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  • Writer's pictureJoan Rothchild Hardin

The Sacred Science – a natural medicine quest into the Amazon rainforest


If you’re fascinated by ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin’s work with the shamans in the Amazon Rain Forest to learn about and preserve their age old indigenous cures, you’ll also be interested in this award-winning documentary, THE SACRED SCIENCE. In this 2011 documentary, eight people afflicted with serious illnesses (Parkinson’s, breast cancer, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, depression, prostate cancer, a rare neuro-endocrine cancer,  alcohol addiction) leave everything behind for 30 days and embark on a natural medicine quest into the heart of the Amazon jungle.  Working with indigenous healers, each participant uses a combination of time-tested plant medicines and intense spiritual ceremonies to restore their health. Five of them will return with real results, two will return disappointed, and one won’t come back at all. In THE SACRED SCIENCE, Nicholas J. Polizzi and his team take their brave group of patients straight to the source of this ancient plant wisdom. Here’s the film’s trailer: Click below to watch the whole film online at NO COST. The offer runs until October 23rd.


If you don’t know them already, I also highly recommend ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin’s 1993 book TALES OF A SHAMAN’S APPRENTICE: An ethnobotanist searches for new medicines in the Amazon Rain Forest.

and the 2001 award winning film about his work, THE SHAMAN’S APPRENTICE.

Plotkin has become an expert on rainforest ecosystems. He is an advocate for tropical rainforest conservation, working in partnership with indigenous people and The Amazon Conservation Team to protect the Amazon, its people and plants.

REFERENCES Miranda Productions.(2001). The Shaman’s Apprentice. Documentary film. See: Plotkin, M.J. (1993). Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice: An ethnobotanist searches for new medicines in the Amazon Rain Forest.  See: Polizzi, N. J. (2011). The Sacred Science. Documentary film.  See: The Amazon Conservation Team. See: © Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


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