things that matter

This Latina-Owned Apothecary Promises Lucid Dreams Tinctures And Herbal Smoke Blends For Longevity

animamundiherbals / Instagram

In this world of growing suspicion around Western medicine, many of us have taken to what some people consider “New Age” plant medicine. Adriana Ayales is here to bust that myth. If our ancestors hadn’t decided to move to the United States in search for a better life, we probably would have grown up with herbal healing. In a way, many of us grew up with mami’s irrefutable healing ways (sleep with an onion under your pillow, etc.).

Ayales grew up near the rainforest, with an indigenous Costa Rican abuelita who taught her everything she knew. Ayales is bringing her wisdom around Costa Rican jungle cures for coughs, insomnia and longevity to the U.S. with her shop: Anima Mundi Herbals. Here’s what she’s promising.

Meet Adriana Ayales:

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

In her online bio, she writes, “I believe that by preserving these ancient forms of indigenous botany, we keep alive a very sacred aspect to our source. Anima Mundi was founded with the intention to bridge ancient healing traditions and plant remedies as a form as grassroots healthcare for today’s world.”

She’s been a hands on herbalist since she was a teenager.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

She’s studied under plant medicine teachers in Costa Rica, the Amazon and California, and then went on to train as a clinical herbalist in Western and European herbalism. She goes on in her bio, that she “became deeply fascinated with archetypes, astrology and body types and the cosmological correlations of illness/health with planetary function. I studied astrology, cosmology and consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and immersed myself in the study of medical astrology, and biodynamics.”

To this day, she returns to Costa Rica to discover and reclaim ancient plant medicine.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

She has a beautiful way of understanding our Earth.

“Earth is like a gigantic receptor or radio-station, inhaling and exhaling stellar and cosmic forces; the absorbed essence of which grows and unfolds as life. These forces are not all material, but include subtle energies of an occult or spiritual nature. Plants transmit the vital-emotional impulses, the life-force that is hidden in light. That is the gift, the grace, the power of plants,” she writes on Instagram.

If you live near the Bronx, you’re in luck.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

Ayales has a brick and mortar with hundreds of herbs on hand, and herbalists at the ready to create a medicinal blend for whatever you’re feeling at the moment. While her aim with Anima Mundi is to offer pure and powerful healthcare, it’s also to “help preserve indigenous lands and their local economies through organic agriculture and wildcrafted goods,” as she writes on her website.

The “herbal factory” offers all kinds of workshops.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

Full moon coming up? You’ll bet there’s a cacao ceremony planned, and for good reason. Cacao is embedded in the ancient history of indigenous cultures of Costa Rica. Only the women were allowed to handle the cacao (because they knew a matriarchy made better sense), and cacao was only consumed for sacred occasions.

You can learn to make probiotic nut + seed based cheeses.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

Of course, you can learn how to integrate medicinal herbs into these very tasty looking cashew wheels. Events coming up sound like “Toltec Shamanism: Self-Love and the Connection to Mother Earth” and “The Alchemist Sessions Experience: Crafting Conscious Cocktails.”

That’s right. Alcohol can be medicinal. Learn all about it.

The “Flores Sagradas Sacred Herbal Smoke” blend looks bellísima.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

Apparently, the smoke is used ceremonially to open the crown chakra. It includes flowers like Wild Dagga and Indian warrior, which have been used for their muscle relaxant properties. Meanwhile, smoking the Blue lotus is used as a “visionary herb” and to help decompress the nervous system.

The Palo Santo she sells is fairly sourced from Northern Peru.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

She also sells it in an oil format, which is meant to help induce lucid dreaming or to protect your aura. The product description shares, “It draws darkness out, and pours light into the entire energy system.”

Elixirs are some of her most potent products.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

For example, the Dream elixir is made up of Ashwagandha, Passionflower, Kava Kava, Skullcap, Blue Lotus,  Kalea Sacatechichi and a few other herbs that help boost hypothalamic function. That in turn helps increase pituitary response and give you a deep sleep, and a better dream-recall.

So if you have insomnia, or are interested in lucid dreaming, this is your elixir.

Oh, and the way people are using the tinctures? 🤤

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

What you’re looking at is a bulletproofed turmeric latte with curam elixir, which Anima Mundi describes as it’s “Beauty & Anti-Aging” elixir. The turmeric root, Camu Camu peel, Amla peel, Mangosteen and wildcrafted Ylang Ylang flowers help to increase vitality, reduce inflammation and improve the elasticity in the skin and muscle tissue.

Then, you guys, there are the *powders*.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

I will tell you that I have personally used the Pau D’Arco which is an anti-viral, anti-candidal elixir for a candida overgrowth and it works. I have done three month long anti-candida diets where the only fruit I can eat is an avocado or olive.

This one is great if you have a weak immune system, or are feeling brain fog, sugar cravings, low libido, and all the other crappy symptoms of the too common candida overgrowth.

You can add the powders to pretty much anything.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

Y’know, any curative pill sold in stores is based in a healing plant property. So why not get them in their rawest forms? You can add this adaptogenic brain tonic to your morning cafecito or evening arroz con leche.

Flan is the new brain food.

Fans have made the most incredible superfood desserts.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

Like this raspberry jam almond butter cup infused with Reishi powder. Reishi is known to aid your body wherever it is stressed,  by decreasing inflammation and repairing damaged blood vessels and balancing hormones. They’re basically immune balancers, which just help restore your body to its healthiest balanced state.

Also, they look yummy as heck.

