The Plant Cruzer
Dr. Patrisia Gonzales descends from three generations of traditional healers who were midwives, herbalists, bonesetters, and traditional healers who did ceremonial medicine. She was raised by her Kickapoo, Comanche, Macehual and Mexican grandparents. She is a carrier of her family's Mesoamerican lineage and has apprenticed with Nahua traditional healers in Mexico for three decades. Her great-grandfather Boni was a well-known curandero, bone-setter and ceremonial doctor. Her great-grandmother, Mama Concha, was a midwife in the 1800s and her grandparents also provided traditional care to family, friends and neighbors. She is a traditional birth attendant and herbalist and in a traditional practice has worked with cancer patients, trauma survivors and Indigenous peoples in an Indigenous clinic setting. She has created dozens of formulas for inflammation, coldness, to improve the pulse of life, deep immunity, nerve and muscle pain, nervousness, embedded imbalances, and vulnerable life force and medicine teas for use in prayer. She has written extensively on traditional Indigenous understandings of trauma and ways to address it. She is a mother maker and baby catcher, using the medicines on her altar, her bundle and her hands to bring life into this world.
The lineage that she carries from her great-grandparents provides that the plant medicine should be accessible and affordable to the people. Ceremonial medicine does not carry a pricetag. She follows a lineage, like many Indigenous teachings, that we should not charge for what the earth has given to us freely and, when we do charge, that it be within a scale that makes it affordable and accessible to people. Therefore, the medicine making she offers through PATZIN is on a donation basis. She has made tinctures, linaments, oils, salves and syrups and medicinal teas and baths, for survivors of violence, the victims of torture and violence and began offering plant medicine at Indigenous gatherings, powwows, community events and at women’s centers since in the late 1990s. She has offered a traditional clinic since 2000.
She teaches beginning and advanced courses about Traditional Indigenous Medicine and wellness at the University of Arizona and is one of the few scholars with an expertise in Mesoamerican and American Indian traditional medicineways. She is the author of Red Medicine: Traditional Indigenous Rites of Birthing and Healing (2012) and Traditional Indian Medicine (2017).