plant ally. The plant that chose me and that I also needed at the time was ginger, or “luya” in Tagalog (one of the many languages of the Philippines). Luya has been present with me and my lineage for generations. We cook with luya in many of our comforting dishes such as arroz caldo, chicken tinola, paksiw na bangus (milkfish with ginger), to name a few.
Ginger taught me what I needed to shed in my life in order to stand in my power as a descendant of farmers and traditional healers in the Philippines. I decided to name my business after this powerful plant. I would later find out during my herbalism apprenticeship ceremony that I was on a path to become a shaman.
I now visit the Spirit world often and receive guidance on healing for myself and my community through my guides and benevolent ancestors. They continue to tell the story of what happened in my lineage as a Filipina and the power I can yield with the knowledge of plant medicine and access to the Spirit world.
I found it interesting that in your podcast you mention moving through grief and transitions with nature medicine. How does that work?
As a trained mental health clinician, we learn the stages of grief and transitions as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. During the podcast, I discuss what happens in each stage and the different plant medicines and animal spirit guides that can support us in each stage. I also touch on ancestral technologies such as ritual that can help us heal through transition and grief.
In regards to the stages of grief, I recommended burdock, oatstraw, rose and chamomile for the stage of denial as well as calling in turtle medicine for stillness and patience. For anger, I recommended rose for heart healing and oatstraw as a “hug plant”. I suggested calling in ant, dolphin and lovebird medicine for action, play and fierce love. For the bargaining stage, we can call on rosemary to give us clarity and make a decision on how to proceed as well as hawk medicine for directness and swift decision making. For the phase of depression, I suggested chamomile, rose and oatstraw to ease the nervous system and black panther medicine to explore the shadows of depression and find the beauty in it. For the acceptance phase, we can call on calendula to continue bringing in the joy and closing the wound. We can call on snake medicine to help us shed the skin and transform into a new version of ourselves during the grief process.
Plant allies for transitions that I recommended include grounding herbs such burdock, cleansing herbs such as nettles or ginger, clarity herbs such rosemary and nourishing herbs such oatstraw.
What other concerns, issues and difficult moments can be treated with nature medicine and plants?
My clients have come to me for addressing limiting beliefs, symptoms of anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, trauma, for womb healing work and addressing the impacts of racism, classism and sexism on the mind, body and spirit.
You can basically treat any mental, physical, emotional or spiritual health concern with plants as they are such intelligent beings and are holistic medicine!
How does your spiritual life coaching program work?
Clients work with me to determine their health goals through a thorough healing intake that touches on mind, body and spirit healing. We continually check in throughout the program on progress, offering suggestions, support and accountability. Clients gain herbalism education, somatic healing, ancestral technology support and the space to heal collectively with other like-minded folks. They learn how to ultimately heal themselves. The clients we bring in tend to be social justice oriented, LGBTQ+ and BIPOC as the medicine I offer resonates with them. I am a survivor of complex present-day and generational trauma from colonization, white supremacy, patriarchy and advanced capitalism. The healing I’ve done on myself has become the medicine I can offer to others.
For someone that is just starting to understand the power of plants, which herbal blend or product would you recommend?
Check in with your intuition. Is there a certain plant really calling for your attention? Are there plants that your family engaged with for ailments and remedies? Every human being is unique so its important to check in with yourself first by asking those reflective questions. Perhaps walking down the grocery aisle for accessibility and seeing if any of the herbs present are calling you. Meditation and being intentional about choosing a plant ally is also a powerful practice to begin the journey of healing with plant medicine. Folks can schedule a consultation with us to learn more!