I regret to say that noted Chumash healer and author Cecilia Garcia died last month. She authored, with Dr. James Adams of the USC School of Pharmacology, “Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West” one of the finest books on healing with California native herbs. The book looks at native herbs from both a traditional standpoint and from a Western scientific position, making it uniquely useful. It is now in its second edition, and a third edition is forthcoming.
Garcia was also a wonderful teacher who gave many classes and lectures. She and Dr. Adams spoke to the San Gabriel Chapter of CNPS some years ago, and I was privileged to attend. More recently, they have given classes at the Theodore Payne Foundation. I was in the session taught by Dr. Adams when we heard the news.
She died in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, on the 18th of May, subsequent to an auto accident while she was bicycling. Her contribution to our understanding of the uses of native plants will be much missed. Her passing shows that we must learn what we can about California plants from First Nations elders while they are still here with us.