And then there are the tonics.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

If you check out her site, she tells you in depth what each herb in the tonics are known for in their original culture. For example, the “Energia” tonic is steeped in Suma (meaning para toda), native to indigenous Amazon people.

According to Leslie Taylor ND, “Suma has been used as an aphrodisiac, a calming agent, and to treat ulcers for at least 300 years. It is an important herbal remedy in the folk medicine of several rainforest Indian tribes today.”

When Café Bustelo isn’t going to cut it.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

You can try actual drops of happiness in your morning routine!

Caption: “Our exquisitely crafted liquid happiness is composed of botanicals known for their ability to regulate our happy molecules (seratonin + dopamine), balancing hormonal function, while providing significant brain health. Our signature formula is a mix of #adaptogenic herbs, Ashwagandha and Rhodiola, with supporting powerhouses like St Johns Wort, Albizzia and Mucuna. Read up on the powerful properties of these bliss boosting herbs.”

She offers tea to increase your sex drive.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

According to her Instagram page, “The Blue Lotus is revered as an herb to increase sexual vitality. …The root and stamen of the Blue lotus is what does all the increasing of energy as the adrenal glands are healed and the androgen hormones etc are back in balance — then the long gone libido returns. So, in the true context of an adaptogen, I will comment that the Blue Lotus has the power to repair all of the body without taking any particular organ, system, illness into account.

It is undiscerning in its selection of what to heal. It just does it all. Another interesting component are the alkaloids that it contains that it makes a “heal-all”. This chemistry is why we all love the ginseng family. Mind, body, soul, emotions. All dealt with easily with a daily therapeutic dose for a long period of time. Voila, magic happens and you are well. That just about sums up the Blue Lotus too.”

We could all use some Protection myst.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

The mist is made of 100 percent sustainably crafted Palo Santo. We culturally regard it as a tool to cleanse the soul, but it also has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial air purifying properties. It’s nature’s non-toxic Lysol.

I am so curious about this Coconut Cream powder.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

This is a dream to carry with you into the backcountry. I’m always seeing powdered milk at outdoor supply stores, but my lactose-intolerant brown blood would just straight up die out there with that. I’m getting this ASAP.

Anima Mundi processes all 200 different herbs they use to create their products.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

Every powder, every tonic, was hand crafted by the Anima Mundi team before being packaged. I know I want to give Adriana Ayales all my money in both gratitude for making Costa Rica’s ancient healing wisdom accessible to all of us, and because I’m genuinely lusting over all these products.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and enthused all at once, she’s got a plan for that.

CREDIT: @animamundiherbals / Instagram

Ayales shows us all how to integrate her formulas into juices and elixirs that will balance the herbal properties in harmony. She created the book in order to demystify herbalism, so that’s what it’s there for.

Inside are recipes for headache cures, Reishi & Cacao energy elixirs and instructions on how to cold press your own tinctures. Is it just me or are we all obsessed with her life work and products?


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5 Unsolved Murders That Have Left Families Shattered As They Search For Answers

Things That Matter

5 Unsolved Murders That Have Left Families Shattered As They Search For Answers

Hundreds of murder cases remain unsolved every year in the United States. Many families of Latino victims are still waiting for justice for their loved ones. Here are some cases that are cold or were cold for decades and being worked on my police departments across the country.

Josue Flores’ brutal stabbing in Houston, Texas.

In 2016, 11-year-old Josue Flores was stabbed to death while walking home from school. The young child was stabbed 20 times by an unknown assailant. Over the years, suspects have been questioned and detained. However, evidence and the lack of evidence has led to charges being dropped against those accused. The case remains unsolved but prompted a response from the community to make sure children walking home from school are safe.

The shooting death of Salvador Chavez in Kansas City, Missouri.

CREDIT: Kansas City Police Department

Nineteen years ago, Salvador Chavez was shot in Kansas City and pronounced dead at the scene when officers arrived. The police department has still not found his killer. Not a lot is known about his death, which occurred in 1999. Police were called to the scene by witnesses who heard gun shots but didn’t see what happened.

The shooting murder of Carlos Valladares in Miami, Florida.

CREDIT: Daniel Reichert

In 1992, Carlos Valladares left his jewelry shop to get a coffee with an unidentified man in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. When two men went to search for him at the store, the doors were locked and they eventually found Valladares fatally shot inside at the back of the store. After identifying the man whom Valladares had coffee with from tips, police never found enough evidence to tie the man he was having coffee with to his murder. It is still an unsolved crime that haunts one of the cops who worked on the case.

The shooting death of Joshua Rodriguez in Dallas, Texas.

CREDIT: NBCDFW

In 2015, a night that was supposed to be filled with happiness at a Dallas-area high school graduation party, turned into terror when gunfire erupted at the party. According to reports, a fight broke out at the party and someone fired an assault rifle into the crowd from the street. Twenty one-year-old Joshua Rodriguez was shot dead. Three years later, detectives and police are still trying to bring justice to the victim’s family and find his murderer.

Death of beauty queen Irene Garza in McAllen, Texas.

CREDIT: CNN / YouTube

Sometimes after years or even decades of going cold, a break in the case helps a victim’s family finally gain the peace and justice they were looking for. This happened in the 1960 murder case of beauty queen and teacher Irene Garza, whose body was found in a canal days after last attending church in McAllen, Texas. Former priest John Feit was convicted of raping and strangling the 25-year-old woman after she went to church to confess her sins.


READ: Texas Law Enforcement Authorities Have Charged A Border Patrol Agent With The Murder Of A Mother And Young Child On The Border

Are there unsolved cases of a Latino victim you know? Let us know in the comments below.

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